Havelock, Craven officials hear of base protection efforts

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Bill Naumann, former CEO of Hatteras Yachts, leans forward on a table to listen during a presentation of lobbying efforts to protect Cherry Point, Next to Naumann at right are Sonny Roberts, of Impact Communications, and Havelock Commissioner Danny Walsh.

Drew C. Wilson/Havelock News
Published: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 07:12 PM.

Signs of a more combined front between Craven County and Havelock to help protect Cherry Point assets emerged during a meeting of city and county officials Tuesday at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center.

The meeting, which included members of the Allies for Cherry Point’s Tomorrow lobby group, included recommendations from a Washington lobbying firm on how best to protect Cherry Point, which provides about $2 billion in annual economic impact to the region.

"I think it kind of opens eyes," Lee K. Allen, a Craven County commissioner from Havelock, said after the meeting. "If we don’t work together, we all lose together."

The lobbying group Cassidy and Associates, hired by Craven County, made a presentation to the officials and other city and county leaders about efforts to inform Washington legislators and others of the importance of Cherry Point and the Fleet Readiness Center East maintenance and repair facility.

"I thought it was excellent," said Scott Dacey, chairman of the Craven County Board of Commissioners. "We had a wonderful opportunity to get together with the people that we’ve retained in Washington D.C. and have them meet face to face with the people that are developing the information and the policies that we’ve got on the ground. I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity."

Havelock Commissioner Danny Walsh said he thought the meeting opened a new chapter in the relationship between Craven County and Havelock in protecting Cherry Point.

"It’s time that we all began to work together," he said. "That’s the most important thing we can do is stay together as a group and work as the state, the county, the city, the base and all be working together."

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