“Enough is enough,” Dahl said. He said he’s endured accusations and road blocks since he took office three years ago.
“Every charge is frivolous with no merit,” he said.
“We need to come together,” he said.
He estimated that about 5 percent of the community causes disruptions and stops the town from moving forward.
“I’ve been quiet for three years. Now, I am going to start calling them out,” he said.
Dahl talked about excellence, according to the Texas Municipal Code.
He said excellence is the result of caring.
“You’re never going to exceed unless you take risks. Nobody succeeds without having downfalls. I have failed – you pick yourself up and dust yourself off and go,” he said.
Dahl talked about President John F. Kennedy and the president’s announcement of a goal to go to the moon.
“In 10 years, we were there,” he said.
He said the people who file complaints are the same who quit their office when he became mayor, leaving the mayor without any workers, as well.
“I have a can do attitude. I learned that in the Marine Corps. When you push yourself, you will surprise yourself,” he said.
He said he was told he couldn’t play sports.
“I was the Marine quarterback in Okinawa,” he said.
And he was on a softball team that won the midwestern championship.
He said he also was told he couldn’t be a Marine.
“I joined. I was not drafted. Don’t tell me what I can’t do. I’m driven and have a positive attitude,” he said.
Dahl said when he became mayor, there was no one to ask what to do.
“They all ran away,” he said. He mentioned Councilwoman Gloria Derrough who had a chance to stay and help but walked out.
He mentioned Councilman Eugene Fricks, as well, who also walked out.
“These are two who got up and ran away. You tell me for the community, Why run up costs for open records requests? Why do you call the TCEQ? Every time they came, they found no problems,” Dahl said.
Dahl said the positive element out of the complaints is that he learned the water system and sewer system faster than he normally would have.
He said then someone went to the department of health, saying the water was contaminated and dangerous to kidneys.
“So they came here to check it out. We had a stellar report for our water,” Dahl said.
Dahl recounted an oral agreement with a subcontractor to dump clean concrete over the town’s seawall.
“The guy who put the concrete in there was doing it wrong. Thanks to Karen (Clark), it was stopped. The pile he was bringing in had rebar in it,” Dahl said.
Dahl said when it came time to fix the problem the cost was on the subcontractor’s dime.
“He violated a contract. He didn’t, argue, and he removed it. I’m grateful he was stopped,” Dahl said.
“These are people who want to hold me to a perfect standard. Sit there and be part of the solution or part of the problem. If you are part of the problem, stay home,” he said.
Dahl also mentioned complaints about using his personal computer in the city office.
“Buy me a computer then,” he said.
He said Councilman Eugene Fricks when in office used a school district computer to deal with ordinances back and forth.
“I donated my time, my computer,” he said.
“When I came to office, multiple files had been deleted. But we recovered them,” he said.
Dahl said he was scolded for trying to do budget amendments and told he couldn’t do that.
But budget amendments had been done before he came to office. He said they moved items from line to line.
Dahl said budget amendments are done in governmental entities all the time.
“And what’s the legality of selling a street,” Dahl said.
He also mentioned $25,000 for road materials spent because, he said, was a personal vendetta with the Canfields.
I’ve been quoted laws that say things. The original law will say one thing, but if you look, there is a current status – amendments to the law,” he said.
Dahl said the mayor is identified as the budget officer.
“The mayor is in charge of the budget.”
But he said he wanted the council’s involvement and would be happy to share the responsibility.
Dahl also asked rhetorically: What have we accomplished?
He answered the question with a list of things, including a reinstated Fourth of July celebration.
He noted that the previous administration said it didn’t do the celebration because of a $1,000 charge for a permit.
“The only charge is a $100 charge to the city if its workers are ones lighting the fireworks,” he said.
He added that the city has had two free health clinics with free inoculations; fireman’s dinner done by the Ladies Guild; graduation dinner with $300 scholarships for the kids; community projects where volunteers took down a substandard house and a trailer.
Refugio County Commissioner Stanley Tuttle waived all fees because it was a community project, according to Dahl.
Dahl said the wind storm that knocked trees down all over Bayside drew county and city workers to help clean up.
“All it cost was some Crofutt’s sandwiches,” he said.
Dahl also noted that he has improved communication with the community.
“I think we can do more,” he said. “So I ask the 5 percent, ‘What is the purpose?’ If I find mistakes, I will publicly tell you.”
Dahl said he wanted something from the 5 percent.
“Let’s mend fences today. Let’s get everything on the table. Let’s work it out,” he said.
He urged people to put emotions aside and have a good honest conversation.
“The bottom line is I want to get it right. Let’s find the reasons we can do something and not the reasons we can’t do something.”
Councilwoman Karen Clark said she spends time in the city office helping out.
Dahl acknowledged that, but asked why she was against the Summer Program.
“I never once said I was against that program. I am not against that program,” Clark said.
But Councilwoman Pat Torres countered, saying she was shocked and dismayed at Clark, who is the president of the Ladies Guild.
Torres said Clark told her, “You don’t know how mean Ken has been to us. That’s why we can’t be behind it.”
Torres said the Ladies Guild is supposed to be for education.
“I had to resign after that,” Torres said.
The conversation fomented donations from Sally Crofutt and Ruben Flores of $100 each for the Summer Program. The Fennessey Ranch already has donated two tours of the ranch.
Dahl said a question of ownership of Block 44 was another point of contention.
“We do own it,” Dahl said.
Clark said she had come back after realizing the city did own it.
Dahl also asked for consistency on contract labor, noting it wasn’t OK for him but OK for the city secretary to do it.
“The bottom line is we’re going to be moving forward. We will put resources to the collective goal of the community,” Dahl said.