Lindsey, 2 other officers resign from Hamlet Seaboard Festival committee after conflicts

By: By Christine Carroll - Staff Writer

HAMLET — Longtime Seaboard Festival president Kim Lindsey and two fellow officers have resigned their posts, leaving a boxful of documents, credit cards and organizing notes associated with the event for safekeeping with the city.

Lindsey, treasurer Deb Holmes and vice president Renee Grvybowski met with Hamlet City Manager Jonathan Blanton and Mayor Bill Bayless on Monday to turn over the documents, Blanton and Bayless said Wednesday. On Tuesday, the three woman also abstained from attending a scheduled meeting of the Seaboard board.

“She wanted (the event documents) to be turned over to the city until a new (Seaboard organizing) committee was formed,” Bayless said Wednesday. “I think that was a good idea.”

Blanton said that during the meeting Monday, the event organizers “seemed to express displeasure … at the handling (of festival-related issues) by the city” but made no explicit criticisms.

Both Bayless and Blanton stressed that the city was only the host for the festival: It does not organize the event and does not want to, even though both men attended the regularly scheduled Seaboard board meeting Tuesday night.

Lindsey, Holmes and Grvybowski ostensibly skipped the meeting to give newcomers a voice in the proceedings.

“There were many new faces” at the board meeting Tuesday, Blanton said — which he saw as a hopeful sign of interest in organizing the next festival. If it takes place in September as scheduled, the event would be the 37th to celebrate the “Hub of the Seaboard.”

Because Seaboard bylaws stipulate that officers’ terms end with the calendar year, Blanton said, leadership roles will be wide open when potential organizers next meet. That will be at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Hamlet Depot rotunda.

Lindsey could not be reached for comment Wednesday. She said in an email that she was busy caring for her ailing mother. Holmes and Grvybowski could not be reached either.

Much of the discord between the City Council and Seaboard Festival board has concerned an offer by Lindsey and her husband, David — also a council member — to donate a piece of land to the festival. The Lindseys said that the parcel a couple of blocks from City Hall would be perfect for a permanent stage.

The land has not been donated to the festival since the Lindseys made the proposal last fall, despite City Council’s vote in October to rezone it for potential festival use.

City Council members also took issue with Seaboard festival volunteers’ — including council members David Lindsey and Wendy Massagee — wearing T-shirts advertising a council challenger at the 2017 festival. That issue resulted in the sending of a letter to the Internal Revenue Service because the Seaboard is a nonprofit entity entitled to tax breaks as long as it remains apolitical.

By Christine Carroll

Staff Writer

Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673 or [email protected]

Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673 or [email protected]