Q&A with Dennis Panicali, Town of Kure Beach Commissioner Candidate

What has driven you to run in this Election? My wife and I have enjoyed living in Kure Beach for more than 18 years, initially part time and full time since 2011. Kure Beach is a unique and wonderful small town. Warm and welcoming, situated close to the amenities of the greater Wilmington area and offering an abundance of activities for those who love living at the coast. 

Upon retiring, I sought opportunities to give back to the community and in 2016 joined the Town’s Shore Line Access and Beach Protection Committee. I became chairman of the committee in 2017, which afforded me the opportunity to engage with the Town Council and several of the Town’s Department heads. I began routinely attending the Town Council meetings to communicate committee activities and hear what other activities were ongoing and what challenges the Town was facing. These interactions allowed me greater insight into the Kure Beach Town operations and a better understanding of small-town government. As I became more involved, I served on several additional ad hoc committees including the parking committee which made the recommendation to institute paid parking, the naming committee for the new fire station and the committee to organize the grand opening of the renovated Town Hall. My committee involvement sparked my interest in running for the Town Council. 

When Commissioner Whitley resigned, I was honored to be elected by the Town Council to serve the remainder of his term. Over the last year I have enjoyed my time on Council and the opportunity to contribute to setting in place a few new policies that benefit our residents and visitors, passing a balanced budget with no tax increases for residents and serving as liaison to the Fire Department, Planning and Zoning Committee and SLABP committee.

Serving as Commissioner has been an exceptionally rewarding experience, and I would be deeply honored to continue serving on the Town Council and striving to make Kure Beach the finest small town on the North Carolina coast.

What specific skills do you bring to council should you be elected/ re-elected? I have a Ph.D. in molecular biology and I founded a biotechnology company and served a CEO and CSO. As such I had final responsibility for making critical financial, scientific, product development and business development decisions. I have also served on a variety of public and private business and scientific advisory boards. I have a broad range of critical thinking skills, management experience and the ability work in a wide range of organizations. 

Please share any social media page(s) or websites. None currently. Do you have any upcoming events promoting your run for office?  None currently

Any parting words for residents as we look forward to electing the next council?   It has been a privilege to serve on the Town Council for this last year and a half. The Town has an outstanding staff that all work together in harmony to make Kure Beach such a wonderful place to live and visit. There will always be challenges ahead of us. It is critical for us to maintain and improve the Towns infrastructure and provide the best possible services for residents. We will need to remain vigilant in our efforts to retain Kure Beach’s small-town character in the face of the rapid growth in New Hanover County. We need to be mindful of the wishes of our residents as we consider new initiatives such as the extending the Island greenway and repairing our ocean front board walk among other projects. 

I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve our residents and will continue to do my best to serve in the best interests of the community. I am always happy to talk with any of our residents regarding concerns or recommendations and can be contacted most easily through my Town email address which can be found on the Towns website.