All five seats full on New Hanover County Commission


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After months of the New Hanover County Commission functioning with only four members and weeks of uncertainly of the current make-up of the board, New Hanover County finally has five commissioners.

“At last,” Democrat Rob Zapple said after being sworn in. “It has been a long haul getting here.”

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Zapple and Republican Skip Watkins took their oath of office this morning.

“It is great! It is a pretty good Christmas present, too,” Watkins said.

A complaint filed in New Hanover County and later appealed to the State Board of Elections pushed the swearing in from Dec. 1 to today.

Commissioner Woody White said the day was bittersweet, as the outgoing board said goodbye to Commissioner Thomas Wolfe.

“I have the utmost confidence in this board,” Wolfe said. “I have been working with Commissioner Watkins since January to try and have him up to speed.”

The Board voted Jonathan Barfield as chair and Beth Dawson as vice chair.

Today also marked the end of Brian Berger’s term in office. The Libertarian has not attended a meeting for months while battling legal issues throughout the year.