Jonathan Barfield

New Hanover County

Democrat Jonathan Barfield is seeking reelection for a third term on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.  In the past six years, New Hanover County voters have approved bonds to fund improvements to the parks system, public schools, and Cape Fear Community College.  To pay off that bond debt, the Republican incumbent who voted against the tax increase suggested dipping into the county’s fund balance, but Jonathan Barfield says that would jeopardize the county’s Triple-A bond rating: 

New Hanover County’s Board of Commissioners has three open seats this year.  On an earlier edition of CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we met the Republicans.  On this edition, we meet the Democrats vying for those spots – which carry four-year terms.  

As of last year, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated New Hanover County’s population to be a little over 220,000.   

New Hanover County

Back in 2009, the New Hanover County Human Relations Department was shut down due to budget cuts.  Now, the county is joining forces with the City of Wilmington to reach out to the public in a new way.  Vice-Chairman Jonathan Barfield hopes the new Community Relations Advisory Committee will help improve relations between citizens and cops.

Barfield says the sheriff and police chief are doing a great job communicating with the public, but he still sees work to be done.  This view is supported, in part, by some recent interactions between his family and local law enforcement:

There are three open seats on New Hanover County’s Board of Commissioners.  The top three Republican candidates will now battle it out with Democrats Jonathan Barfield, Julia Boseman and Nelson Beaulieu in the general election.
 

Incumbent Woody White came in first – with more than 24% of the vote among seven candidates.  Beth Dawson, also running for reelection and the current Board Chair, fell to fourth place which means she won’t be on the ballot in November.  Patricia Kusek and Derrick Hickey took the second and third spots, respectively. 

New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White, in cooperation with two other Republican candidates for the County Board, delivered a scathing criticism of Chairperson Beth Dawson, after her state of the county address Monday nightThe response, posted on YouTube, attacks Dawson, who is a Republican, for abandoning GOP principles and cooperating with the Democrats.   

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The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners has a new chair:  Beth Dawson takes the helm after a narrow three-to-two vote at Monday's meeting. 

Skip Watkins nominated Woody White for Chair; White seconded the motion. 

Jonathan Barfield nominated Beth Dawson – as he promised publicly that he would a year ago.  This was widely expected after Dawson helped Barfield to the Chairmanship in a three-to-two vote last year.   The local Republican Party blasted Dawson last December for that move.

New Hanover County

This week, New Hanover County Chair Jonathan Barfield attended a national roundtable to address issues for communities of color.  The event was sponsored by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, which conducts research and suggests policy solutions to create equal opportunities for all Americans, regardless of race.

New Hanover County Commissioners have rejected a proposed limit on travel expenses for Board Members. 

At Monday's regular meeting, Commissioner Woody White suggested travel decisions be shaped by the answers to three questions.

"Is the travel, whether it’s by a commissioner or particularly by employees or department heads and so forth, is it necessary for licensing and certification?  Secondly, is the topic of the conference relevant to an issue we’re addressing?"

City of Wilmington

In New Hanover and Pender counties, almost 40% of homeowners are cost burdened, meaning they spend over a third of their income on housing. That’s not even factoring in renters, who are about half of the local population. This lack of affordable options leads to housing instability, which hits those who’ve already had a hard knock—like imprisonment and illness—especially hard. 

photographer: Billy Hathorn

New Hanover County residents will see a two-cent property tax increase in the next fiscal year. 

Wilmington Downtown Inc.

This broadcast of CoastLine originally aired on April 29, 2015. 

There’s good economic news today: unemployment is down slightly, and Wilmington has earned another accolade:  a San Francisco-based financial planning website named it the second-best city in the nation to start a business.

The development of the Cape Fear region – which includes Pender and Brunswick Counties – is all about coordinated strategy.

David Rouzer

In a winning night for the GOP, Republican David Rouzer has defeated Democrat Jonathan Barfield for North Carolina’s 7th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

The 7th District encompasses Brunswick, Columbus, most of New Hanover, and some of Pender -- and it stretches north to the suburbs of Raleigh.

This candidate forum featuring two of three candidates for North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District aired live October 13, 2014.  

Tune in to HQR News 91.3 FM Monday, October 13th at 7 PM (or stream the video live on WWAYTV3.com) to hear from Democrat Jonathan Barfield and Libertarian Wesley Casteen on why they think they should represent North Carolina's 7th District on Capitol Hill.

Republican David Rouzer has chosen not to participate citing two other events in October.  

The GOP contest for North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District was a three-candidate game – but the real battle played out between front-runners David Rouzer and Woody White.  Rouzer scooped up victories in ten of the twelve counties.   

On the Democratic side of the ticket, Jonathan Barfield captured the nomination but with just six counties. 

After a long battle in the primaries, the Seventh Congressional District—that stretching from Wilmington to the Raleigh suburbs--is down to one Republican contender for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Democrat Mike McIntyre. Former state senator David Rouzer of Johnston County won more than fifty-three percent of the vote last night, beating Woody White, chairman of the New Hanover County Commission, and Chris Andrade, a Fayetteville military veteran.

casteen.org

Wesley Casteen grew up in nearby Duplin County and now lives in New Hanover.

David Rouzer

David Rouzer, a native of Johnston County and former State Senator, is battling Woody White, also a former State Senator and current county commission chair, for the Republican nomination in North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District. 

Local Legislators Support Higher Teacher Pay

Feb 4, 2014

North Carolina’s public schoolteachers have a new advocate. The group Aim Higher N.C. formed last year around a single objective: Raising educators’ salaries to match the national average. On Monday, affiliated teachers and parents gathered for a rally at Wilmington’s downtown library. And the mission has already gained local legislative support.

U.S. Representative Mike McIntyre, a Democrat from Lumberton, North Carolina, is stepping down after his term expires.

New Hanover County

Embattled New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger is likely on his way out. 

Chairman Woody White called for Berger’s resignation last month after a series of actions over the last several weeks by Berger that alarmed the Board – including the public accosting of Governor Pat McCrory during a ceremony at Cape Fear Community College. 

The Board voted last night to censure Berger and to file an amotion.  Just before the vote, Commissioner Thomas Wolfe castigated Berger for refusing to step down.

" I think the best you could do is resign.  You’ve brought shame and dishonor upon this council.  And I'm mad about it and I don't want to put up with it anymore."

Brian Berger interrupted, saying, "We're going to have to disagree on that, and..."

Thomas Wolfe fired back.

"Well, of course we are.  You can't see where you've done anything wrong.  You think you're a white knight on a shining horse.  Well, I got news for you Mr. Berger.    You're not.  You're a disgrace.  Do the community the right thing.  Stand up like a man and resign."

New Hanover County

The Vice Chairman of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners describes himself as a local boy and a second-generation county commissioner -- after his father. 

Teacher compensation, higher graduation rates, and increased school technology were hot topics at a meeting of lawmakers and New Hanover County school officials Wednesday.