Longtime Trinity councilman Lambeth resigns

Jun. 22, 2014 @ 07:27 PM

Veteran Trinity City Councilman Barry Lambeth has resigned from office, the second elected official to leave since last November’s city election and another sign of the ongoing unrest in the northern Randolph County community.

Lambeth, who has served on council for 13 years, said he resigned effective Friday in part because of a culmination of frustration in recent years with the direction of Trinity government. Lambeth retained his seat in last fall’s general election.
“I resigned Friday and I’m submitting my resignation letter tomorrow (Monday) at City Hall,” Lambeth told The High Point Enterprise on Sunday afternoon.
Lambeth said he may have a statement this week elaborating on the reasons for his departure from council.
Lambeth becomes the second Trinity elected official to resign this year. Effective at the end of April, Mayor Fran Andrews resigned from office after recapturing the seat she lost in the 2009 election. Andrews indicated she was frustrated with the eroding public perception of the city and said in a statement that she would rather “spend my time working in another capacity than fighting a losing battle as your mayor.”
The mayor’s post remains open, with Councilman Jesse Hill serving as acting mayor and mayor pro tem.
Lambeth told the Enterprise that he resigned prior to a special called meeting of the Trinity City Council on Friday, which involved a closed session. During the weekend, the Enterprise attempted to reach other members of council, but wasn’t able to interview anyone as of Sunday.
Trinity has been embroiled for the past several years in an ongoing series of controversies, which have periodically played out in verbally volatile meetings of the council. The disputes have included:
• How city elected officials and staff have handled $3.025 million owed by Trinity for sewer projects. The manner in which Trinity has addressed its obligation prompted the N.C. Local Government Commission, which monitors the fiscal situation of municipalities and counties, to raise questions about the city’s sewer fund.
• The forced departure of former City Manager Ann Bailie, whose severance package itself became a point of contention.
• Heated debates about whether to develop land for a city park, extend water and sewer lines for commercial development and zone parcels for certain land uses in Trinity.

pjohnson@hpe.com | 888-3528