Navassa’s leaders reappear to pass budget, appoint finance officer, but not without tension

Navassa Mayor Eulis Willis turns his chair as council member James Hardy suggests it should contract with the former town administrator. (Port City Daily/Alexandria Sands)

NAVASSA — Navassa’s divided town leadership assembled a quorum Thursday night to unanimously pass a budget and appoint a finance officer. The two measures were essential to resuscitating the town before its looming downfall.

Since June 3, a “closed” sign has been hung on the town hall, and there was no way to pay town staff following the former finance officer’s departure. At one point, it looked like the Brunswick County town could fall into the hands of the already burdened Local Government Commission, despite stabilizing its financial position.

Earlier this week, Treasurer Dale Folwell said he was hearing from people who wanted him to take over Navassa for five days to assist the town in adopting a budget and assigning a signatory. But he had no intention of doing so for town leaders who “refused to show up for work.”

“I call that enabling,” Folwell said. “These are local elected officials who need to do what they put their left hand on the Bible and raised their right hand to do as public servants.”

Previously, Mayor Eulis Willis and two District 1 council members — Ida Dixon and Ernest Mooring — were absent from consecutive meetings. Willis and Dixon previously cited personal reasons for their lack of attendance, but the mayor made quiet remarks about…

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