New Bern Mayor To Appoint New Board Members

Members of the New Bern Housing Authority say they will work with the new members that Mayor Lee Bettis is appointing to the board.

The New Bern Sun Journal reported that the board said they appreciate Bettis dropped his lawsuit regarding inefficiency, neglect of duty and misconduct. After Bettis' appointments, the board will have nine members instead of five.

Just last week, Mayor Bettis said he was going to fire the entire housing authority, which is made up of volunteers.


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New Bern's mayor says he plans to fire the city housing authority board after what he calls years of neglect of duty.

Mayor Lee Bettis says he's tried for months now to work with the housing authority to make changes. He says public housing in the city is unsafe, dirty and overcrowded, but he says the board is not willing to work with him so he's taking drastic measures.

Two weeks ago the mayor says he sent a letter to all the board members listing charges of inefficiency and neglect of duty by the board of commissioners of the housing authority. The letter says the board is only supposed to have five members and they've been operating with six, so they let one member go after receiving the letter. Bettis also says the board is supposed to provide safe housing at Craven Terrace and Trent Court, but says for years the board has neglected this duty. Bettis says, "They were suppose to create an environment that bred economic viability, that bred peace, that bred harmony, instead what we have is increasing crime, increasing drugs, we have increasing chances of gangs moving in over there"

In a written statement sent to us by the board's lawyer it says the mayor's accusations are false and they have called on Congressman Butterfield and Senator Kay Hagan to investigate the mayor's actions.

They have also called on Representative William Wainwright to begin the legislative process for removing the mayor from the board appointment process.

All the board members of the New Bern Housing Authority are volunteers.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Odie Cologney Location: CC on Nov 21, 2011 at 06:13 AM
    I didn't know it was the housing authority's job to enforce the law in Trent Court. Do they even have enforcement power or a security force capable of doing this? I was under the impression that it was the mayor's job to direct the chief of police on enforcement matters. Is New Bern's finest afraid to go in there? or are they spread too thin to make this a priority? Either way it is still up to the mayor to see that the police patrol problem areas in town, if he and the chief fail to do this then I don't see how the board can be held to account for not enforcing existing law.
    • reply
      by Formerly O.L.I. on Nov 22, 2011 at 02:01 PM in reply to Odie Cologney
      You obviously don't live in that area. It is a known fact not to enter those projects, day and especially not at night. How about you go in there, take some notes, come out alive, and report back to the City of New Bern P.D. You'll come to the same conclusion; it would take an ARMY of armed police officers to nip the crime in the bud, FOR ONE DAY!
  • by BB Location: NBNC on Nov 21, 2011 at 04:43 AM
    It will be interesting to see who Hizzonor appoints to the new board. The Swiss Bear website shows a plan for the future in which the Trent Court project no longer exists but has been replaced with high end condos. If any of the new appointees have ties to development then the residents of the Court will probably be relocated. This business about firing the board is probably just the first shot fired in the battle to turn public opinion against maintaining this area for the current residents and redeveloping the whole area. This might include the Habitat for Humanity homes on Walt Bellamy Drive. Have a look at the Swiss Bear site.
    • reply
      by Formerly O.L.I. on Nov 22, 2011 at 02:23 PM in reply to BB
      Frankly, it might be the best thing to happen for that area. It is terribly crime-ridden. Redeveloping the area? Isn't that what this is all about? It isn't much like it is. It needs to be cleaned up, criminals weeded out, and the locals be able to walk the downtown area in safety. Too bad the persons who were given that housing decided to abuse their handout; not talking about the elderly tenants who can't change anything. The current able-bodies who are residing there, probably attending the local college on a free Pell grant, then dropping out, thinking they will get the freebies forever, need to be weeded out, forced to work SOMEWHERE, and stop standing on the corners at night selling drugs, thugging, and stealing. It's TIME FOR IT TO STOP!.
  • by sandra williams Location: new bern towers on Nov 20, 2011 at 05:18 PM
    i am in agreement. these posts are held by the same person for far to long.lets see what a change can do.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 17, 2011 at 08:10 AM
    I fully support his decision in this matter. I deal with the housing authority everyday and there is definitly room for improvement in every county!
  • by Gray on Nov 17, 2011 at 06:53 AM
    Good Job Mayor
  • by Porky on Nov 16, 2011 at 06:13 PM
    This guy has seemed like a nut case from the day he was elected. Nothing he says or does surprises me.
  • by john Location: enc on Nov 16, 2011 at 05:53 PM
    good job! this mayor would make a good president!!
  • by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 02:43 PM
    Increasing crime, increasing drugs, we have increasing chances of gangs moving in over there. That is just what Butterfield and Hagan like to see, more votes for them. I am sure that they will do everything they can to keep things the same or make them worse for the people living there.
  • by Anonymous Location: Washington on Nov 16, 2011 at 01:54 PM
    It's not that hard, The mayor of Belhaven fired the whole V.F.D. and replaced it with a reject from Washington.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 16, 2011 at 01:32 PM
    The liberal want to integrate the poor with th erest of scociety which is great in theory. The problem is when the poor are integrated with dirtbags. We need rules for public housing. I would kick you out of my house if you did drugs. Those are our houses.
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