Sheriff admonishes Durbin Town Council
With heated opinion adding to the already sweltering heat in the the Durbin Town office, council held a tumultuous meeting Thursday evening, which led to a visit from Sheriff David Jonese and Deputy Brian Shinaberry.
As council discussed a chain-link fence former councilmember Kenneth Lehman put in his yard, the conversation led to an argument over enforcing the ordinances with certain people and not the entire town.
Councilmember John Osborne conveyed his opposition to the fence, but added that action from the council would only exacerbate the town's situation.
"We are going backwards because we allow people to do what they want to do," Osborne said. "Kenny, what you did, I don't agree with, but I'll tell you straight up, I'm not going to say you can't have it [the fence] because you can take us to court since we've already broken an ordinance by allowing a trailer to go up here that went against a town ordinance."
Mention of the trailer, owned by Helen White, ignited an argument that included councilmember Paula Dilley and audience member Cindy Barkley.
As Barkley yelled that White was within her rights to place the trailer on her property, Osborne tried to explain that the council was discussing the fence and the fence only.
When Osborne informed Barkley she was not recognized by a councilmember to speak, she replied with profanity that she did not care. Osborne asked Barkley to leave and when she refused, he called the Sheriff.
Once Sheriff Jonese arrived, Osborne and Dilley argued about why he was called. Ending the dispute, Jonese explained to council and the audience that he was going to take action if the arguing and fighting did not stop.
"Let me make this very easy," Jonese said. "You all are supposed to be adults and leaders of this town and community, right? Can we not sit here and have a meeting without doing this, having this crying and carrying on and acting like a bunch of children? Let's not do this, I'm not going to keep coming up here because if I do, things are going to get real bad up here. People are going to be leaving with me."
Once Jonese saw that everyone had calmed down, he and Shinaberry left the meeting.
In other action, Council approved the following:
ﾕ Donation of $1,000 to the Durbin Library fund. Library representative Judy Fuller said the library fund was $10,000 short of beginning the first phase, which includes pouring the cement pad, constructing walls and a roof. She said the library board hopes to have the building under roof by winter.
ﾕ To hire Bauserman and Sons to replace the porch on the town building. Jason Bauserman explained he and his sons will remove and dispose of rotten and dilapidated parts of the existing porch and construct a new one.
ﾕ To have the lights and fans at the lagoon fixed.
ﾕ A meeting of the Ordinance Committee on August 25 at 6 p.m. at the town office.
ﾕ To write a letter to Nancy Benatato about the town's issue with her hedges. A town worker trimmed the hedges without Benatato's permission because motorists have a difficult time seeing on-coming traffic at the intersection by her house. Benatato asked council to replace her hedges because they were trimmed without her knowledge. Benatato is a former Durbin recorder.
In public comment:
ﾕ Duane Poling commended council and the town on a successful Durbin Days Heritage Festival and requested that a report about the event be made available to the public. Mayor Donald Peck explained that a report is being drafted and that it should be finished by the next meeting.
ﾕ Mark Smith stated that he and Thelma Smith made a Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of the minutes of the May meeting and they have not received a copy yet. Smith said he made both an electronic and handwritten request. Peck said a copy will be made for them and could not explain why the minutes were not made available at an earlier time.