Landscaping contract causes controversy among Southport Aldermen - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Landscaping contract causes controversy among Southport Aldermen

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The previous owners of the building hired Barnes in May 2012 and signed a one-year contract for his landscaping services. The previous owners of the building hired Barnes in May 2012 and signed a one-year contract for his landscaping services.

SOUTHPORT, NC (WECT) – Controversy over a landscaping contract has one Southport Alderman losing out on hundreds of dollars.

City leaders recently bought a new building for their future City Hall. The landscaping company hired by the former building owners, however, is owned by Southport Alderman Buddy Barnes.

The previous owners of the building hired Barnes in May 2012 and signed a one-year contract for his landscaping services.

When the city bought the property in February, Barnes wanted to know if the contract could still be valid.

According to Southport City Manager Pat Thomas, the board would have to vote on the contract transfer.

Barnes said there's so much controversy about the contract he doesn't care about the three months of work and pay anymore. He said he wants the issued pulled from Thursday's meeting because people are making too much of an issue out of it.

In an email sent by Barnes to Thomas, he states he would lose out on $1,400 if the contract didn't transfer over from the original owners.

According to state statues, a public official can be employed by a city with less than 15,000 people as long as there is transparency and city leaders sign off on it.

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