With not-so-subtle critiques of the mayor’s firing of the fire cheif, and caution about how the city will pay the $725,000 the booming voice of Don Williams — a resident who for years has kept an eagle-eye on Ocean Shores budgets and other matters — was back at this week’s City Council meeting. (The Zoom hasn’t been updated on the city’s website yet, but you can hear Williams and the whole meeting here). An excerpt from “The Don”: “….This is by far the largest single expenditure in the City’s history so I was not happy reading an Internet Blog” — that would be thenorthbeachnews.com, which broke this several days before Dingler “came clean” — “that the City wrote a check for $750,000 instead of learning via an information release by the City. There has been no public discussion of this payment and I’m not aware of any official notice to council members or anyone else. Hopefully we will hear about this payment tonight from Mayor Dingler.”
Nope — but she sent out a release the next day.
“This payment was made without consideration of where the money will come,” Williams continued. “There has been no council action to amend the budget which is always required before payments are made. If any of you signed a warrant to cut a check to Mr. Bathke for $750,000 please raise your hand. Nevertheless, the $750,000 has been spent and it will need to come from somewhere.
“From this point on all discussions should be placed on the Council agenda and held during regular City Council meetings. I hope we will learn tonight Mayor Dingler’s schedule to begin these discussions.
“In that regard, I’m sure you will be encouraged to spend all or part of the Council Contingency Fund, Fund Number 002. You should reject using any portion of Fund Number 002. This fund, by state law, is for use only in emergencies and unforeseen events. So then where should the funds come from?”
His conclusion, re the lawsuit (before he shot down “rumors” about the golf course: “If you read the Court’s Decision, Finding of Facts and Conclusions of Law, which is readily available on the Internet, you will see that there’s plenty of blame to be shared for this unfortunate situation by both the City Administration and the Ocean Shores Fire Department. Accordingly, that’s where the funds should come from. When the Council conducts its in-public discussion on how to pay the bill I suggest that you look to a combination of the General Fund and the Emergency Care Fund Number 104.”