NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH – A North Topsail Beach alderman who was elected in November has resigned his seat on the town board after expressing without explanation at his last meeting that he has been “frustrated and embarrassed.”
Jerry Heid noted he has concerns during alderman comments at the end of Thursday night’s four-hour meeting and said then he’d say more after he had time to gather his thoughts. He decided Friday morning to resign from his seat on the board.
“I took an oath of office and promised to do the best for North Topsail Beach with integrity and fervor, and I do not feel we as a board we’re doing this. Therefore, I did not want to be associated with it and in good conscience I would have to resign, so I did,” Heid said in an e-mail message to The Daily News when asked about his resignation.
Heid said his decision to resign wasn’t due to any one issue or decision but the way decisions have been made.
“I do not want to go into a lot of details as to the issues, just that in my opinion, decisions and the way they were orchestrated, did not seem to be in the best interest of the town,” Heid wrote.
Heid and incumbent Joann McDermon won the two open alderman seats during the November 2019 election. McDermon ran for re-election to her alderman seat and simultaneously ran a write-in campaign for mayor.
After resolution of the results of the mayoral race, which were contested in court by former Mayor Dan Tuman, McDermon was recently sworn in as mayor, which left her seat as alderman vacant.
Robert Swantek was appointed to fill the seat and was sworn into office on Monday. He will serve the remainder of the four-year term.
Swantek ran an unsuccessful write-in campaign for an alderman seat in November and has made previous bids for a seat on the board in 2017, 2013 and 2011.
With Heid’s resignation, North Topsail Beach is again short an alderman.
Interim Town Manager Dave Gilbride said the Board of Alderman will appoint someone to fill out the remainder of Heid’s term.
Gilbride said the board will likely take applications from interested citizens and also have applications from filling another recent vacancy on the Board of Aldermen.
Reporter Jannette Pippin can be reached at 910-382-2557 or Jannette.Pippin@JDNews.com.