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CALABASH, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County mayor no longer has any official powers. Last night members of the Calabash Town Commission voted to strip the mayor of her duties for what they say is a spending ordinance violation. She says she did nothing wrong.

“I make a motion that this board deem to remove the powers of Mayor Knight to just officiate meetings and public events,” Commissioner Joseph Nance said during last night’s Calabash Commission meeting.

Nance says Mayor Mary Knight purchased $1,152 worth of carpet for her office without pre-authorized purchase orders or bids. He says that’s a violation of the town’s purchasing ordinances.

“What we’re trying to get across is come to the board. The board runs the town, not just the mayor,” Nance said.

But Mayor Knight said the existing carpet was moldy and had to be replaced for health reasons. She told the commission she had approval from the town administrator.

“Administrator (Chuck) Nance said, ‘Yes, there’s $6,000 in the building fund. Here’s the credit card.’ And out the door I went,” Knight said at the meeting.

Commissioner Nance says the motion was about more than just new carpet. It’s about a pattern of overspending and overstepping the board’s authority.

“It’s business,” Nance said. “It’s town business, and it’s the taxpayers’ money.”

Commissioner Nance says it is his duty to the taxpayers to control spending and the motion was not personal.

Mayor Pro Tem Emily DiStasio will handle the mayor’s official duties.

We tried to talk with Mayor Knight about what happened. She has not returned our calls.

Comment on this Story

  • reader1977

    Was she supposed to use her personal money on the office flooring?


    To my fellow tax payers of calabash, everything has to have checks and balances your mayor Mrs Knight has had the frame of mind that she can do almost anything she wishes as Mayor without any consideration for the Calabash Board of Commissioners and their sworn duty to run this town. As for spending, the finance officer has a duty to bring to the board and public when he or she see a violation of spending against the town’s ordinance and the taxpayers.As a taxpayer myself that amount was not small $1,152.11 to be exact. Mayor knight also has been attending out of town meetings asking for reimbursement for funds spent and not giving reports of the meeting and or how it benefits Calabash. Citizens your town commissioners had put of with this for some time before taking action Tuesday night they had no choice in order to move forward with some kind unity as a board. Mayor Knight is still your Mayor the board only removed a few duties of her office she will still preside over the town’s meeting and special events the board just had to take a stand for the taxpayers of Calabash.
    Commissioner Joseph Nance/Finance officer Town of Calabash

  • betty

    This is just one of many things this past year that Mayor Knight violated in the town of Calabash. The by-laws, codes and ordinances never come into play and are never enforced, she does want ever she wants, whenever she wants.

    The taxpayers of Calabash are never helped by the Mayor, we have many problems, crime, theft, drugs, trespassing, speeding, homeless,burglary, etc, etc. We need help here and security for our safety, but the Mayor doesnt want to hear it and refuses to see it. It is all about her….

  • Tracie C

    “the board only removed a few duties of her office” OR “Calabash Mayor Mary Louise Knight has been stripped of all her duties.” Typical in any political story, no one tells the same one. And really, as a member of any city office, don’t you find it somewhat tacky to post here? Especially considering your lack of grammar and punctuation.

  • J.R

    Did any one tell you if you live in a glass house you dont throw rocks….. think about it…..

  • Southern Born

    for where stupidity is involved, you are quite an expert, friend.”

  • Renfield

    Howdy Doody’s Mom looks younger than I thought

  • Guest1111

    Thanks so much you are right about her mug shot…. couldn’t quite place the resemblance… But so right, you are…lol

    It’s howdy doody time…..

  • Vog46

    As an outsider let me make a couple of observations.
    This is a small town with a smaller budget than Wilmington’s.
    The Mayor spent 20% of the Town’s TOTAL building fund on carpet. The dollar figure is small but the building fund should be preserved for more utilitarian needs.
    The Mayors attitude of “here’s the credit card and out the door I went” strikes me as a laizee faire attitude considering she wiped out 20% of the towns building fund.
    A purchase representing this large a portion of funds would and SHOULD have been discussed at an open forum. If indeed there was visible mold which posed a health hazard to the Mayor and all employees routinely in her office then yes the monies should be appropriated.
    If Mayor Saffo had done this in Wilmington with Sterling Cheatham’s approval we’d be asking for their resignations – something Mayor White should consider.


  • betty

    Thank you so much for your comments. We are a very small town, less than 1800 people, and as taxpayers and residents have been treated poorly and have a Mayor who does as she pleases. No approval necessary is her attitude!!!! The board has the power and the administrator has none in this case, Mayor, as usual is out of order….

  • betty

    I am so sick of hearing about the crappy carpet…. This is not the issue, she is in violation of an ordinance, that is the BIG issue. This mayor is only in the town hall 4 hours a week, yes, 4 hours ONLY!!!! She doesnt need an office…. New staff members need the office and maybe one exceptional staff member, deserves the office.

    This office has been used by employees for a longtime and no one seemed to complain of mold, mildew, and bugs. Believe me, if there is a serious mold issue, no one could be in that entire town hall. A part time employee worked in this office all summer, with no problems of mold, mildew or bugs.

    Town hall does need a face lift, and will get it, but this is no way to go about it as sneaky as she is.

    Mayor, how about some cheese with that whine!!!!!!

  • Guest2020

    The bottom line here is that the woman has been mayor for over a year. If she doesn’t know proper procedure by now then she has no business being mayor. According to this report Knight said: “Administrator (Chuck) Nance said, ‘Yes, there’s $6,000 in the building fund. Here’s the credit card.’ And out the door I went,” She is trying to lay the blame at Nance’s feet. Regardless of what he may or may not have said, as mayor, she should know the law regarding such things and only has herself to blame. If I lived in Calabash, I would be looking into how to legally remove her from office.


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