Funds will provide $1,000 to qualified nonprofits to assist citizens impacted by COVID-19 The Board of Aldermen last week approved a new program designed to help residents affected by coronavirus.  The COVID-19 Nonprofit Grant Program will award $1,000 to qualifying nonprofit/501(c)3 organizations within city limits whose missions, programs and/or services help citizens impacted by the virus.  The Board approved a head start for the program with a $50,000 commitment from the General Fund.  The idea for the COVID-19 Nonprofit Grant Program came from Ward 2 Alderwoman Jameesha Harris. “COVID-19 has had an affect on all of us,” said Harris.  “Every day I see or speakRead More →

Jameesha Harris is known as someone who doesn’t shy from challenges. A 35-year-old mother of three and daughter of a Vietnam War veteran, she became the first in her family to hold elected office when she won a seat on the New Bern alderman in 2017.  The youngest African American female ever elected alderman in New Bern, she speaks her mind and has done so while running for office and every day since her first day on the Board of Aldermen.  In September 2018, when Hurricane Florence swept through New Bern, Harris ignored evacuation orders and braved hurricane-force winds and rising floodwaters to evacuate individualsRead More →

“I thought you had respect for me.”  — Alderwoman Jameesha Harris to Mayor Dana Outlaw   Maybe the city attorney sent them a memo, but it sure seemed odd that the Board of Alderman had a nearly half-hour, frank and open discussion on Tuesday about an appointee whose name they took great pains to avoid saying. So we won’t, either. Background Suffice it to say that tumult arose over the last week or so about this Board Member Who Shall Not Be Named (or BMWSNBN for short; we’ll just call him “B”). Many people are offended by a Facebook page that “B” started that reflectsRead More →

The New Bern Board of Aldermen will hold a public hearing in which the aim is to control the proliferation of Airbnb-type operations from occurring in residential districts.  At their Oct. 22, 2019 meeting, the Board of Aldermen established the Short-Term Rental Committee to develop an ordinance regulating Short-Term Rentals. The committee conducted bi-monthly meetings between between December and March to create a draft ordinance for aldermen to consider. The issue came to a head when a homeowner on Metcalf Street attempted to turn his home into an Airbnb over the objections of neighbors. Members o f the committee were Anne Schout, who served asRead More →

Plans to raze Hurricane Florence-damaged Stanley White Recreation Center and build a new facility just off Neuse Boulevard are facing the prospect of a full environmental assessment that would require city officials to provide possibly embarrassing information that could jeopardize the project. The city — with Mayor Dana Outlaw and protege Alderman Jeffrey Odham leading the way — has been pushing for the project despite strong objections from residents in the area and aldermen who represent the vicinity. Federal officials said the project will require an Environmental Assessment, but said they should not worry, assuming that they did their due diligence in addressing community concerns.Read More →

On June 23, 2020, after a Public Hearing; the New Bern Board of Alderman denied a request to rezone 2409 Oaks Road from Residential R6 to Commercial C4. Only the owner of the property was in favor, and all others were opposed. A previous request to rezone this property from Residental to Commercial C3 was denied in 2019 (corrected year). As Craven County has no zoning, the property had been used commercially in the past. When 2409 Oaks Rd became part of the City it was Zoned residential. This amounted to a promise to the community, that there will be no future commerical use. CitizensRead More →

In December 2012, An officer from City of New Bern, NC Police Department pulled a gun out on me, I was 13 years old, walking to the post office to mail a Christmas present, if I was Black I would probably be dead. 2012 was the year that New Bern Chief of Police Toussaint E. Summers Jr assumed his position as Chief of Police. Over the past 8 years it has become increasingly evident that under Mr. Summers Leadership that The New Bern Police Department has operated in a culture that is at best disorganized, and at worst, a calculated effort of community intimidation. InRead More →

On March 12, the New Bern Post called for local governments to take leadership in the face of the spreading and deadly COVID-19. They said they are going enough, denied anyone local was being tested, and said they were waiting for the state for guidance. Within two days, Craven County had one COVID-19 case and, under a governor executive order, went to distance learning for K-12 and banned mass gatherings of 100 or more. Meanwhile, other cities, counties, and school districts in the state WERE taking local initiative. Waiting for cases to appear is too late. The key is prevention. According to Dr. John Campbell,Read More →

It is imperative that the City of New Bern lead in setting an example of social distancing and doing our part in reducing the risk to our citizenry and minimizing the impact on our local health care providers. With cases growing in number throughout the state, the City is taking proactive measures to assist with “flattening the curve” to help protect the health and well-being of our citizens. All staff will report Monday morning for duties and work will be performed as required to continue providing our citizens with expected high levels of service. However, changes to our normal way of providing such services mustRead More →

Mayor Outlaw and Aldermen, I wanted to give each of you an update as to preparations that are taking place internally and externally for the City of New Bern.  As you know, the City does not play the lead role in this type of pandemic outbreak.  This responsibility is with the Federal, State, and County governments.  Locally, much of the decisions and lead are provided at the County level with the Craven County Health Department.  However, the City will play a vital role in maintaining its operations and continuing to provide services to our citizens, as well as, support the County as requested when asked. Read More →