High Point Councilman Says He Will Pay Bill, Didn't Say When

11:10 PM, Aug 19, 2013   |    comments
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High Point, N.C. -- High Point City Councilman Foster Douglas owes the city more than $32,000. 

He hasn't paid the bill in ten years. 

"My constituents elected me because they knew I could do a specific job, I'll get with my colleagues," Douglas said.

"But why haven't you paid you're $32,000? That's what everyone wants to know," asked WFMY News 2's Mark Geary

"That's what everyone wants to know? Everyone wants to know why haven't I paid it? Because of things of this nature. I don't feel like the manager is someone that I can deal with," answered Douglas.

Douglas' decade-old debt recently came back up when he requested city money to go on a council-related trip.

News 2 reached out to him Friday but said he wouldn't comment until Monday's council meeting.

READ: High Point City Council Member Owes City $32,000+

Douglas did not bring up his own debt when he addressed the council. 

When asked why, he said because "the issue is old." When asked why he hasn't paid, he said because he hasn't "addressed it." 

"So as the manager says this is, that is, this is all about me not wanting to pay the city, of my brother not wanting to pay the city, that is absolutely not true. No we haven't addressed it we haven't addressed it up to now, no we haven't addressed it," explained Douglas.

A federal judge ordered Douglas to pay the city of High Point's legal fees after he lost a lawsuit in 2003.

He tried to sue the city for alleged civil rights violations. Douglas claims he filed hardship and that stalled his payment. When asked if and when he will pay, he said he will address that with his fellow city council members, not the city manager. 

"I have answered what I will answer, what I want to answer. I told you I will get with my colleagues and will hash out how this will work," said Douglas.

Douglas pointed out he's saved taxpayers more than $50,000 by not accepting the city's health insurance plan. 

He also raised questions about the city manager, from how he manages finances to communicating with the council.

To those accusations, City Manager Strib Boynton said, "a lot of times people, when they kind of have their back against a wall, will start casting dispersion against everybody else,and if that's what Mr. Douglas prefers to do, its his prerogative to do that. But meanwhile, he still has not addressed the $32,000 he still owes the city and we will continue our efforts to secure it."

Boynton says Douglas will be served with papers to order him to pay this judgment.

The process is already underway but Boynton isn't sure when he will be served.

Douglas recently requested $2,500 from the city to go on a trip to the National League of Cities Conference in Seattle.

The council does not currently have a travel policy and directed the staff to create one at Monday's meeting. 

Until that new policy is adapted, no travel expenses will be approved. 

The federal judgment is against Douglas and his brother.

WFMY News 2

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