CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The mayor of Carolina Beach says he believes Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-18th District) will resign from the North Carolina House of Representatives to join the town’s government. In fact, it appears by law she has to.
“It’s our understanding that Susi Hamilton will resign her position as representative to be our town manager,” Mayor Bob Lewis said this morning.
Later Lewis said the town has asked Hamilton to quit her seat to take the manager job or pass on the job. Lewis says North Carolina General Statute 160A precludes a manager from holding elected office.
“We are asking Susi Hamilton to inform us today as to her decision,” Lewis said. “We would love to have her as our new town manager, but we need to follow state statues as well.”
That contradicts what Hamilton said about her new job when she announced in a news release last night.
“It is important to note that the North Carolina General Assembly does not require a member to resign in order to accept a full time position, and there are no immediate plans for any change in my elected status,” Hamilton said in the release. “I am extremely excited to have this opportunity, and look forward to continuing to serve our community.”
This afternoon Hamilton’s spokesperson Tori Jones asked us to “give (Hamilton) some space” as she makes this “life-changing decision for her and her constituents.” Jones said Hamilton had contacted the House Ethics Committee and had been told she could hold both jobs. Jones said Hamilton only found out this morning that she “had been given misinformation” and would have to choose one job or another.
Hamilton is in her second term representing a district that runs from downtown Wilmington across northern Brunswick County.
Last night, Hamilton texted with a WWAY reporter and said she was unavailable because she was in session in Raleigh working on the state budget, but asked us to share her statement with viewers.
Carolina Beach leaders say they were caught off guard when Hamilton released the statement about her new job. Jones said she e-mailed the media shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday because she believed the town was going to release its announcement at the same time. An e-mail from the town’s social media director soon followed.
Lewis says they have offered Hamilton the job, but a formal, public vote won’t come until a meeting Friday. He says no contract with Hamilton has been signed, despite a report by another local TV station.
He said Hamilton will make between $88,000 and $98,000, which Lewis said is less than former Town Manager Tim Owen.