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ONLY ON 3: Former CB mayor says councilman's tax bill proof he's unfit leader

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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- Carolina Beach Town Council has been in the spotlight in recent weeks, and the former mayor is not ready to give up the attention yet. Last night Ray Rothrock e-mailed our newsroom with allegations of unpaid property taxes by Councilman Bob Lewis.

The e-mail says Lewis has had a boat for more than five years and has never registered it with the county.

"They can check anything they want," Lewis said. "I'm an open book."

Lewis says Rothrock is looking for trouble. Rothrock sent an e-mail Sunday about Lewis's unpaid property tax saying it proves lewis is not fit to lead.

"It's a mistake on my side. I missed it. I didn't realize boats were included," Lewis said. "It has nothing to do with being in political office. I've always paid all of my state and county taxes on time. I'm sure he's checked all of that out, though. He's just trying to find one little thing and that's fine."

Lewis says he plans to straighten things out this week with the county.

Councilwoman Sarah Friede says she's worried what Rothrock is doing may change the way the community remembers his leadership.

"He's done a lot of things over the years as mayor. I think it would really be a shame if this became his legacy," Friede said.

Friede hopes this will not distract the council from the task at hand: selecting new members to replace Rothrock, Councilman Lonnie Lashley and Town Manager Tim Owens, who all quit last month.

"I think I see a silver lining to all the drama," Friede said. "We're going to pick a couple council members and then hopefully as a town be able to heal and move on."

Friede says council has a number of candidates up for discussion at tomorrow night's meeting.

Rothrock would not talk to us on camera about his allegations against Councilman Lewis.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Bob Lewis is full of Bullcrap!

...and so is Sarah Friede! We all live here on the coast and all know very well what our duties are as far as reporting property for tax reasons! Boats are a staple here and are taxed like everything else we own. As a town councilman, if Bob Lewis doesn't "realize boats are included" in taxation, it doesn't sound as though he is qualified to govern our towns taxation, much less any other town-critical issues. I don't care if it's a $200 leaky jon boat or a half million dollar sportfisherman, nobody goes 5 years without paying taxes on it. It's a shame that Lewis doesn't have the common decency to just pay the bill, much less claim "supreme ignorance" by stating, "...derrr...I juss din't know...". HorseHooie!!!

Sorry Sarah, you missed the mark on this one! It's not Rothrock that will tarnish his reputation, it's green council members like yourself attempting to bash him for doing the right thing. There aren't gray areas in vessel taxation and there aren't gray areas for public officials that avoid paying their due! Take your sides, pick your battles, but you lose all the way around on this one. Rothrock already has an established reputation, you're still trying to build one. It's not going very well so far.

rothrock needs a cold one

this guy consumes ridiculous amounts of alcohol, stumbles in and out of all the local honkey tonks, makes a total fool out of himself, and then decides it his business who does and does not pay their taxes....this dude needs to look in the mirror for an unfit leader!

Taxes are EVERYBODY'S business!!!

We have in excess of 15 million illegal aliens in this country not paying county property, state and federal taxes. We sure as heck don't need public officials bailing out on their tax responsibilty too! 5 years of non-payment isn't forgetful, it's called evasion! That's MY business and I appreciate Rothrock pointing it out. As a town councilman, Bob Lewis has control of what happens to my town tax rate and how that gets spent, so he sure as hell should have enough sense to be able to pay his own and on time, just like I do!
As far as your comments about Rothrock, he happens to have a fine reputation as the CB town Mayor. It's a shame that a crack-head like yourself feels the need to disparage someone that likes to have a drink now and then. Rothrock is a good man and has done good things for Carolina Beach. I seriously dout you've ever even met him, much less know him well enough to attempt to smuge him like this. Another bigmouthed, brave cyber-coward without a face.

I don't know what in the

I don't know what in the heck has been going on down there but resigning your elected position and abandoning your constituents doesn't appear to me to be a sign of leadership either Mr. Rothrock.
Working with difficult people and situations is a primary criteria of public service. Not quitting your term before it ended and leaving your citizens in limbo.