A tradition within the New Bern Fire Department and its ancestors since 1879, threatened by a row over former mayor Lee Bettis, is now no longer a habit, a tradition, or a whim — it’s city law. Aldermen passed a resolution on Tuesday making it official city policy to add the name of the mayor in office when a fire truck is authorized for purchase. The policy gives a mayor the option to decline the honor. The resolution passed on a vote of 5-2, with Mayor Dana Outlaw and Alderman Jeffrey Odham voting against the measure. The controversy arose when the previous Board of AldermenRead More →

First off, the obvious Things are getting back to normal now that the holidays are behind us. Just kidding. With snow and ice blanketing the region, it’s like having an extra week off for the Christmas break. Schools have been closed since Wednesday. So much of New Bern was shut down on Thursday, it nearly felt like Christmas Day. Though we were well supplied with food, cabin fever drove us from the house and we thank the folks at Sonic and Piggly Wiggly for braving the weather and serving our needs. Other businesses were open, too … these are just the two we happened toRead More →

January 9, 2018 Agenda and Explanations  1.   Meeting opened by Mayor Dana E. Outlaw.  Prayer Coordinated by Alderman Bengel.  Pledge of Allegiance. 2.   Roll Call. 3.   Request and Petition of Citizens. This section of the Agenda is titled Requests and Petitions of Citizens.  This is an opportunity for public comment, and we thank you for coming to the Board of Aldermen meeting tonight to share your views.  We value all citizen input. Speaker comments are limited to a maximum of 4 minutes during the public comment period.  At the conclusion of 4 minutes, each speaker shall leave the podium.  Comments will be directed to theRead More →

The outgoing Board of Aldermen shortly before four aldermen surrendered their seats on Dec. 12. Post photo   Dec. 12 was the last Board of Aldermen meeting for four aldermen. They included: One-term Ward 1 alderman Dallas Blackiston, who sought reelection but came in third in a three-person race won by his predecessor, Sabrina Bengel Two-term Ward 2 alderman Victor Taylor, who did not seek reelection and who was replaced by Jamee Harris. Half-term alderman E.T. Mitchell, who was appointed to the board and who did not run for reelection; she was replaced by Bobby Aster. Two-term Ward 5 alderman Bernard White, who lost hisRead More →

Members of the new Board of Aldermen moments after taking their seats. They are, from left, Sabrina Bengel, Jamee Harris, Bobby Aster, Dana Outlaw, Johnnie Ray Kinsey, Barbara Best, and Jeffrey Odham. Post photo   Three of four new aldermen who took their seats on Dec. 12 bring with them enough experience that it would be inaccurate to call them rookies. Sabrina Bengel, who bested incumbent Dallas Blackiston, boating instructor Tony Bonnici and a hard challenge by retired chemist Anne Schout, has a long history of community involvement, owns real estate and businesses downtown, and previously served on the Board of Aldermen as Ward 1Read More →