As a former Planning Commissioner for Black Diamond I believe in following the rules. But unfortunately our current Mayor does not. She consistently obstructs the City Council when it refuses to rubber stamp whatever she is trying to do. For the last year and a half Mayor Benson has:
1. Refused to stay within her contract spending limits.
2. Refused to stay within the Council’s adopted budget.
3. Refused to post Public Notice of Council Committee meetings and refused to allow those meetings to be held at the council chambers.
4. Continued to pay attorneys whose contracts have been voted down by the Council.
5. Continued to try to prevent the Council – the city’s contract authority – from contracting for attorneys to handle city legal needs.
Last City Council meeting on 17th August the Mayor was especially bad. When Councilor Pat Pepper had the floor and asked the attorney a question, the mayor refused to let the attorney speak and interrupted Pepper over and over. Then, Mayor Benson told the audience to disrupt the meeting! The people who actually walked up to block the attorney at the podium were Benson’s husband and candidate for Council Erin Stout who apparently does not understand how City Councils work.
Conditions have been so bad for so long that the City Council has to consider taking Mayor Benson to court to compel her to operate in a lawful manner. Hopefully the Mayor’s behavior will change before she drags the city into a legal fight she is sure to lose.