Q&A with Michelle R. Alberda, Town of Carolina Beach Mayor Candidate

What has driven you to run this Election? While the previous Town Council accomplished a lot in partnership with the town leadership and employees, several big decisions were made without having all of the information needed to make decisions with the best outcomes.  The result was discord within and outside our community.  I believe that I can be the catalyst for change in the decision-making process if I am elected.  I also look forward to participating in the budget process from the beginning.

What specific skills do you bring to council should be elected/re-elected? Problem Solving: In 2020 I noticed there was a lot of trash along the sidewalks and parking lots in Carolina Beach.  I started a small group that would pick up trash on Wednesdays during the busy season.  In 2022, we made the group official and called it the CB Trash Walkers. Many of the citizens in our town follow us on Facebook or join in on Wednesday.  Since we started weighing the trash over a year ago, we have picked up over 8,148 pounds of trash and the town hasn’t looked cleaner.  That didn’t cost the town a dime.  When we noticed that ashtrays weren’t being emptied regularly, we took over that job and are now working with Keep New Hanover County Beautiful and we are in charge of the cigarette recycling program in Carolina Beach.  Again, this doesn’t cost our town a dime. Then, when the Beautification Committee was needing money for plants, we coordinated a meeting with the North Carolina Wildlife Federation to get native trees and plants donated to our town for planting projects.  That also led to cooperating with the Friends of the Parks and Greenway to get plants donated for the town nursery.  While many people complain, I search for solutions and implement them in a cost-efficient manner.

Proven leadership skills:  In 2007, I was the President of the Financial Women’s Association in San Francisco which is the oldest association of its kind in the United States which had over 500 members.  I lead a large board of 23 individuals, started the Endowment Fund, and was integral in implementing over 50 programs in that year.  I have held several Board positions for the FWSF over the years.  In 2020 I was the Distinguished Member of the Year for my work on the celebration of the 100-year anniversary of women winning the right to vote.

I understand budgets and money:  I own a wealth management business with my headquarters in Carolina Beach and an office in San Francisco. I manage over half a billion dollars.  I have spent a lot of time reviewing the town budget and while there may not be a lot of changes that can occur in the current spending, we need to prepare, spend wisely and be financially creative for the future.

Thinking outside the box:  When the Christmas parade was canceled during Covid, I was part of the group that came together with the idea of the Christmas Golf Cart Extravaganza.  We had a lot of opposition and people telling us it couldn’t be done.  We pushed on, and then the Island Men ran with it and made it the success that it was.

Please share any social media page(s) or website: Under construction but you can follow us at CB Trash Walkers on Facebook!

Do you have any upcoming events promoting your run for office? At this time, I do not have any upcoming events promoting my run for office.  You will most definitely see me around Carolina Beach introducing myself to those who don’t know me and checking in with the people who I already know.  I will likely be wearing my CB Trash Walker T-shirt.

Any parting words for residents as we look forward to electing the next council? There is no doubt that the current council is dedicated to our community.  I hope that the residents of Carolina Beach make the effort to learn about each of the candidates and make their vote based on which candidate they believe can lead us to a better future.