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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County contracted with a telemarketing firm to make about 6,300 calls, which cost $676.13. About 15 people showed up, which means the county spent about $45 on each of them. County Commissioner Jason Thompson says he didn’t know so much money was going toward making phone calls.

“I thought we used a reverse phone call system similar to what we use for 911 emergencies and school emergencies and I thought it was free,” Thompson said. “That’s the first I heard that it actually cost us money to use it.”

The County says when a large number of people need to be called about something like a town hall meeting, they can’t use their in-house calling system and usually pay about $0.13 per minute for the mass calling feature. Thompson says with such little turn out at the last meeting, he thinks this is a huge waste of county funds.

“No body showed up and that’s the problem that inherits our society today,” Thompson said. “Everybody wants to complain about government, we give them a chance to come talk to us, and no body shows up.”

Thompson says the County posted information on their website and on their cable channel as well to let the community know about the meeting. He says he thinks this is a better use of resources.

When we asked people who attended last week’s town hall meeting how they found out about it, they said they saw the sign out front and came in.

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