Black Diamond legal troubles mount

Black Diamond’s city budget will continue to be the focus of discussion tonight, and potentially through the new year. Image courtesy of the city of Black Diamond.

The tangled web of trouble in Black Diamond appeared to tighten at the Thursday special meeting.

The City Council passed a substitute 2017 budget ordinance on a split vote, which Mayor Carol Benson vowed to veto. Council members Pat Pepper, Brian Weber and Erika Morgan voted for the budget ordinance. Council members Janie Edelman and Tamie Deady voted against the ordinance.

Nancy Bainbridge Rogers, an attorney with Cairncross & Hempelmann representing Oakpointe and CCD Black Diamond Partners addressed the council. She said the substitute budget, “purports to eviscerate or do away with the Master Development Review Team or MDRT.”

She said the substitute budget spends the developer’s money outside the “limits of the funding agreement. Those proposals are in breach of the funding agreement. We just need to reiterate one more time, the master developer is not going to pay money to the city in breach of the agreement.”

Brian Ross, managing partner for YarrowBay/Oakpointe said, “the arrogance and total disregard for the law and legal agreements we have in place right now are shocking… There is no Russian roulette here. There is a certainty what will happen if you guys adopt those budget amendments…. We are not paying for other city services and we are not going to allow you to steal our money.”

The next meeting is today, Dec. 27 at 5 p.m.