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State Treasurer concerned with Town of Navassa leadership

State Treasurer concerned with Town of Navassa leadership
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 4:55 PM EDT
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NAVASSA, N.C. (WECT) - North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell has expressed concerns over the leadership of the Town of Navassa. In a letter to town leaders, the Local Government Commission says the town has “serious operational issues.”

The letter requests the town respond detailing how it will address four issues. These issues include finding a new finance officer, creating a transition plan for a permanent finance officer, adopting an annual budget, and assigning another qualified person to write checks and handle the town’s bank account.

Navassa’s town council has tried to hold several meetings to address these issues, but has failed to have enough members present to have quorum. The mayor and three council members, or four council members need to be present to hold a meeting.

The most recent meeting was scheduled for Thursday morning, but not enough town leaders, including Mayor Eulis Willis, were present. Willis says he has been busy caring for a family member.

If the town does not resolve these issues, the Local Government Commission would take over financial control of the town.

“That’s not something we desire to have happen,” Folwell said. “We have many towns between where we’re sitting (Raleigh) and where you’re sitting (Wilmington) where we’re having to deal with real issues like water and sewer and budgetary shortfalls.”

Folwell says the issues Navassa is facing should have been handled earlier, and says the current situation is “sad.”

“There has to be more transparency going forward,” said Folwell. “There has to be more competency going forward, which means getting these people hired. And there needs to be a higher level of governance going forward. We have no desire to take over anyone, we’d rather be the “Maytag Repair” people, where nothing is broken, but unfortunately, that’s not the case.”

The town’s next meeting is scheduled for June 16th, unless the council requests a special or emergency meeting prior to that date.

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