Cahoon reelected Coastal Resources Commission chair

By on November 9, 2023

Coastal Resources Commission legal counsel Mary Lucasse, left, is seated next to new commission member Jordan Hennessy Thursday during the commission’s meeting in Beaufort. (Photo: Mark Hibbs)

By Mark Hibbs | Coastal Review Online
This story is part of a new reporting partnership with the Coastal Review Online and the Outer Banks Voice.

BEAUFORT – Newly appointed members took seats for their first Coastal Resources Commission meeting here Thursday – also the first since state lawmakers changed the rules regarding its makeup — and four members promptly and unsuccessfully attempted to replace Chair Renee Cahoon.

The board, along with the Environmental Management Commission, was one of the state regulatory commissions that a three-judge panel deciding Gov. Roy Cooper’s legal challenge to Senate Bill 512 on Nov. 1 allowed to proceed with new appointments that the law took away from the governor. The superior court judges gave Cooper a partial victory but did not rule on appointments to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission or the state Building Council.

The 7-4 vote to reinstate Cahoon, whom Cooper had appointed as chair when that was still state law, came after new commission member Jordan Hennessy’s motion to delay a vote on the chair until after the entire board had been seated.

Mary Lucasse, the commission’s legal counsel, halted that move, saying that a quorum being present was all the authority needed to proceed with the election and other business on the agenda.

Hennessy told Coastal Review during a break in the meeting that his desire to delay election of a chair was because other new appointees were absent.

“We have two new commissioners that were just appointed along with myself who weren’t here, and they asked for a virtual connection to this meeting and that wasn’t provided. I feel like that when 15% of our commission who are new appointees are not able to be here that they should be able to have a say in their leadership position,” Hennessy said.

The commission sets policies for the North Carolina Coastal Management Program and adopts rules for the state’s Coastal Area Management Act and the Dredge and Fill Act.

Cooper had vetoed the bill that stripped the governor’s appointment powers Aug.24, but the GOP-controlled legislature overrode that veto Oct. 10. Cooper immediately challenged the measure’s constitutionality in court.

Previously, the governor appointed nine members but the new law took away three, gave the General Assembly two additional appointments for a total of six, and gave the state insurance commissioner one.

Hennessy, a former aide to then-Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort, and a CEO/managing partner with EJE Dredging Service, was Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey’s appointee.

Hennessy told Coastal Review that he looked forward to being of service to the commission. Asked about his relevant coastal management expertise, he said he had “various different experiences of working with local governments on various different projects.” He noted his six years working in the North Carolina General Assembly, an Outer Banks dredging project and some real estate projects.

Cahoon, during a lunch break, told Coastal Review that she was honored by the commissioners who supported her in the vote. But she declined to comment on those who didn’t. Cahoon said building consensus was the biggest challenge she expected in her renewed role as chair.

“Blending the board, in terms of getting everybody working together,” she said. “It’s important to make sure everybody’s had their orientations and understand the CAMA program and that we’re here for the people of the coastal North Carolina and trying to protect the coast of North Carolina while being still fair to all the property owners.”

Cahoon said she was optimistic that regardless the outcome of any future legal challenges, “I think we’ll all be fine. We all just have to learn to know each other.”



Barnhill Contracting Company will receive sealed proposals for Manns Harbor – EMS/Fire Facility (EMS-8), Kitty Hawk – EMS/Fire Facility (EMS-9), Manteo – Youth Center on January 09, 2024. Times to be given on via addendum #01. See the following SCOPE OF WORK: BP 100 – General Trades, BP 105 – Final Cleaning, BP 205 – Demolition, BP 390 – Turnkey Concrete, BP 400 – Turnkey Masonry, BP 500 – Turnkey Structural Steel & Misc. Steel, BP 505 – Light Gauge Metal Trusses, BP 740 – Roofing, BP750 – Siding, BP 790 – Caulking/Sealants, BP 800 – Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware/Toilet Specialties/Accessories/Division 10, BP 840 – Curtainwall/Storefront/Glass/Glazing, BP 925 – Drywall/Framing, BP 960 – Resilient Flooring/Carpet/Base/Epoxy, BP 980 – Acoustical Ceilings, BP 990 – Painting and Wall Coverings, BP 1230 – Finish Carpentry and Casework, BP 1250 – Window Treatments, BP 2100 – Fire Protection, BP 2200 – Plumbing, BP 2300 – HVAC, BP 2600 – Electrical, BP 3100 – Earthwork/Turnkey Site, BP 3213- Site Concrete, BP 3290 – Landscaping. Scopes of work may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager.

Bid Location and Time: Bid opening will be held in the Barnhill Contracting Rocky Mount Training & GPS Technology Room: 800 Tiffany Bvld, Rocky Mount, NC 27804. Time is as follows: January 09, 2024 at 10:00am and 2:00pm. Times per packages to be given on via addendum #01.

Barnhill Contracting Company will receive, open, and read publicly all bids received in person in the Training & GPS Technology Room at the main office and listed with the virtual viewing at the link to be posted on Barnhill’s Plan Room.

Bids will not be accepted from bidders that are not pre-qualified. No facsimile or email submissions are permitted. Sealed bids are to be hand delivered to the bid opening location noted above or mailed Sealed Bids can be delivered before 9:00am the day of the bid to the Barnhill Contracting Company Office at 800 Tiffany Blvd., Suite 200 Rocky Mount, NC 27804. Attention “Clint Hardison.”

The pre-bid meeting will be held in Person & Zoom Meeting on December 06, 2023 at 10:00 am at the Barnhill Contracting’s Rocky Mount Main Conference Room: 800 Tiffany Bvld, Rocky Mount, NC 27804.

The pre-bid meeting link can be located on Barnhill’s online Building Division Plan Room ( and below. A preferred brand alternates meeting will be held via the same link at the end of the Prebid meeting.

Bid Documents can be viewed or downloaded through Barnhill’s online Building Division Plan Room ( after 12/04/2023.

All Bidders are strongly encouraged to include opportunities for HUB participation wherever possible in their respective Bid submission.  HUB participation is a part of this contract and must comply with all requirements set forth in the Bid Documents.

The Construction Manager and Owner reserve the right to add pre-qualified bidders. The Construction Manager and Owner reserve the right to reject any and all bids. Should you require additional direction, please call Barnhill Contracting Company, (Clint Hardison – 252-802-0740).

Clint Hardison is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Dare EMS – Phase 2 Pre-Bid Conference

Time: Dec 6, 2023 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 823 9069 2985

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  • Obxserver

    Service above self on the one hand; self-serving on the other. Renee Cahoon will be missed in Nags Head government, but still serving the communities of coastal North Carolina.

    Thursday, Nov 9 @ 6:14 pm
  • BB Wylie Walden

    Glad to know The Outer Banks Voice in a new reporting partnership with The Coastal Review Online!

    Thursday, Nov 9 @ 6:45 pm
  • Another Deal

    I bet the legislative leaders that spent quite some effort on getting this bird appointment power through is very happy Hennessy could not secure control of the board.

    Funny how 15% of the appointed members did not feel it important enough of an issue to even show up.

    Friday, Nov 10 @ 6:51 am
  • Hawk

    Thank you for all you do Renee ! Looks like the little weasel tried to force change on day 1
    at the Commission and the no-shows wanted no part of it so he called for a “delay”.
    Yes folks, this is the same little bugle boy that has his hands all over the NC Budget Bill
    language that was inserted to serve his personal interests. Follow the money folks and keep asking questions !

    Tuesday, Nov 14 @ 8:18 am