High Point City Council wants mayor to step down

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HIGH POINT, N.C. – As High Point's City Council met for a closed meeting Friday to evaluate the city manager and city clerk, members of the community and council say it's the mayor herself who needs to be evaluated.

IRS and State tax documents show High Point Mayor Bernita Sims and Councilman Foster Douglas owe thousands of dollars in back taxes and other bills, forcing the city to garnish their wages to repay that debt.

Four other council members published letters calling for Sims' and Douglas' resignations a week ago. Neither Sims nor Douglas wished to comment on camera at the time, but both told FOX8 they had no intentions of resigning.

Councilman Jason Ewing feels the High Point City Council has not been as productive in recent months, since allegations started surfacing about Sims' and Douglas' personal financial problems.

"I'm sure it will come to a formal request for resignation – when that will come? I don't know," he said. "When you're in the public light? Personal, public, whatever it is, it's going to come to light."

Today, FOX8 attempted to discuss the recent criticism with Sims and Douglas.

"My response to that is we were here today for the purpose of evaluating the manager and the city clerk and so I don't think we should be discussing that in this particular meeting," said Mayor Sims, referring to our questions about the recent call for her resignation. "And at this point I have no comment on that," she added.

Mayor Sims offered to sit down with FOX8 next week in an interview. FOX8's Carter Coyle scheduled to talk to her Monday.

Councilman Douglas elaborated on the call for his resignation, also saying he is working out the taxes he owes the state and federal government.

"Am I going anywhere? No," said Douglas. "I feel [other council members] didn't elect me so it's not their role to try to determine or baby-sit council or determine the makeup of council. My constituents elected me."

Douglas added, "Just know that the spotlight wasn't put there by us... People are going to dig for what they're going to dig for. But I think you've got to be thrown a bone to dig for certain information. Now where that bone come from? I don't know."

"I never take any of it personal," Douglas said. "When you start taking this position personal, then you have a real issue. You have to stay focused on what your job is and what you were elected to do."

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