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Jack Batson resigns as Belville mayor

READ MORE: Jack Batson resigns as Belville mayor
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BELVILLE,NC (WWAY) -- Belville has a new mayor, effective Friday night. Jack Batson stepped down and Mayor Pro-tem Mike Allen stepped up.

As commissioners sat down to decide whether to censure Mayor Batson, they were completely caught off guard with his letter of resignation.

“I was caught by surprise totally because we did not see this coming,” Allen says.

Last week, then Mayor Jack Batson was accused of secretly moving forward in a merger with Leland without commissioners' approval resulting in a resolution disallowing Batson to discuss the merger publicly. During a special meeting Friday, Batson threw in the towel.

"Please inform all people and organizations with a need to know that William J. Batson Jr. has resigned as mayor of Belville," he handwrote on a blank sheet of paper.

“I think it was a surprise for everyone, but I think for the town it's a good move,” said John Clark, a Belville resident. “We're going to move forward.”

After Allen was sworn in as the new acting mayor and commissioner Charles Bost was sworn in as mayor pro-tem.

“I think it will be good,” Clark says. “We've got a joint board that will move forward with these issues.”

Allen says as mayor he promises to push for the agenda of the people.

“They don't want to merge with Leland, they like the low tax rate they have and they like their quiet little town and until they tell us different, that's the direction we'll head in.”

Allen will remain mayor until the next election cycle in 2013, unless the board requests a special election before then.

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The mayor

This is tragic. Bel-Assa-Land(Belville/Navassa/Leland) will continue marching on with 3 different governments wasting taxpayer dollars.
Mr. Batson was right to think that a merger between Belville and Leland was a good thing but he was ignorant of some ordinances that needed to be changed in order for this to proceed. He was arrogant to think he could initiate this on his own.
He was at times a person full of self importance, yet this one issue is a selfless act of "realty awareness". Mr. Batson probably would not have a role to play in a merged Belville Leland (I would add Navassa) government. Perhaps this is why the Belville commissioners are so upset - because they wouldn't be part of the new government either. I guess we'll never know.
It's a grand case of common sense being trumped by personal ambition and the people of Belville and Navassa are the true losers here. 3 separate governments being separated by an arbitrary line on a map.
Mr. Batson you went about this wrong, VERY WRONG and you paid the price commensurate with this action. However, in falling on your own sword, you have pointed out the true folly of how small town governments fail to protect their taxpayers best interests. All 3 towns should be ashamed.

Best Regards
Vog

Mayor/Belville

REALLY, Mr. Allen, you did not see this coming!! PLEASE!! Jack Batson could not turn left or right or around before somebody on that board did not critize him or tried to bring him up on some type of charges. Remember, Mr Allen, you ran on his coat tails and got elected as he was re-elected. Be careful what you wish for because you just got it Friday night! Keep your friends close and your enemies CLOSER! Especially non-southerns.