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BELVILLE, NC (WWAY) — Controversy stirs up again in Belville. Town commissioners have called a special meeting Friday night to discuss censuring Mayor Jack Batson and a potential recall election.

Batson says it’s partially a personal attack.

“He told me he was going to get even with me so I guess this is part of his challenge to get even with me,” Batson said.

It’s become a war of words between Batson and Commissioner Joe Breault.

“I think he’s just blowing smoke, period,” Breault said. I don’t trust the man. He’s betrayed us totally. The United States had Benedict Arnold. Belville’s got Jack Batson.”

This isn’t a new battle between the mayor and board members. Last fall, commissioners unanimously censured Batson for an alleged relationship with a town employee. Earlier this year, Batson had Breault arrested for allegedly threatening the mayor in an email. The most recent battle sparked when the two were part of a heated meeting last Thursday, where commissioners and residents voiced strong opposition against Batson’s study of a merger with Leland.

Batson says he was simply trying to give the facts to the people.

“That’s all we really wanted to do was to give the presentation,” Batson said. It’s not a pro-merger or anti-merger. It’s just this is the tax rates part of it and these are some of the things that you get from it.”

But Breault said Batson was part of secret meetings where decisions were made without commissioners’ knowledge.

“Having secret meetings where you make decisions is against the law. You don’t have a fact finding meeting and come up with a 74-page presentation,” Breault said.

Batson says his efforts have been to look at the benefits of the merger, which he says could be cost-effective and give residents the services they want.

On the other side, Breault says there have been rumors of it being a deal for a land grab.

“What we’ve heard is there is some sort of a back-door deal going on between certain developers here in Leland.” Breault said.

Friday’s meeting starts at 7:00 pm at Belville Town Hall. The board will also look at revising the town’s business and personal policies.

Comment on this Story

  • concerned Belville homeowner

    The commissioners and mayor are in nothing more than a power play. No one is working together to get what is best for the citizens. We have no police. We have unfinished roads. We are paying exorbitant rates for an office building. While work and services continue to be lacking, all our commissioners and mayor want to do is snipe at each other. These folks are paralyzed by their own self importance. As Belville citizens, you may think you are in a small town, but you are in the largest population center in the county. Face it, Andy Griffith is dead. Barney is dead. Goober is dead. Mayberry is dead. Get over it. We need to merge with Leland so we can together access services and federal monies. Let’s do have a recall– let’s recall them all so we can move forward.

  • The Smartest Guy in Belville

    Concerned Belville Homeowner,

    I totally understand the point you are trying to get across. I agree with almost everything you said. However, do you really think it’s wise for a town such as Belville to be merging with another town that can’t even manage itself? I think eventually, in time, it might come to be a good idea, but surely not now.

  • Ummmm

    We are talking Belville here, not Leland.

  • Bye Bye Bad Guys

    Per the Star News, “A recall election is set if requested in a petition signed by 25 percent of the town’s registered voters.”

    In laymen’s terms, if the citizens feel their elected officials aren’t serving them appropriately, you can petition to have a chance to vote again.

    This is such great news for the citizens of the Town of Leland. Especially,since Brenda Bozeman ran unopposed.

    So citizens, you should revisit WWAY’s Town of Leland’s stories regarding their corrupt police department and Bozeman’s involvement (or lack there of) and get busy signing!

  • The Smartest Guy in Belville

    All I needed do is sit back and wait until he shot himself in the foot again with his lies and distortions“…. besides what Mr. Batson has done recently, can you give us more examples of his lies and distortions… just curious.

  • Commissioner Breault

    Mr. Batson is a master of fabrication. He claims I said I “would get even with him”. I didn’t have to. All I needed do is sit back and wait until he shot himself in the foot again with his lies and distortions. He has proven himself to be an untrustworthy hypocrite and I have no doubt I’ll be lamblasted with “anonymous” blogs as was Commissioner Bost. Perhaps, since he admires Leland so much, he should move there. At the least since, in his words, Belville cannot afford the downtown redevelopement, he should resign as Chairman of that Board?

  • Me

    There was nothing wrong with listening to what they had to say and offer. But no the Mayor and Commissioners had to have a loud agrument. We should vote in November and see what the people have to say about joining Leland.. We need to replace all of the memebers of Bel. Thank you.

  • RSimmons

    You,Batson and the rest of the commissioners are fighting like a bunch of 8 year-old boys over there. You guys need to lead,follow or just get the hell out of the way!

  • Challengetheworld

    Mr. Breault:

    If this is indeed you posting on a news forum in a public discussion on official town business, then you need to look to yourself for recall. An online forum is not the place for a professional Commissioner to be airing his or her opinion. Mud slinging online with the lack of restraint will prove that you lack the professionalism to maintain public office.

    The decorum required for a commssioner is to have the ability to know when it is proper, polite, and professional to have such conversation.

    I really hope you are not really the Commssioner….

  • Robin Mead


    You do realize that what you have written here is slander? If I were Jack Batson, I’d sue you for all you were worth.

    Merging with Leland and Navassa was, and still is, one of the smartest ideas I’ve heard coming out of the Belville community to date, regardless of Leland’s mismanagement. New officers can be elected. Combined, all taxpayers will benefit from the services that can be provided. Standing together, so much more can be accomplished. Apart, each town will be unprotected from poor development practices, and patterns of unsustainable growth.

    Previously to Batson’s taking office, both Belville and Leland paid for two separate but complimentary master plans (2007). Belville has a small population and is almost completely surrounded by the Town of Leland but Belville also has holdings along I-17. Both communities affect one another. Both master plans for growth are to be commended but with less than 1500 residents, how can Belville afford to implement upgrading it’s roads, let alone the master plan for future growth? Federal funds wouldn’t support Belville alone. Is that a lie, Mr. Breault? No, it is not.

    The 74 page report you speak of probably comes from some long and hard investigative work done by Batson (and it was probably free of charge). Did you forget Batson’s background? Batson was an engineer.

    Most assuredly, Batson wasn’t perfect; however, you should have put your personal feelings aside and been thankful someone like Batson stepped up to the plate and played for the team. Instead, you sulked, bottlenecked and wasted the taxpayer’s hard earned money.

  • 1981duke

    Hatfield’s and McCoys in the wild-wild west

  • Really????

    Well said!

  • Really????

    All I know is that Joe Breault is detrimental to any society. He is a hot-headed, loudmouthed, wanna-be bully. Time and time again, these retirees try to come down from the northeast and “fix” the south. Guess what Joe? If it was so great where you came from, GO BACK!!! Belville doesn’t need you, and Leland certainly doesn’t want you! I have witnessed his bad behavior and poor decision-making personally; this guy is not fit to make rational decisions for a household, much less a town!

  • The Smartest Guy in Belville

    Wow, you sound just as hot-headed and angry as you portray Jack… WEEEEEEE!!! Maybe you should run for commissioner!

  • Cain

    As a resident of Belville I believe it would be an excellent idea for not only Belville but Navassa to merge. It would definately save money and in Belville the services would be much better with a merge. I think we have a few elected officials who are more worried about losing their elected seat if a merger does go through. Belville elected officials put your residents first before your elected seat.

  • The Smartest Guy in Belville

    Holy cow… this is actually a well formed post! Are you from the north!? =)


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