NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — It’s been more than a week, and two local leaders are still not speaking.
New Hanover County Commission Chair Jonathan Barfield and Kure Beach Mayor Dean Lambeth have been coming to verbal blows over many different issues over the last couple weeks, and it does not seem that either one is willing to back down.
Lambeth says he is here to defend the people he was elected to represent, and he’s not backing down.
“We’d just like to be treated with a little bit of respect and let the rest of them know that this one square mile we have of a town pays $1 billion in property taxes, and we deserve a little bit more attention than we’re getting,” Lambeth said.
It all started last week when Barfield made comments to another TV station that Kure Beach would not give money to dredge the Carolina Beach Inlet. The town, though, voted to contribute $15,000 to the dredging.
Lambeth says that was just the tip of the iceberg of the problems. The mayor says the County Commission chair has made many offensive comments to the media, like that Kure Beach needs to realize they’re a part of New Hanover County. Lambeth says there is no confusion by his residents.
“The Kure Beach residents paid 99.34 percent of their property tax this year, and when they write this check, it’s not written to the Town of Kure Beach,” Lambeth said. “It’s written to the New Hanover County Tax Department, so they’re well aware of where they live.”
Lambeth also says the county and the town cannot get on the same page about widening Dow Road. He says the project has been scheduled since 1983, but has still not begun. Lambeth says it’s time to move forward, but he does not think Barfield agrees.
Barfield is out of town for a county commissioners conference, but he told us by phone that he has said all he needs to say about Lambeth.
Lambeth says he expects Barfield will say that he’s praying for him. Lambeth says he does not need the commissioner’s prayers. Instead, he says Barfield’s prayers should be for the state of the county.