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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Two elected leaders and the town manager in Carolina Beach quit last night. Mayor Ray Rothrock says he and Councilman Lonnie Lashley quit along with Town Manager Tim Owens.

Rothrock packed up and left town hall Wednesday.

“Unfortunately it has not been fun,” the now former mayor said. “It has not been enjoyable. It’s been a challenge and a task, and I’m relieved.”

Rothrock says the remaining members of the council forced Owens to quit. He says that’s why he and Lashley stepped down. Other council members would not comment on why Owens quit.

“This is a personnel matter,” Mayor Pro Tem Steve Shuttleworth said. “At this point, we’ve agreed that we would accept the resignation from Mr. Owens, and we wish him the best.”

“We’re moving in a different direction,” Councilman Bob Lewis said. “He made the decision to resign.”

Lewis says bringing in new people could be a good thing for the town. He says they could bring fresh ideas and work well with council unlike Rothrock.

“He chose not to work with most members of council, or he chose a different path of how to work with members of council, and that was let me insult you, let me try and abuse you and let me try and bully you,” Lewis said.

Rothrock says the opposite. The past year, he says, has been a struggle for him in trying to work with council.

“They won’t listen to me, they won’t work with me, so why should I be here?” Rothrock said.

Now with two elected leaders and the town manager out, what’s next?

“It is what it is,” Shuttleworth said. “We’re moving forward. The town’s going to find a long term permanent manager. We have to go through certain processes to do that and ultimately the town will fill the vacancies left on council.”

Carolina Beach Town Council will hold an emergency meeting at 8:30 to finalize the resignations and appoint an interim town manager. We’ll let you know what happens.

We reached out to Councilman Lonnie Lashley, but he has not yet returned our call.

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