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home : opinion : letters to the editor November 24, 2015

1/31/2013 2:17:00 PM
Letters to the editor:No confidence in city administrator

At last council, the Mayor and council were congratulated for including the full amount collected of the half-cent optional sales tax to the street fund, as prescribed by our unique ordinance dedicating that source of funding to street construction only.
I asked council, "what happened to the more than $660,000 generated by this tax over the past decade that was surreptitiously directed elsewhere (salary increases) in previous budgets." Only $460,000 per year was allocated of the $600,000 collected.
I explained that "since there is no enabling legislation that allowed council to use those dollars for any purpose other than streets, I understand that the wrongly diverted dollars need to be repaid from the general fund to the street construction fund.
We have repeatedly asked where this money went. We receive blank barn owl-like stares and no answer after 16 months of questioning.
Othello Municipal Code states responsibility for forming the budget falls to the City Administrator, with help from the finance officer. The council then ratifies the budget. I asked council the following question: "If council has approved yet another Ehman Sheldon budget that does not include repayment of the misdirected money, would this not be theft and illegal conversion of public funds?"
Response = Silence.
I urged council to quit getting snookered, hoodwinked, discombobulated and to "strongly consider a vote of no confidence in the City Administrator for his six years of continued contempt of council and ignoring the laws and ordinances of our city."
Sheldon has willfully and intentionally tried to deny citizens visibility into the spending of their tax dollars on two occasions, which would have obscured your knowledge as to where this money goes.
A vote of no confidence, leading to termination of Ehman Sheldon's employment, is long overdue.
Sean Bates

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