STATE PORT PILOT: Town of Oak Island, former manager reach settlement for firing

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Submitted: Wed, 12/12/2012 - 5:33pm
Updated: Thu, 06/11/2015 - 9:45am

OAK ISLAND, NC (STATE PORT PILOT) — In a sudden and mostly unexplained change of course, Oak Island Town Council agreed Tuesday night to settle a lawsuit by former manager Jerry Walters, who was fired last year but not paid the year’s salary called for in his contract.

Council and attorney Brian Edes refused to disclose terms of the settlement, stating that the details were subject to revision.



  • Ole Blue says:

    The best ole blue can remember, the new Oak Island Town Council ran and was elected on saving money, reducing spending, and lowering taxes, which sounds like familiar red meat to the enormous Republican base on the Island.
    However it appears the councils newest members first step out of the blocks, firing Jerry Walters, has now cost the towns $116 K. When I watch the replay of town council meetings on channel 8, it isn’t hard tell that at least 2 of the 3 new members are far from the brightest bulbs in the pack. Like it or not Mary, Bob and John were far superior in talent needed to govern OKI. Our Mayor was allowed to pack her new board with puppets and now she gets what she deserves.
    These board members are not capable of performing and should resign.
    We could do better, MUCH BETTER!!

  • Richard Bunce says:

    ” Like it or not Mary, Bob and John were far superior in talent needed to govern OKI”

    $180M wastewater project with $10M plus debt service for the next 20 years says otherwise.

    I wonder what the critics would say if Mr. Foster was given a lifetime contract with a $1M severance package by this Council? The manager serves at the pleasure of the current Council… not the previous Council.

  • Jane Sexton says:

    The best thing the new council has done is rid our city government of Mr. Walters and Mr. Davis. Many residence were lied to by these individuals. The government must surround itself with trustworthy staff. The members of our community must be able to talk with the staff and feel that the information given to them is true. Residence should not have to doubt what they are told. That is not the way the government leaders were before our new council went into office. No one cares to hear the truth and can deal with the truth.

    Those of you who fault our current leaders do not realize that the problems they are facing is due to the former leaders. Our town was in such a mess I do not see how we have not had to file bankruptcy to survive. If you have better answers then let them be heard. Each meeting time is given to those who want to speak. Let your voice be heard. If you have great ideals I am sure the council will consider them. Don’t fault those who are trying their hardest to get us out of this mess the former leaders lead us into.

    Let’s move forward as residence and try and help the situation. The past leaders took our land, put us in debt and did what they well pleased. Now, the new leaders are having to deal with lawsuits and disgruntled residence due to all of what happened in the past. Be fair to your residence and you will win their support.

  • Richard Bunce says:

    By March 2011 the handwriting was on the wall for the current Council. Extending the Managers contract 3 1/2 years with virtually no firing for cause language was clearly a thumb in the eye of the future Council and the voters who would elect them as I noted at the time…

  • Richard Bunce says:

    The decent folks in the 4 room cinder block cottages do not insist on sticking their hands in their neighbors pockets to fund their progressive playground in my experience.

  • Ole Blue says:

    made a stupid and egotistical decision to terminate Mr. Walters with only a short time remaining before his announced retirement. This council, all but one, chose to blow 116K just to prove they could.
    Oak Island by your statement must be different than other like size communities and must not qualify for the same services that any normal city in NC takes for granted. The previous council and mayor inherited the failed actions of previous boards and they at least had the courage to bring Oak Island into the 21st. Century. Expensive, yes! but if others had done their jobs and spread things out a little we wouldn’t have taken on so much. Sir, decisions to install sewer, build the government complex and upgrade the fire departments along with building parks and rec. facilities might not be good for you and your soured friends but they were good for Oak Island. Oak Island is a destination in competition with every east coast community. Our property values are tied directly to the presentation we offer.
    Sir, if you and others can’t afford to live here there is an option you ought to consider. You should understand that a growing and progressive town can not base it’s economy on fixed income!!

  • Richard Bunce says:

    The Island of Oak Island was just fine until infested by the Town of Oak Island and its big government Oak Island Über Alles faithful. You should familiarize yourself with the vision of the founder of Long Beach Mr. Middleton who wanted to create an ocean side community for the working man. How sad he would be to see the families who have owned property here for generations be kicked to the curb to be replaced by another progressive playground for the rich.

  • Richard Bunce says:

    Mr Middleton is rolling over in his grave as his vision of Long Beach as an ocean side community for the working man is tossed aside to create a progressive oceanfront playground for the wealthy. There is nothing wrong with the Island of Oak Island except for the infestation by the Town of Oak Island.

  • Richard Bunce says:

    Short time remaining? Contract was agreed to March 2011 and the agreement was through August 2014. That would be 3 1/2 years. That would be through the end of that Councils 2 year session, the next Councils (this Council) 2 year session and well into a 3rd Councils 2 year session. So you would be OK if this Council signed their manager to a lifetime contract with a $1M severance package if terminated for any reason?

  • Ole Blue says:

    The best ole blue can remember, Mr. Walters contract was extended based on a grade A performance evaluation. He was hounded by you and others, not to mention the former mayor as to his mismanagement which no one has ever stepped forward with any proof and his job performance was supported by a state audit. In plain terms Mr. Walters did not need to be fired. He could have been a valuable source to the town as it is trying to work through these difficult times. Council could have used his talents and knowledge until his retirement. Council chose to humiliate rather than work with him on his employment status and this was stupid!

  • Ole Blue says:

    I wonder if Mr. M had a vision of Oak Island turning into a cesspool.
    He must have since most lots are 45 x 125. Was his vision to have each property owner have equal right to develop their property or was this right reserved for your generation? Do you think Mr. M would have ever wanted the Island residents to go without adequate emergency services like police, fire and medics. Mr. M failed to consider how this island would meet the challenges of federal and state environmental regulations.
    The working man you talk about today makes $65,000 a year and his wife makes $50,000 a year. They are still buying homes on Oak Island, they are not rich people but they want more than the 4 room cinder block.
    Why does this bother you so much? I can’t help but feel sorry for you and those that can’t accept change.

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