Kris Noble, Hyde County planning and economic development officer. Photo by P. Vankevich
Kris Noble, new Hyde County deputy manager officer. Photo by P. Vankevich


By Peter Vankevich

The Hyde County commissioners on Tuesday night (July 5) approved Kris Cahoon Noble as the deputy county manager. Bill Rich is the county manager. 

This new position combines Noble’s responsibilities as the county’s Planner and Economic Development Director and includes attracting new business and helping small and start-up businesses and those of the Special Assistant Hyde County Manager that were handled by Will Doerfer who recently resigned.

Noble has worked for Hyde County since 2008. One of her specialties has been a grant administrator, and she has coordinated many projects for the county that include drainage, water, wastewater, and construction of municipal and community facilities.

A native of  Swan Quarter, Noble has degrees from East Carolina University where she received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship and small business management and a master’s degree in business administration. She is also a graduate of the North Carolina Rural Center’s Rural Economic Development Institute (REDI) and the UNC School of Government’s Community Development Academy.

She currently serves on the North Carolina Catch Board and the Coastal Resources Advisory Council.

In other news from the monthly meeting, folks will have a long wait, if ever, before they can cultivate marijuana in Hyde County or play slot machines on the ferries.

These two motions by Ocracoke’s commissioner John Fletcher were not seconded, so no votes were taken.

The marijuana proposal was for cultivating the plants for medical purposes and is an item Fletcher has put on the agenda a few other times since he was elected in 2012.

As in prior meetings, he again recommended that the slot machines on the long-route ferries could bring in badly needed money for the Ferry Division. Funding for the ferry system got a boost from the NC General Assembly when it approved funding for new ferries and maintenance. Read about that here.

Fletcher did get one proposal approved, which was to have trucks hauling trash off the island placed in their own lane when waiting to board the ferry.

Noble reported that the National Park Service has been contacted about re-opening the firebreak between the village and the Park Service property. She said they had been busy with the July 4 activities and would get back after their assessment is completed. This firebreak, last cut in 2013, is supported by the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department.   

Another proposal she presented was enacting an ordinance that approves the use of rooftop solar collectors. These collectors are not the same as solar farms which are under a moratorium in the county. Solar collectors are necessary for a project Tideland EMC wants to use along with some Tesla batteries to improve Ocracoke’s back-up generator. The proposal was unanimously approved.

Luanna Gibbs, RN and the acting health director who replaced David Howard in early May, was approved to continue on as acting health director. She will be working on completing her degree at East Carolina University in health administration. 

During the public comment period, she was invited to meet with Ocracoke residents so they can get to know her and have her explain the county’s Health Department’s activities.

In addition to the gridlock regarding the nomination process to the Ocracoke Occupancy Tax Board–read about it hereconfusion remains about two important advisory groups, the Ocracoke Planning Advisory Board and the Ocracoke Board of Adjustments.

When Tom Pahl won the March 15 Democratic primary defeating John Fletcher for the County Commissioner office, five of the seven members of the Ocracoke Planning Advisory Board immediately submitted their resignations.

Terms of office are staggered among the various appointments and Pahl requested that the terms for each of these committees be clarified.

The commissioners approved Fletcher nominations of Joseph C. Ramunni, III and Daniel R. Wrobleski to serve on the Ocracoke Board of Adjustments.

For Ocracoke news, click here.

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