This semester I got to see what a town planner does! My mentor was Melissa Dickerson, a super woman who keeps Manteo running.
My first week with Melissa was right after Hurricane Dorian. I went with her to a county meeting with FEMA. I had no idea how coastal towns received aid money after natural disasters so this was a super eye-opening first day to say the least. The downtown boardwalk area had some damage so I tagged along while Melissa showed FEMA workers the areas that needed repair.
During my time here, I helped out with the Plan Update Working Group, a group made up of community members whose primary goal is to review and update the Town’s 20 year plan. More specifically, I helped out with the Working Group’s Wayfinding Sub-committee. Before this semester, I didn’t realize how important wayfinding is to towns. I helped out by making powerpoints and transcribing meeting minutes. One of the first powerpoints I helped make was a presentation on the signage posted along the three bridges that connect to Manteo. These pictures are good examples of what the sub-committee is reviewing.
I got to meet a lot of the people working in Town Hall and was even able to sit through a couple Board of Commissioners meetings. It was an amazing experience to see first-hand how local government is run. I’m so thankful for the people in Town Hall that always took the time to explain things to me and introduce me to other people. I can’t make this post without saying how great a mentor Melissa was! She always gave me work that exposed me to new things and was so much fun to work with. The opportunities given to me this semester have exceeded even my highest expectations and I’m so glad I got to be apart of this program.