Regarding last weeks article “Enough is Enough”, we hope this is true and that the mayor of Bayside will begin following state laws. Mayor Ken Dahl needs to understand that he is using taxpayers money and not his own. He stated that he has been absolved of all illegal actions he was accused of by “five percent” of the citizens but failed to mention the facts. Mayor Dahl had hired council member Janet Christensen’s husband as a city employee which violated state nepotism laws. He then back paid him $2,400 for work that Christensen had volunteered to do for free. Dahl was told by the “five percent” that it was illegal but he refused to comply with state laws until the district attorney ordered him to terminate Christensen and to get the $2,400 back from him. Mayor Dahl complained about past council members resigning when he took office. These three council members, two secretaries, two maintenance employees, building inspector and half of the planning and substandard building committee members resigned because of the lies Ken Dahl spread from his store while campaigning for Mayor. Who would want to work with someone after that?
Those people spent many hours for years working on keeping Bayside clean and providing clean water and a new sewer system. Mayor Dahl mentioned that files were deleted in the city office as if something illegal had taken place. Files are deleted on a regular basis in government offices as required by law when they are outdated. Dahl ordered a forensic audit on the city computer costing taxpayers $10,000 without council approval. The audit showed nothing illegal had taken place. Immediately after Dahl took office, the first people working in the city office were volunteers including Duane Christensen and accused marijuana grower Syd Weatherford so no telling what happened to city files.
Mayor Dahl is seen on a regular basis in the city office after hours and this never happened with previous councils. Mayor Dahl also failed to explain that citizens were requesting a copy of the yearly proposed budget but the city secretaries could not provide it because they said it was on Mayor Dahl’s personal computer at his home and not available. The town’s budget has been prepared for almost 40 years by the city council in workshops and always available to the public without a mayor needing their own personal city computer. Dahl stated that he was now going to allow the council to prepare the budget. This is only due to the “five percent” informing the attorney generals office that Dahl was violating state conflict of interest laws that prohibit the mayor from the budgeting process since the town is purchasing gasoline from his business (.50 cents higher than anywhere else).
The $25,000 Dahl accused the previous council of spending on a street was actually $2,500 paid to Terry Gray to build a limestone road on city property that had been fenced in by a landowner for over 40 years. State laws prevent anyone from squatting public land so the previous council on the advice from Texas Municipal League reclaimed the city property for the city and not because of a “vendetta” as Dahl claimed.
Dahl would know these facts if he and those that believe him would have been attending the workshops, hearings and council meetings before he became mayor. Dahl fired the town’s long time city auditor Michael Arnold who only charged the town $2,500 per year and hired another auditor that cost the town $12,000 per year for the same service only to inform Dahl that he was spending too much money. Dahl and council members traveled to Austin to TML workshops spending taxpayers money on travel and lodging yet he claims he didn’t know the laws when he violates them.
Previous councils and mayors emailed and phoned TML for legal advice at no cost to the taxpayers and followed their legal advice. The street Dahl claims they sold was a dead end easement (not a street) and the previous council sold it to have a reserve fund in case of emergencies all approved by TML. Dahl spent that reserve money on a backhoe and mosquito sprayer.
All cities only have around five percent or less of its citizens regularly attend council meetings. The only “vendetta” seems to be Ken Dahl’s against the “five percent” that hold the mayor accountable to state laws and regulations and ensures that taxpayers money is being spent properly.
So if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Remember, Mr. Editor, that there are two sides to every coin and you too would know these facts if you would have been attending council meetings the last 10 years, as I have.