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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.

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29 Comments on "Barfield dismisses Melissa Gott as commissioner candidate despite GOP backing"

2015 years 8 months ago

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?

2015 years 8 months ago

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!

Wilmington Observer
2015 years 8 months ago

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

Wilmington Observer

2015 years 8 months ago

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.

2015 years 8 months ago

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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