Former Carolina Beach mayor a no-show for criticism of town insurance costs


CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Carolina Beach’s former mayor is making waves criticizing town council getting health and dental insurance paid for with tax money. The question, though, is why Ray Rothrock did not try to speak up when he was in office.

Despite sending out an e-mail encouraging residents to attend today’s town budget meeting, Rothrock did not show up, and he refused to talk to us on camera.

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In Rothrock’s e-mail yesterday, he questioned why the town spends about $26,000 a on council members’ insurance. He said council members in Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Oak Island and Wilmington do not get free dental and health insurance.

“Under his tenure he had plenty of time last year to make a motion during the budget to do the same thing,” Mayor Bob Lewis said. “He never made the motion. Never asked, never really discussed it as a motion. He could have brought it up at any time during his tenure. Decided not to do that. Now that he has resigned, now that he has quit, he’s bringing it up.”

Lewis says Rothrock was part of the town’s budget process last year, so he’s not sure why Rothrock is bringing the issue up now.

“He was the only one that voted against approving a budget where we pulled $500,000 to $600,000 of excess cost out of the budget,” Lewis said. “He voted against it because he didn’t want to approve that, and at the same time we reduced the amount of property taxes, the tax rate below the revenue neutral stance, and his stance was he didn’t want to reduce the tax rate either.”

Rothrock resigned in November, after he said other members of council forced Town Manager Tim Owens to quit.

Mayor Lewis says it is not unlikely for organizations to pay for workers’ insurance. He says the insurance for Carolina Beach Town Council does not include coverage for their family members.