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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The controversy continues with New Hanover County Commissioners in their search to fill former Chairman Ted Davis’s seat.

Last week commissioners ran into a roadblock in deciding whether to pick up Melissa Gott to act as their temporary fifth board member. But now, one commissioner says Gott has got to go.

“With me having questions in my mind as an elected official, I’m not going to put someone on our board that I have questions with,” says board chairman Jonathan Barfield.

The county’s Republican party nominated Gott, but after a complaint surfaced questioning whether Gott lives in New Hanover or Brunswick County, commissioners decided to wait.

GOP Chairwoman Rhonda Amoroso says it was all part of a smear campaign against Gott.

“I think what has happened is a witch-hunt and I think there’s a double standard and it looks like a war on women to me,” Amoroso says. “As a woman, I am quite offended by it.”

Commissioners unanimously decided to hand over the issue to the GOP and county board of elections. Tuesday, the party turned over a packet containing affidavits and documents proving Gott does live at her address in New Hanover County. However, Barfield says that’s not enough to sway his opinion.

“There was no need for me to look through it,” Barfield says. “I mean I’ve gotten more emails from citizens who live in that area saying listen we haven’t seen any kids in this home. At night, the lights are out, the whole nine yards. “

Amoroso says she hopes Barfield reconsiders and takes the time to read the packet.

“That’s disturbing to me and very disappointing,” she says. “We spent hours putting that packet together.”

Commissioner Rick Catlin says he plans to thoroughly look over the GOP’s packet on Gott before making any decision. WWAY also reached out to both commissioners Jason Thompson and Brian Berger in reaction to the packet and Barfield’s stance. Neither has returned our calls.

Comment on this Story

  • Vog46

    Interesting point about the attempt to commit fraud – the question is by whom? Gott? Or the GOP ?
    I believe LaNassa should also inquire with the State Bar about this.

    If Gott gets word of the potential impact on her ability to continue practicing law and withdraws then we’ll know that she is in fact residing in Brunswick county.
    Then we should inquire as to where here kids go to school and why.

    My thought is why? Why would she even consider trying to get a county seat if in fact this could lead to the embarrassment outlined above?
    Get your kids yanked out of school for not being a resident? I don’t have an issue with Brunswick county schools – I believe they are just as good as NH County schools are, so if you’re living in Brunswick – why transport your kids here?

    This seems to be a failure of the PARENTS who are putting political gains before their kids and their careers.

    If she IS a resident? And it can be proven? Hey more power to her – but she’s got to be vetted FIRST. The “collateral damage” this could cause to the local GOP is immeasurable. Look its a PUBLIC office – you’re gonna get screened – it’s not a witch hunt

    Barfield knows a lot more than he’s letting on – perhaps this is his way of saying to Gott – “This could get ugly because we know where you live”. If this is true he just gave her an out.

    Nominate someone else – what the hecks the problem?
    Vog

  • KD

    The last thing our county commission needs is MORE controversy! Please, can we just find someone reputable so they can get on with the important business of fixing the many problems our county is facing. For Amorosa to suggest this is a “war on women” is absurd. I for one would love to see women on our board, but we already have one ineffectual sitting board member in the headlines regularly. What we desperately need is a competent and controversial-free choice and Gott is not that! What are you thinking Republicans??? There are so many better choices out there – please find one and move on.

  • Wilmington Observer

    That is, almost, as disgusting as someone playing the race card after all other arguments have failed.

    Wilmington Observer

  • Guest22

    Coule it be that the BOYS are afraid this lady will not play their game…that is vote for everything they want not what is best for the community!! When is Jason going to be cochairman of something..bc it seems he and Barfield are always up to something. Shame on you for being afraid of a woman or maybe you were afraid of how the people would vote for her instead of YOU!

  • Dude1

    Maybe I am wrong but the issue is that she is either a resident or not of NHC. Da, this should not be too hard to find out. Where does she file her property taxes and if she does not own a residence, she does own a car, I hope. If she doesn’t own anything I don’t think she is qualified to be a commissioner since they are making decisions based on commercial and personal properties. These are public records so does she or doesn’t she and if she has a boyfriend in Brunswick county who cares along as she is a resident and pays taxes in NHC. Now if she moves to brunswick county she should not be qualified. Cut and dry peoples.

  • Southern Child

    Seems we have just another Republican who believes they are the entitled ones– entitled to live in a house finer than what they can afford in NH county while using NH county benefits, entitled to prechoool in NH county while not being domiciled there and cutting preschools for poor children, and entitled to employ a nanny of another nationality while fighting the rights of others to immigrate. Has she paid social security taxes for this nanny? Doubt it. You all miss the bigger point. She is most likely maintaining the dual residences so she or her spouse can be appointed to high profile positions and then later run for office in Brunswick county on that trite outsider Republican platform of cleaning up all us country folk. It’s been done before. When it happens, remember the lies.

  • Erlkoenig

    I can’t wait till the Republican sweep in November.

  • InvolvedVoter

    Excellent post.
    Hopefully our Board of Commissioners will ask for a new candidate or wait until the election and allow the voters to decide.
    At the Oct.5th meeting Ms. Gott was asked if she and her husband resided together and she answered in the affirmative. Interesting how one can vote in Brunswick County and the other in New Hanover County but yet live together.

  • Guest9743

    You might want to try plan B Rhonda, your “war on women” comment didn’t quite work out for you like you thought it would, did it?

  • Guest2020

    This has nothing to do with what land she owns or where. In order for her to serve on the board, her primary residence would have to be within the borders of New Hanover County.

  • Ashamed to live in ILM

    “Just Another Republican
    Submitted by Southern Child (not verified) on Wed, 10/10/2012 – 1:34pm.
    Seems we have just another Republican who believes they are the entitled ones– entitled to live in a house finer than what they can afford in NH county while using NH county benefits, entitled to prechoool in NH county while not being domiciled there and cutting preschools for poor children, and entitled to employ a nanny of another nationality while fighting the rights of others to immigrate. Has she paid social security taxes for this nanny? Doubt it. You all miss the bigger point. She is most likely maintaining the dual residences so she or her spouse can be appointed to high profile positions and then later run for office in Brunswick county on that trite outsider Republican platform of cleaning up all us country folk. It’s been done before. When it happens, remember the lies.”

    Southern Child, you do know that Ms. Gott is Latina, don’t you? Guess not or you would’nt make such STUPID statements. The ignorance and stupidity of some of these comments on this site is amazing.

  • SurfCityTom

    correctly, she and her husband own approximately 30 properties in both counties and the city.

    Not unusual for investors to pick up distressed properties.

    The challenge seems to be her residence. Where does she live and where has she lived.

    No doubt, she can show property tax receipts for either county and the City.

    Now the concern should be this. Did she, an attorney, know the law? If she did, and was not residing where she should have been, then she has a much bigger problem.

    Was she attempting to commit fraud? And can that impact her law license? For that matter, could it also affect her husband’s as well?

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