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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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