Nags Head commissioners approve strategic plan covering next five years

During a September 2020 visioning process, Nags Head’s Board of Commissioners and Town staff used the Nags Head’s already adopted community goals to develop a strategic work plan for the next five years. Water Superintendent Nancy Carawan, Commissioner Kevin Brinkley, Town Clerk Carolyn Morris, and Finance Director Amy Miller jot down notes during the visioning process. [submitted photo]

The Nags Head Board of Commissioners have approved a strategic work plan outlining focus areas and strategies for the town over the next five years.

According to a news release, the result of a visioning process that took place in September 2020 when Board members met with town staff, the strategic work plan builds upon Nags Head’s mission, shared values, and legacy.

Previously, Nags Head’s Board had adopted the following community goals:

  • Preserve our community’s distinctive heritage and unique lifestyle.
  • Protect our critical natural resources and coastal ecosystem.
  • Build and promote a sustainable economy that supports residents and visitors.
  • Plan for orderly and sustainable growth and redevelopment.
  • Maintain a well-run and efficient government that provides high quality and cost-effective services.

Using the previously adopted goals as a baseline, three critical focus areas were developed:

  1. Reforming Processes to Tackle Technical Issues – This strategic direction is designed to speed progress on community programs and services such as groundwater protection, shoreline management, and solid waste collection. The Board and staff want to ensure the long-term viability and health of the ecosystem and economic vitality of the town. By 2025, Nags Head should have in place integrated infrastructure to meet its needs, including groundwater management and a long-term focused shoreline management plan.
  2. Empowering the Delivery of Consistent and Exemplary Public Service – Town leaders recognize the best way to ensure consistent and exemplary public service delivery is to have an exceptional strategic organization of high performing employees. The characteristics of a highly efficient team and processes for driving the desired outcomes were identified. By 2025, Nags Head will be a high performing, strategic organization with a well-informed and engaged public and staff, delivering streamlined, efficient services. 
  3. Facilitating Collaboration to Address Community-Wide Regional Issues – Nags Head is a unique, beautiful place to live and visit. The high quality of life has made the community an increasingly attractive place to make a permanent home. The desire to live in Nags Head and the investment in rental housing has impacted housing affordability, especially for seasonal workers who are the backbone of the small businesses and for the Town’s own Ocean Rescue team. 

Several first-year actions were defined for immediate attention and two-year results were outlined to remove barriers to success and lead the Town towards its vision. These quantifiable metrics will be reviewed at staff and Board meetings to ensure progress is on track for optimal success.

“This strategic work plan reflects the importance our board places on accountable, transparent, forward-thinking management,” said Nags Head Mayor Ben Cahoon. “This plan will serve as a framework for focusing on our priorities over the next five years. The Board and I hope those who have any type of interest in Nags Head, whether they own a business, a home, or sometimes visit our beautiful small town, can take a few minutes to read this collective roadmap for making Nags Head the best town it can be.”

The full Strategic Plan 2020-2025 is available on the Town’s web site at