Nola Rose resigned as mayor of Oceana April 15, following several months of turmoil over whether her property fell within town boundaries.
Rose was presented with a survey map, commissioned by the town council, that showed her property was outside the town boundary by 24 feet during the council meeting Thursday.
No one on the council, nor the mayor, knew what the survey contained, explained Councilman Clark Manning. It was completed by surveyor Sefton Stewart and delivered to officials in a sealed envelope, Manning noted.
“It was a special seal, one that you could tell if someone had tried to open it,” Manning said.
A small group “wouldn’t let up” on the issue, according to Councilwoman Suzanne Clark.
The five-member council had the survey completed based on the advice of a lawyer from Morgantown, Clark said.
Lela Walker, town attorney, recused herself based on dealings with one of the people involved, so the town hired the attorney from Morgantown, Manning said.
“A lot of it was a personal vendetta — personal between the mayor and a few people. It got to where we couldn’t conduct city business.
“There was always a crowd, but there were two or three that did the talking. They kept dogging the mayor.
“It got so we couldn’t have a meeting,” Manning said.
“It got to where I dreaded going. I knew we were going to be there for an hour-and-a-half and only about 30 minutes of it would be on city business.”
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“I was just shocked,” Rose said of the survey. “And, I was embarrassed.
“I’ve run for mayor six times and been elected six times,” she emphasized.
“I’ve paid city taxes since I moved here 21 years ago.
“They made me feel like a criminal,” she said.
“I’ve done nothing wrong; this wasn’t intentional.”
Rose has documentation showing the property has been taxed by the town since 1948 and the permit to build on the property was issued by the town.
Rose said she believed her property to be within the town limits and thought the issue would die down.
“I’ve made people mad by trying to do the right thing, trying to clean up the town, and other things,” she believes. “I think this should have been handled better.”
Rose said she prayed about the issue and decided her best course would be to resign.
“I tried to help the town while I was mayor. I did get the dialysis center here and the sewer project completed to the golf course. The museum is up and running,” she explained.
“Those are the projects I wanted to finish; those are the projects I prayed the Lord would help me finish. I’m very proud of what I’ve done here.
“I’m 71 years old. I’m going to be a grandmother now,” she said, with a laugh.
“This job has taken a toll on my health and (resigning) has taken a big load off my shoulders.
“I had a good council and I have no malice toward anyone.
“I enjoyed my terms and I’m proud of what I did,” Rose emphasized.
About 14 months remain on Rose’s term; the council will select a mayor to complete the term, based on state code.