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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – We and The Big Talker FM have obtained emails between Leland Mayor Walter Futch and New Hanover County Commission Chairman Jonathan Barfield showing a little tension between the two as they sit on the Transportation Advisory Committee.

Just a few weeks ago, Commissioner Jason Thompson literally invited Futch out into the parking lot to settle a disagreement over comments Futch made about Thompson. Thompson told Futch he could either go outside and settle the disagreement like men, or he could sit there and wet his Huggies.

Now it appears Barfield has lost patience with the mayor, and threatened to get him kicked off the TAC.

A lot of the drama is due to a difference of opinion regarding the Cape Fear Skyway Bridge Project. Futch is adamant the project should not proceed. He also contends many of the politicans involved in the project have a financial stake in it’s approval.

He sent the following email to Mike Kozlosky, the Executive Director of the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, looking for an email trail:

From: Walter B. Futch, JR. [mailto:wbf9322@bellsouth.net] Sent: Saturday, October 02, 2010 9:25 AM
To: Mike Kozlosky
Subject: Fourth Request for emails


I would like to get a copy (electronic is okay) of all the emails between you and Mr. Wilson, you and Mr. Saffo, you and Ms. Padgett, and you and Mr. Sue (including to his wife Bidgie’s email address) since 2005?

Could I just get them for 2009. I know I can file a formal request for freedom of information and they have to be produced in 20 days but I was hoping that they could be done without that option. I don’t need the notice of meetings with agendas etc.

I think I have waited three months for this.

Thank you.


We called Mayor Futch Wednesday evening to help clarify what he’s specifically looking for, but he has yet to return our call.

In response, Chairman Barfield, who was copied on the above email, sent this to Futch:

From: Barfield, Jonathan [mailto:jbarfield@nhcgov.com] Sent: Saturday, October 02, 2010 4:05 PMh
To: Walter B. Futch, JR.; Mike Kozlosky
Subject: RE: Fourth Request for emails


Why do you continue to waste the time of our staff, and taxpayers money on your little game? You are doing a great disservice to your community and your town council by all of your antics at our meetings etc. For someone who is quick to hold up his book on Robert’s Rules of order to tell the chair no he can’t finish his comments in a meeting is uncalled for and very unprofessional, and it did not represent your office of mayor well at all. All of the name calling without any facts to support what you are saying has got to stop. Quite simply the majority of those you serve with on the TAC are tired of this mess. You need to practice what you preach as the saying goes. Your town council had a representative on our board and he voted the will of your council, if he did not that is between your council and him. You are trying to hold others accountable for your own councils responsibility to get timely information from your representative on our board.

Walter the games have got to stop, if you cannot control yourself, I request that the Leland Town Council appoint another member to take your place and then you can follow up all of your unfounded accusations as a citizen seeking answers. You have cost the tax payers of our MPO thousands of dollars in staff time with your games as it relates to wanting emails from everyone under the sun.

Walter the games have got to stop.

Jonathan Barfield,Jr
New Hanover County Commissioner
230 Government Center Dr Suite 175
Wilmington, NC 28403

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15 Comments on "ONLY ON 3: Commissioner Barfield threatens to remove Mayor Futch from Transportation Advisory Committee"

2015 years 9 months ago

What a shame that Mr. Barfield was able to hold on to his position on the Transportation Advisory Committee. It seems to me that he is the one playing the games.

I agree with Guest35698441 and 421. It seems that an honest man who is actually trying to look out for the taxpayers is causing a lot of uncomfortable squirming by some of those career politicians who would like nothing better than for Mayor Futch to go away.

Thank you Mayor Futch for standing up for us. You are NOT wasting taxpayer money by trying to expose corruption.

Mr. Barfield, if you would like a good example of a waste of taxpayer money, take a close hard look at the North Carolina Turnpike Authority. It was founded in 2002 to develop and oversee up to nine (toll) projects and is staffed by over thirty people. Their goal is to provide a product that few if any North Carolina citizens want: toll roads. In over nine years of operation, they have not implemented one single project. Now THAT’S a waste of taxpayer money!

Mayor Futch, please keep up the good work. Now that a real-estate and development backed lobbyist group in Wilmington (Business Alliance for a Sound Economy, AKA BASE) has come out in support of the Skyway bridge, we can expect more pressure from career politicians like Mr. Barfiled to attempt to move forward with this ill-conceived and outrageously expensive project.

2015 years 9 months ago

I have to agree with what “Submitted by Guest (not verified) on Thu, 01/27/2011 – 5:49pm” said. Folks around here have no concept whatsoever of how to merge. It’s called a “merge” lane, not a “stop, then try to perpindicularly enter the flow of traffic” lane. Ride the taper out!!! That’s what it’s there for!!

2015 years 9 months ago

You are so correct, most coming up the ramp don’t have a clue what merge means. However, in their defense, traffic on 17 is so close together, there is not really room to merge if they did know how. STOP TAILGATING!

2015 years 9 months ago

Love the zipper analogy. It’s truly hilarious watching people try to merge. One car will always seem to mimic the other until both drivers almost have to stop to settle the situation. While most find it easy to blame the DOT and traffic engineers, I completely agree that if most drivers even had close to a clue how to drive the traffic issues would be hardly existent here.

2015 years 9 months ago

I agree too! It’s called a “merge” lane not a “stop, then try to perpindicularly enter traffic” lane. Folks around here need to get with the program – ride the taper out – that’s what it’s there for.

I don’t know if the Skyway Bridge is the answer, but SOMETHING needs to be done. It took me an hour and a half to go from 17th/Wooster to Magnolia Greens last night. Utterly ridiculous!!

2015 years 9 months ago

I’m not opposed to the Skyway Bridge, or for it, but i do know 90% of all the traffic problems in Leland, going into and leaving Wilmington, are a result of drivers not understanding the concept of Merging. It’s like a zipper people, one from the left lane, one from the right lane, repeat. Its very simple, and if drivers understood the concept of Merging, 90% of all slowdowns both in the morning and in the evening would be eliminated.

2015 years 9 months ago

I agree…we should extend a 3rd lane from the Leland exit to the 421 exit and a 3rd lane from the 421 exit to the Leland exit. This is less expensive than the BILLON dollars the powers to be are wanting to spend on the “Skyway to Nowhere” and also solves the merging problem.

2015 years 9 months ago

Expose them all !!
It is high time that all these “self-serving” realtors and investors are made accountable for their “back-room” dealings.
Mr Futch, I salute your efforts and stand behind your attempts to expose these officials.

2015 years 9 months ago

I would like to make a comment on building the bridge and not on the members of the board.

How many people in Brunswick county work in the Wilmington/New Hanover County area? Have you ever thought about the single point of failure in you making a living? If something happen to the two small bridges right as you leave the Leland side, how would you get to work? The only other route is up Hwy 87 and cut accross to Hwy 421.

We, need another way. I think the big push right now would be to get the state off their bottom side and finish I140. If you look at the traffic, there is a lot of people that uses I140, but they have to come down 421 to get to Leland.

So, lets push that and then if we need another bridge we can look at that later.

2015 years 9 months ago

Futch is an idiot and a disgrace. I hate the fact that he is the mayor of the town I live in now. OH well…

I also love how everyone seems to think that the powers are be are benefiting from this bridge that Brunswick County needs, but no one can seem to prove anything…

2015 years 9 months ago

Wow, you want Engineer Ronald Sparks, the guy who didn’t have insurance when he pronounced those buildings to be mold-free and when he was wrong cost the taxpayers millions to be held accountable? You (and I) must be racists or something…

No skyway ever
2015 years 9 months ago

“Quite simply the majority of those you serve with on the TAC are tired of this mess”.

Yes, they must be tired. Fighting for Leland and Brunswick County, Futch has stood in the way and opposed the skyway project.

If there’s nothing in your emails, open them up. Its not a game, its the law.

By the way, the building we bought on Ronald Sparks recommendation that was supposed to be mold free, but wasn’t, whats the latest info on that.

Quit trying to ruin our county with a $7 per vehicle toll bridge.
And that’s only 1 way.

Wilmington needs to wise up, before the clowns drag all of you down.

$35,000 for tinkertoys and markers. When are politicians going to learn not to waste taxpayer dollars.

Why don’t you resign Barfield, and stop your crying about wasting time and money.

You’ve never worried about it before.

2015 years 9 months ago

Facinating, JB! Why, after sending the email to Futch, did you not send one to Mr. Kozlosky chiding him for not sending the requested information to your fellow TAC member? Just because the request meets your definition of “waste” does not make it so. As TAC Chairman, you should demand that your fellow members get the information requested in a timely manner after one try…not four.

Is someone hiding something? Sure smells that way. Otherwise, the information could have been forwarded, Mayor Futch’s questions answered and the matter resolved. Game over.

2015 years 9 months ago

Could it be the politicians want this man out of the way because he is trying to expose their crookedness? For years we have known that commisioners and councilmen vote based on what benefits them. This man is just trying to expose that. I don’t consider this a waste of my taxpayer dollars. I want to know if you are crooked.

2015 years 9 months ago

All those e-mails are a tall order, however, I suppose he is within his rights. Uncovering corruption is not always easy, and as they say, the hurt dog yells the loudest and Barfield seems to be doing just that.


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