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LELAND, NC (WWAY) — Voters in Leland will go to the polls tomorrow to elect a new mayor and two new members of town council. When those three people take office, the town’s elected leaders will be getting a significant pay raise.

Our news partners at the Local News Review uncovered something interesting about Leland’s budget. The money Town Council spends on itself this budget year is up 71-percent from the last fiscal year.

Back in March, Councilwoman Pat Batleman sent an e-mail to Mayor Walter Futch and her fellow council members proposing a raise in compensation.

“Based on the research done on comparable compensation in municipalities both smaller and the same size as the population of Leland, I would like to propose we consider an increase,” Batleman wrote in the e-mail.

We called Batleman to ask some questions about the increase, but she refused to comment on camera. She did say, however, that she and Councilwoman Martha Currie would not receive the increase as it is only applicable to members voted in in 2011 or later. But Town Manager Bill Farris told us differently.

“Whenever there’s a new council, then they will all receive the same salary,” Farris said.

Council members agreed to an increase and submitted a budget with a 92-percent increase from last year. In July they approved a 71-percent jump for the council budget up from $56,700 to $97,005.

Previously, the town paid the mayor $200 a month while council members received $150. Now, likely-Mayor Brenda Bozeman will make $758 a month, while council members will get $520.

Farris said the job of a council member is time-consuming because of their involvement in the community and various workshops and boards.

“Being a council member at this point in Leland’s life is somewhat more complicated maybe than it was several years ago,” Farris said.

Mayor Futch nor council members Herbert Barnes or Currie returned our phone calls.

Bozeman was busy with personal matters, but said she’d have to take a closer look at the budget before commenting.

You can get more details on the budget hikes and how they came to be in next week’s edition of the Local News Review.

Comment on this Story

  • Mike@the LNR.com

    This is not a Ripely’s Believe It or Not Post! WWAY is dead on the money!I have the emails from the Town of Leland to back up the allegations against the Town of Leland! If you need proof, email me! Kblue, so true, keep on keeping on! 1964!

  • GuestLAB

    enoughalready, her name is JANE not Jean! WWAY was informed where the Jon Tait celebration was,but they were gone when WWAY got there! Get a life!!!
    You must be a bobble head supporter!

  • Lelandgal

    Who is Jean?

  • enoughalready20

    I was told by one of Jean’s helpers how and who to write-in for the mayor position. So fair is only fair. Don’t you think? That’s politics.

  • Faye Burckhalter

    Glad that the election is now over. Hope to see some different things in the City of Leland. There will be a new Mayor and 2 new Council people on the board. Let’s see what will happened the first 6 months. That gives them time to work together and work out some problems too… Good Luck to the Leland Town Board. Faye Burckhalter

  • Leland Voter

    Information or rumors and lies in order to make Headlines, ie: more money! There is far more suspicion of this than anything going in in the Leland PD or Town leadership..Sleazy at best, illegal at worst.

  • enoughalready

    Can anyone tell me why Jean was the only one interviewed by wway last night from Leland, Is it possible she is one of the owners of the LNR which they are partners with wway? Now wway can get all the information they want.

  • beckyr

    Why do you continue to complain yourself? It’s kind of funny-you get on here to complain about complainers. So you must like it.

    This is what Leland needs:
    Open and accessible government. A government cannot be dishonest if its actions are transparent. Openness encourages competence because it subjects actions to public scrutiny. It also fosters the necessary leadership that is unafraid to address issues and make decisions that are in the best interest of the town as a whole.

  • enoughalready20

    If you think you could do a better job why didn’t you run for mayor against her?
    I will answer that, because you knew you could not win. You would rather sit around and complain. Complainers, complainers, complainers never does anything but complain, listen to wway and read the rag time newspaper.

  • susans

    I agree the Lord is watching that is why what was done deceitfully and in the dark has now come to light. I notice that you suggested turning the tv off and quit paying attention to what is written but obviously you take the time yourself to continue reading. If enough is enough maybe you should go outside and speak to the Lord. Have you done his service today? Have you fed the hungry, sheltered the poor, loved the unloving, put your wants, your thoughts, yourself aside for him today? Maybe it is you that needs to heed the message given to you.

  • enoughalready20

    If so many of you is disappointed in the way the town is being run, the town council, town staff and the police department why in the world don’t you run for an office and try and change things, instead you had rather sit around and gossip or type on a computer complaining about everything?
    The problem is you believe everything that is said on TV and you read in the so called news paper (not the star news). Try turning your TV off, go outside and enjoy this beautiful weather we are having. I bet you will feel alot better about your self.
    Have a good day and remember the Lord is watching and listening to you.

  • enoughalready20

    Why don’t all of you that is complaining about leland and the town council try running for a seat on the council or for mayor instead of setting around reading the so called paper and reading comments on wway. I think you would have a lot better life if you didn’t complain about everything, which you have no idea what is happening.

  • Jean Sidbury

    Brenda Bozeman running for Mayor??? Come on, she didn’t take a stand on the LPD issue….what makes me think she will be a good Mayor or good for Leland.I don’t think she has the back bone to handle the issues we need addressed…She maybe alright as a realtor or person but has not shown me anything that would make me vote for her..

  • Lelandgal

    Why not ask how many people were asked by the to be Mayor not to vote for Jane Crowder. I couldn’t believe it when I was told that she has asked a friend not to vote for Jane. So I did some asking and found out that she would whisper that in their ears. That is so rude if you ask me. Waiting to see if she says she didn’t…… Anyone can run for office and see if they can make changes in the Leland Town. We need some changes here in Leland. We need people to want to do what is right and what the people want. So what if someone on the board sells property or is the owner of the Local paper. Everyone on the board has another job. The Mayor Dr Futch is a Dentist.

  • Citizen of the Republic

    This figures.

    Public service up 71 percent. In a double dip recession.

    In return, what we get for out money is elected representatives who don’t, or won’t, answer questions from the public.

    Whatever happened to the campaign slogans “let us SERVE YOU”.

    It’s true that these “servants” have a more complicated schedule and it’s
    “time-consuming because of their involvement in the community and various workshops and boards”. But this is what they signed up for and actively campaigned towards.

    This year take a stand.

    Vote every incumbent out!

    Don’t let them get so comfortable that they won’t answer questions from the public or news media.

    Put a CAP on salaries. Put the meaning “public servant” back into government.

    Put a little sunshine into this area and demand accountability.

    Even Mayberry had to grow up.

  • I spent 8 years on the Leland town council for 150.00 a month and not once did it occur to me to ask for more money.I signed up to serve the town not to make money.Yes we had one meeting per month and sometimes 3 or 4 per month. Yes I spent time answering citizen complaints and being involved with issues that would make Leland a better place to live,work and raise a family and I was rewarded not with money but with the satisfaction of being able to make a positive difference in my town.I had to leave the council due to my wife’s failing health and I am saddened by the events that have recently been brought to light.The buck stops at the top.Those who manage report to those who are elected and those who are elected have a responsibility to ensure the taxpaying citizens get their money’s worth by rolling up their sleeves and correcting the problems that arise on their watch and not asking for more money to do the job they volunteered to do by running for office.The amount of this raise is excessive and should be withdrawn and replaced with a much lesser more reasonable amount say 100.00 per month. I would implore the new council to lead by example and be public servants and not paid employees.R

  • Bye Bye Bad Guys

    Farris states, “Things are more complicated now, therefore, we should pay them more.”

    Maybe we should have Tim Jayne and his bad apples subsidize the pay increase for town council with their own salaries. I’m sure these are the “complicated issues” at hand.

    Once again, taxpayers and citizens are paying the price for corruption in local government.

  • Scared in Leland

    Leland better be saving its money. I hear there is a big lawsuit about to be filed against the police department and the town for some of its bad dealings. I also hear the United States Justice Department has been made aware of several criminal allegations against Leland, including violation of Civil Rights.

    Hopefully that will be on WWAY before the week is out and we can expose Tim, Rick, Karl, Hank, Jason, Bill, Walter, and Michael for the disgrace to the uniforms that they are. I could go on and list 15 other officers but dont feel the need.

    Keep up the good work WWAY and maybe one day the citizens of Leland can get proper police protection instead of living in fear of the police.

  • dianeknows

    They really ought to be ashamed of themselves. Everything is “time consuming” and yet nothing is getting done. What is so time consuming when there is nothing going on in the economy? Or at least that is one of the excuses they used to get rid of some employees. Now, how can you say you have budget issues and the economy is slow to terminate employees and then miraculously have money to pay “certain employees” pay raises and now council gets pay raises?

    Maybe Council needs to quit running around and stop playing political games. Then they would have more time to do their jobs of governing. Does anyone remember the town in California where the townspeople finally got fed up with the Manager and Council getting high salaries-they finally took at stand? How much more are we going to take?

  • Jeremy Smith

    Bozeman has to take a closer look at the budget-What? She doesn’t know what she voted on.

    Farris said,”Being a council member at this point in Leland’s life is somewhat more complicated maybe than it was several years ago,”- yep, it’s hard work keeping up with all of the lies.

  • Guest2020

    I hope this further helps the people of Leland to understand the importance of getting out to vote. There should be record numbers at Leland’s polls.

  • Recent Leland Resident

    The population in Leland has increased since the year 1989(approximately 1960 residents) to over 12,000 residents today. That’s an increse of about 500% over a 22 year period. The town council voted to increase their pay to be in line with similar towns their size and took the middle of the road. From what I have gathered, I believe this is the first pay increase since the town incorporated in 1989. Now how many of you have had no pay raises since 1989? So what is the point of WWAY’s article? Is the pay increase too much, not enough or just right?

  • WWAY TV3 should hire “Leland Resident” on staff….this average citizen knows more about the issue, and brought more background and facts to the attention of the public in this short blog then WWAY’s “professional journalists”!!!!

  • Barbara

    I think the point of the article is that why a pay increase now when they can’t run an efficient government, don’t provide enough services and when everyone is hurting. Whether the Council members want to admit it or not we have an entire community of hurting people. The focus should be on the community needs.

    Ok so the population increased what part of their work increased? The majority of their work is done by town staff and the town manager who spoon feeds them the information. Sure they may go to another committee or two but that is it. Not to mention the fact that as someone else previously stated they eliminated some hard working employees because of the economy. Also less than two years ago they froze positions and had their town employees scrubbing toilets because of money issues. Tell me this what kind of real analysis did they did when they looked at these other towns? Was it population alone or did they simply look at dollar amounts. Did they look at where they were located? Did they look at the number of town staff? Did they look at their missions? Did they look at their programs? Did they look at how much funding they had from other places? Did they look at how they arrived at the numbers they used? Did they look at average salary and the cost of living? Did they look at what was cut for them to arrive at that salary? What real justification did they do other than to say this is what other towns are doing?

    It’s amazing, that when it comes to doing progressive things for the town Council wants to sit back and say “This is Leland, not Wilmington or any other place” but when they want taxpayer money they justify it by comparing what other towns are doing.

  • enoughalready20

    Great little article you wrote, You knew what you were talking about.
    Maybe you should work for WWAY

  • dear too much already…these are not accurate facts… the council received a raise in 2002. the mayor’s position went from 150.00 to 200.00 and the council from 100.00 to 150.00 per month.I believe a raise is justified but I consider the amount excessive.These are trying times economically and these people are elected as public servants not employees.If the present council were serious about leading by example then they would reduce the raise to a hundred a month.When you are in a position to vote yourself a raise you should be a bit more judicial with the taxpayer’s money. This amount is simply not justified.


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