High Point, N.C. -- Six of High Point's nine council members passed a resolution formally asking Mayor Bernita Sims to resign. However, the mayor has no plans to step down. Council members Jason Ewing, Jay Wagner, Judy Mendenhall, Jim Davis,
Britt Moore and Becky Smothers voted for the resolution. Mayor Bernita Sims and councilmen Jeff Golden and Foster Douglas voted against the motion.
Council members cannot force Mayor Sims to resign. "The point was to get in the official record the position of this council," council member Becky Smothers said.
Council member Britt Moore said, "By far, it is the toughest decision I have had to make as a member of this council. But, based on all that has transpired and the fact that there is much left to be resolved, I believe it is my responsibility to the citizens of High Point, and those who have reached out to me, to support this motion."
Council member Jay Wager added, "This situation now overshadows nearly all of the work we do as a council, as well as our ability to effectively act as representatives of our city. It is literally the first thing I get asked about everywhere I go in the city."
About two-hundred people gathered in the council chambers Thursday morning. During a public comment portion of the meeting, no one spoke out in favor of the mayor resigning. However, multiple people spoke out in support of Mayor Sims.
Sims has faced criticism for her personal financial troubles. Several council members expressed their dissatisfaction with Sims by writing letters to the editor of the High Point Enterprise.
"I don't want people to look at me and say, 'If it's okay for her, it's okay for me.' It's not okay for anybody. I want to make that very clear. It's not okay for anybody. But, stuff happens. Things happen. I have tried to work as best I can to mitigate those circumstances so we can move forward," Sims said. "Judge me on my work. Judge me on what I do. Don't judge me on a utility bill that is paid. Don't judge me on allegation around a check that has been paid. Don't judge me on those issues. Judge me on whether or not we're doing the work. I would say that we are."
Council member Foster Douglas said, "If you look at everybody's private life and try to judge it from that, then who would be elected? Probably Mother Theresa and her crew. Other than that, everybody else has personal stuff in their life."
Mayor Sims says now that this matter has been addressed, she hopes the city can move forward.