SUNSET BEACH, NC (WWAY) — As government leaders come together for the State of the Union in Washington, one local government cannot seem to iron out its differences.
Emotions are high after Sunset Beach Mayor Greg Weiss announced he was ending his term after just five months. Weiss is the second mayor to resign in just 11 months.
“Sometimes in working together, honest people see things differently,” Weiss said. “So I’m taking this opportunity to announce that I am resigning as mayor.”
Sunset Beach business owners just shake their head.
“It’s dysfunctional. You know, a lot of them come in here. Some of them don’t come in here. You read it in the papers. Every week there’s some sort of issue that they just can’t agree on,” Stephen Cuozzo said, who owns Backstreet Cafe.
Cuozzo says the tension within the town’s government has been chaotic for years.
Councilman Richard Cerrato says there have been longstanding issues between town leaders.
“Politics is something, I find, that if you don’t go along to get along and if you question, you will not be treated very nicely. That has been the history of this town,” Cerrato said.
Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Benton will assume responsibilities as Mayor.
“I knew it was coming if a certain decision about hiring a town manager occurred, and I was prepared for that. As far as stepping in, I’ve done it before for nine months and I’ll do it for the rest of the remaining term until November,” Benton said.
Benton also served as pro-tem after Robert Forrester resigned as mayor less than a year ago. Residents just hope town council can resolve its issues.
“How many more mayors are we going to go through before we really get something done in here that’s really positive? They all need to work together,” Cuozzo said.
Town council has its next meeting on February 19.