Beach Town in a Forest

Beach Town in a Forest
Beach Town in a Forest, Pine Knoll Shores located in Carteret County on North Carolina's Crysal Coast. Photo compliments of Bill Flexman and Dave Prutzman

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Mayor Ken Hanan: 1985-1991

 The following represents the fourth in a series of posts on the early mayors of Pine Knoll Shores. Most of the information and quotes, unless otherwise indicated, come from back Shore Line issues available on PKS History Committee member Susan Phillips provided supplementary information from town records and an Internet search.

Ken Hanan

After agreeing to serve when Mayor Wayne Cleveland died, Ken Haller resigned in February 1985, so commissioners once again needed to select a mayor to serve the remaining months of Wayne Cleveland’s term. On March 12, 1985, they selected Commissioner Ken Hanan. In December 1986, they re-appointed Hanan as mayor for a full term. He would serve three full terms.

Town Clerk Corrine Geer shakes hands with newly sworn-in Mayor Ken Hanan. Susan Phillips took this photo from a Pine Knoll Shores album in town hall.

Hanan’s public service in Pine Knoll Shores had begun in November 1983, when he was elected to the Board of Commissioners. He was sworn in early when Commissioner Bill Dixson resigned. 

When Ken Hanan became mayor in 1985, he was 63 years old. The Shore Line provided the following biographical information:
Ken and his wife, Yola, moved to Pine Knoll shores from Chatham, N.J., in March of 1982. Hanan retired after 15 years as editor of a trade publication of heavy industry and spent 25 years previous to that in the heavy construction industry. He holds a degree in civil engineering from the University of Michigan. Hanan is a valued member of the Rescue Squad.  

Ken Hanan with the town’s new ambulance. 
Photo by Susan Phillips from Volunteer Rescue Squad album.

Ken and Yola moved to 111 Beechwood Drive in 1982, but the Hanans were not new to the area. In 1972, after reading about Pine Knoll Shores in the Wall Street Journal, they made their first visit and bought a lot with the intention of retiring here. Between 1972 and 1982, they made over 30 trips to Bogue Banks.

A June1982 Shore Line profile of new neighbors stated: “Ken plays the piano, likes sailing, canoeing, fishing and gardening. He also had an interest in antique cars....” Both Ken and Yola enjoyed square dancing.

Yola serving punch to Roland children at the town’s Christmas party. Ken by her side.
Photo by Susan Phillips from town album.

The Hanans’ spirit of volunteerism became evident the first year they moved to Pine Knoll Shores. Yola, a former first-grade teacher, became a member of the Garden Club, serving a term as corresponding secretary and later, as a hospitality committee member. She also wrote articles for The Shore Line, introducing new neighbors. Ken not only volunteered as an ambulance driver for the Rescue Squad but also offered his civil engineering and heavy construction background to help assess the town’s roads.

Before becoming mayor, Ken Hanan served as commissioner of public works, recommended and oversaw the resurfacing of streets and installation of “high-intensity” streetlights. No public safety problem was too small. When he realized the steps leading up to town hall got slippery when wet, he experimented with grit in paint to provide traction and, then, decided to use skid-resistant tape. 

He also took on big issues as a commissioner that he later pursued as mayor. For example, in 1984, he became involved in renewed efforts for a third bridge between Bogue Banks and Morehead City. He objected to a proposal that would have the bridge enter the island near McGinnis Point, but recognizing the safety benefits of having a third bridge, opted for a plan that would have the bridge reach the island west of Salter Path in Indian Beach—a plan the state approved in 1985. However, neither bridge proposal was destined to succeed.

Another nagging issue Hanan dealt with both as commissioner and, later, throughout all his years as mayor, was the problem of street flooding in eastern Pine Knoll Shores. Unfortunately, a solution was as illusive as the third bridge. Mayor Hanan went to Raleigh to discuss drainage issues with the Department of Transportation, contacted CAMA, and hired Von Ossen & Associates from Wilmington to consider possible solutions. Two favored recommendations included limiting impervious surface maximums to 25% and constructing swales. 

Determined to solve the flooding problem in his last term as mayor, Hanan signed off on a Von Ossen drainage plan even though Pine Knoll Association (PKA) opposed it. Finally, in response to continued opposition to swales and to fears drainage would damage canal and sound water quality, Mayor Hanan authorized a local study group. The study group opposed swales and drainage into the canal and, instead, proposed “storm water be piped under Salter Path Road onto oceanfront dunes....” He then authorized a new Von Ossen study, which proposed also using a water canon for areas the pipe would not drain. It would shoot water to the ocean. PIKSCO homeowner association opposed the oceanfront pipe and cannon proposals. In the end, Mayor Hanan could implement nothing to prevent streets from flooding.  

As a leader, Hanan seemed willing to risk action and equally willing to reverse direction if it failed. He supported spraying Orthane to control the “tussock” moths infesting hardwoods throughout town. However, after spending over $7,000 on spraying with minimal success since it rained heavily immediately after the town’s first spraying effort, Mayor Hanan recommended the problem be left in the hands of homeowners.

In April 1985, he made a premature announcement of a U.S. Post Office plan for “contract postal service in Pine Knoll Shores.” It entailed “a small branch of the Morehead City Post Office” to be located in Pine Knoll Shores. Neither the town’s rural route number nor the 28557 zip code would change, but Mayor Hanan thought space in a local “store” could be rented out for local postal boxes. The hope was that “store” would be in the new town center, which, after much opposition, had finally been approved in Ken Haller’s last days as mayor. Neither the town’s shopping center nor its branch post office would ever become a reality. 

However, over four years later, in January 1990, Mayor Hanan announced a plan for a new post office in Atlantic Beach. Pine Knoll Shores was to switch to the new post office and start using street addresses with the new Atlantic Beach zip code, eliminating almost one thousand rural boxes for RFD mail delivery. As with most changes in town, not everyone welcomed this one, but it was implemented. The new post office opened during Mayor Hanan’s last term—October 20, 1990.

In May 1985, a new referendum for Liquor by the Drink with strong support from the town’s motel owners was on the table again after having been defeated earlier. Mayor Hanan called a public hearing on the matter in June. The referendum was held August 27, 1985, and passed with a two to one majority.

A recycling effort began with Mayor Hanan’s strong support. It started as a modest proposal, asking residents to save newspapers and aluminum cans. Shore Line issues would notify readers of dates, times and locations in Morehead City where they could periodically bring these items. A few months later, glass was added as a recyclable. By 1989, a recycling transfer site was located in Pine Knoll Shores. Residents could bring items once a month, but the transfer site became too messy, and the popular Amory drop-off location in Morehead City was eliminated. Later that year, Mayor Hanan formed a committee to study how the town might handle its own recycling program. The first recommendation was a “recycling drop-off site at Salter Path and Oakleaf” open daily. Shortly before leaving office, Mayor Hanan announced the town’s recycling site would move to the town hall parking lot.

Though not entirely conflict free, Hanan’s six-plus years in office seemed considerably less stressful than earlier years as a result, probably, of both the town’s maturity and Mayor Hanan’s governing style. Growth, which continued at a steady pace, seemed to occur without major opposition. In adherence with established ordinances and under the watchful eye of the Community Appearance Commission, building permits were granted and lots were cleared. Each Shore Line
issue welcomed new neighbors. New subdivisions, such as those at Beacon’s Reach, formed without open debate. One exception was a proposed change in a zoning ordinance that would increase the allowable height of buildings, but even that seemed to be resolved with little open hostility.

However, Hanan’s terms were not without disruptive rumors—such as one about the library’s intention to move from the aquarium to town hall. But, no sooner did concerns rise as to the lack of available space than rumors were put to rest. And, a few months later when the aquarium did announce that the library would have to move, Hanan put together a town committee headed by Emily White, his former mayor pro-tem, to find a suitable location on Bogue Banks. With wide support, the decision was for the library to locate in Pine Knoll Shores. Immediately Bogue Banks Friends of the Library went into high gear and raised $18,000 for furnishings. Mayor Hanan provided strong support, encouraging more donations to meet an ambitious $40,000 goal. The move from the aquarium to the new Pine Knoll Shores location took place in April 1990.

During Mayor Hanan’s first term in office, clearing had begun for the long-disputed town center though little actual building had taken place as a result not of local opposition but of an economic downturn and disheartened commercial investors. So, in February 1988, the Planning Board, without opposition, approved plans to change zoning of some of the commercial area to residential and create 19 single-family lots on cleared land behind the Salter Path Road Commercial site. The remaining Salter Path site would, in 1989, come to be called Pine Knoll Village Professional Center. In 1990, it included the library, a bank, a real-estate agency, a law firm, a doctor’s office, and a beauty shop.

Over the years, Mayor Hanan continued to focus considerable attention on issues of safety—overseeing the purchase of a new fire engine, organizing hurricane/civil preparedness sessions, guiding implementation of a 911 system to include Pine Knoll Shores, stressing the need for visible house numbers to facilitate rescue squad efforts. He also served as chair of the Bogue Banks Control, a group of mayors who met to decide when a state of emergency had to be declared, as it was in the fall of 1989 when Hurricane Hugo threatened the east coast.

Mayor Hanan represented the town not only on county but also on state levels. He explained how the town was responsible for maintaining maritime forest in land from Pine Knoll Boulevard to Beacon’s Reach when the state Department of Administration planned to assume control. He negotiated an Army Corps of Engineers plan to pump dredged sand to 1,000 yards of beach in eastern Pine Knoll Shores.  

A minor conflict emerged when some Pine Knoll Shores residents wanted to keep Salter Path commercial fishermen from net fishing along Pine Knoll Shores’ beach in the fall. Mayor Hanan met with local fishermen and with Marine Fisheries. According to the September 1989 Shore Line— 
It was agreed that fishermen will respect residents’ beach rights and residents should be aware that fishermen have a legal right to beach access. Those commercial fishermen using the beach will be issued a use permit. Net fishing will start immediately and not end until December.

Unhappiness with Carolina Water Service was another regular issue during Hanan’s administration. Rate increases would result in written resolutions and public hearings, planting seeds for a change that would occur many years later. 

May 1991, Mayor Hanan swears in Robert Gallo as commissioner to fill the term of Aubrey Johnson after commissioners voted to appoint him. Photo by Susan Phillips from town album.

Interestingly, Hanan was the mayor who first entertained the possibility of hiring a town administrator. Toward that end, he invited a speaker from the League of Municipalities to discuss various forms of town governance.

In December 1991, Mayor Ken Hanan stepped down. At the end of his administration, the town looked very much like contemporary Pine Knoll Shores although town-management governance did not become a reality until 2007. 

At the annual Christmas open house on December 21, 1991, the town expressed gratitude for Ken Hanan’s many years of service. He also rode proudly with the rescue squad in that year’s Christmas parade.

Like Ken Haller, Ken Hanan dedicated time after his years of service to contributing to the town’s historical record. He worked with Art Browne and Mary Korff, former editor of The Shore Line, on The Story of Pine Knoll Shoresand compiled Pine Knoll Shores, 1959 to 1993, a Chronological History—both of which were presented to the Board of Commissioners on October 12, 1993. Copies of the Story were sold for one dollar, and two bound copies of the Chronology were given to the town. In December of that year, Ken Hanan presented Bogue Banks Library with another copy of the Chronology.

Also in 1993, Ken Hanan supported the candidacy of A.C. Hall for Carteret County Commissioner. Hanan introduced Hall, who had designed the canal section of Pine Knoll Shores, at a Democratic Party Precinct meeting.

Ken and Yola Hanan left Pine Knoll Shores in 1995 and moved to Brevard, North Carolina. To honor them, the Garden Club purchased a gardening book for the Bogue Banks Library in their names. The year before, on May 15, 1994, they had attended the Garden Club’s 20tthAnniversary celebration, and five years later, Ken Hanan spoke at the club’s silver anniversary. Also, from Garden Club records, we know Yola Hanan returned to Pine Knoll Shores at least once because she was a guest at a meeting on June 11, 1997.

On September 3, 2009, Ken Hanan died at the age of 87. Yola lived for less than two additional years, dying at the age of 95 on July 8, 2011. As individuals who always believed in giving back to the communities where they resided, the Hanans also have a lasting legacy in Brevard, where they donated generously to Brevard College in support of the arts.

Post Author: Phyllis Makuck with the assistance of Susan Phillips

Monday, April 16, 2018

Mayor Wayne Cleveland: 1980-1983

Continuing the series on Pine Knoll Shores’ mayors who were selected 
by the Board of Commissioners, this post on Wayne Cleveland draws 
most of its information from back Shoreline issues.

Wayne Preston Cleveland

Wayne Cleveland’s road to becoming Pine Knoll Shores’ third mayor began in an unconventional way. In October 1976, he was appointed to fill a Board of Commissioners’ vacant seat resulting from the death of Commissioner Jim Ramsey. 
In November 1977, Cleveland ran for the office and was elected to the Board, 
winning 136 of 244 votes. (Only 74% of registered voters had cast ballots.) In 
April 1980, commissioners unanimously selected him to complete the term of 
Mayor Ken Haller, who had resigned for health reasons. In November 1981, 
Cleveland ran again for the Board of Commissioners, won and was reappointed 
by the Board as mayor. Unfortunately, he would not serve out his term.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mayor Ken Haller: 1975-1980 and 1983-1985

This is the second in a series of posts on Pine Knoll Shores Mayors. Like Jim Redfield, Ken Haller was selected by the Board of Commissioners to serve as mayor. Unlike Jim Redfield, he would serve multiple terms.

Mayor Ken Haller—1975-1980 and 1983-1985

Hugh Kenneth Haller

Jim Redfield: First Mayor of Pine Knoll Shores 1973-1975

Pine Knoll Shores’ first Board of Commissioners selected the town’s first mayor in August 1973. Earlier that year, the first edition of “Shore-line,” a newsletter that became a monthly newspaper appeared. Much of what is known about the early mayors of Pine Knoll Shores comes from Shoreline issues, now available at (The paper’s name is variously spelled, but this post will consistently use Shoreline). Other sources, including interviews with family members and residents, add to the following history, which covers years when elected Boards of Commissioners selected mayors from their membership, a practice that continued until 2003.