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Manteo mayor clarifies position

Manteo Mayor Bobby Owens said he isn’t a quitter and he has no intention of stepping down as mayor. Owens said a recent interview he gave was misconstrued and led to speculation he might walk away from the elected position.  “I love being mayor,” Owens said, adding, “I’m proud to be mayor.”

He did say he could reconsider his position when his term expires next year.

Owens is frustrated that the Manteo mayor only has a tie-breaking vote; an option he has only been called upon to use once since taking office in December. The 85 year old veteran politician said if he had known the mayor didn’t have a vote, he may have run for a commissioner seat instead – an option he is keeping open for the 2019 election.

Owens says he has nothing against the current commissioners, but “I have a mess,” he said, and feels the board seems content with the “status quo.” Commissioner seats currently held by Darrell Collins, Hannon Fry and Nancy Peele will be up for election in 2019. Owens said if current commissioners refuse to look forward, he could choose to run for a Manteo commissioner seat and “I can win,” added Owens.

The mayor said he intends to outline his agenda for the town this month. He admits he can be seen as controversial and outspoken. He says he is a “doer” and it is obvious he wants more action from the current Board of Commissioners.  To move his agenda forward he says, “I would rather have a vote than be mayor.”