MyReporter.com was not able to find a conclusive answer, but we’ve gotten a few questions about this. It’s possible the vehicles could be from one of several county agencies.
One possibility is tax appraisers working on the 2010 revaluation. But county Tax Administrator Roger Kelley says it’s unlikely employees are randomly driving around the city.
“I have people out in the field but if they go to a neighborhood, they go to a specific property,” he says. “We need to make contact because we need to measure something.”
Most appraisers are driving older-model silver/gray Ford Escorts or a blue Ford Crown Victoria, Kelley says. All contain the county seal. “One of the things I wanted to do was make sure the county seal was on all the vehicles,” county Administrator Bruce Shell says.
The occupants could be Engineering Department employees investigating drainage issues “because we got a lot of complaints after the heavy rain we had,” Shell says.
Mark Boyer, county public information officer, says another possibility is Planning Department employees researching a rezoning request. Or, residents might spot a mosquito-control vehicle spraying in their neighborhood. Spraying is generally done in the evening or nighttime hours because winds are calmer, Boyer says.
“New Hanover County employees always carry photo identification and are happy to talk to residents about the work they are doing in their respective neighborhoods,” Boyer says.
While the mystery has not been solved, “The good news is that there is somebody out there working,” Shell said.
Date posted: August 7, 2009
User-contributed question by: