Rick Almberg

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- Oak Harbor City Council attends out of town conference, holds private quorum outside of the conference at a private residence. City Council has a breach of trust with the citizens?

- Another Oak Harbor City Council meeting with the Council member’s bad behavior on display. And two firsts for the Council.

- Oak Harbor City Council is Broken and Out of Order

- Rick Hannold’s Excellent Analysis of Island Transit’s Financial Debacle

- Oak Harbor’s Country Club City Council

- Warning Labels for COER and other Idiots

- County’s GMA Plan Includes ex- Commissioner Homola’s Failed 2012 Plan to Make Swan Lake a Salt Water Estuary

- Is the Oak Harbor City Council following Parliamentary Procedures? Or are Parliamentary Procedures being used as a disruptive tool by the council?

- Attention Whidbey News Times

- Whidbey Has Future Leaders in Three Young Girls

Gallup released a poll today that shows that the most important problem Americans are facing today is the government.

View the Gallup Poll here

The question posed to the survey recipients was as follows:

What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?

The results showed that dissatisfaction with Government/Congress/Politicians; Poor leadership/Corruption/Abuse of power lead the poll results as the most important problem.

We have our own problems with dissatisfaction of the Government right here in Oak Harbor. It is time that the citizens wake up and take back their city that has been overtaken by those that do not have the best interest of the citizens in mind. We have an out of control city council that micromanages every aspect of our city government if they possibly have a chance. We have seen decisions made that have consistently resulted in poor outcomes for the citizens and businesses and that have benefitted those special few people that pull the strings behind the city councils decision. Why do we allow only those special few prosper when the citizens are footing the bill?

Wake up citizens of Oak Harbor before it is too late.

From our comments section:
There is something that is worth mentioning here… Joel Servatius refused to comment or give any substantial reasoning why he rejected Cliff Howard’s nomination for the planning commission. Jim Campbell simply asked “why?” and Joel refused to answer. “No Comment,” yet he demanded the Mayor give a reason why he fired Tamara Snipes as the marathon coordinator. Joel Servatius raised a motion to give the Mayor more time to speak, insisting he give an answer.

 

Any person with the ability to think and reason can see a number of reasons why the Elks club is better suited to run the Marathon than one person. The Mayor’s answer was perfect. He simply wants to make it better, and more economical for the city. The “if its not broke, don’t fix it attitude,” as Paggao suggested shows City Council’s lack of inititiative and inability to make this city a better place. This is the Mayor’s job, and why the people of Oak Harbor elected him, but Joel Servatius has to find any reason to disagree with him… Right Joel? At least he answered a simple question posed to him, something you refused to do.

 

Beth Munns, Tara Hizon and Joel Servatius’s comments on what took place in that meeting adds to the unprofessional behavior that is Oak Harbor City Council. Tara Hizon comments on the Mayor acting “unprofessional” are comical and one-sided. I watched that meeting start to finish. If Beth Munns had ANY respect for the office of the Mayor she would have let him speak and handled it afterwards. Instead she chose to interrupt him over and over again, THAT is extremely unprofessional. Mrs. Munns as a COW (commanding officer’s wife) should know enough to respect the position, whether or not she agrees with the man.

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The upcoming election for 4 Oak Harbor City Council members is going to be very  important to the citizens. In this post I will outline some of the issues that we currently  have with our planned septic treatment facility or Clean Water Facility to highlight why we have a City Council  that consistently makes the wrong choices for Oak Harbor and why many members of  the current Council need to be replaced with new blood in the Council.

We have a plan on the table by the current City Council that has not been thought  through and will cost the citizens of our community dearly.

1- Plan was rushed.
The current plan was rushed though the council, several recommendations were made to  take the time to do this right and all of those attempts were rebuffed by the Council.
There was a recommendation made to put the engineering of this sewage treatment plant  out for a competitive bid. The Council refused and instead chose an engineering firm  solely on the basis that it would take another 3 month to put this out for bid. They  chose the engineering firm that the city has used for the last several years and that has  consistently given the city the most expensive options.

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At the City Council meeting on May 21st the City Council had 2 agenda items that were tabled until the next meeting following the November election. Both of these Agenda items were brought by the Mayor and Administration in response to the “Fiscal Emergency” declared by the City Council.

One of the items was Resolution 13-12 which would have eliminated health care benefits for part time elected officials including the Mayor and the City Council.

The other was an Agenda Bill that asked the Council to make a decision on the method of reviewing and possibly reducing the salaries of Oak Harbor elected officials. Read the rest of this entry »

Again we see our obstructive Oak Harbor City Council in action.

Recently Mayor Dudley appointed a new city attorney as a full time city employee to replace the interim attorney. The City Council has refused to confirm this appointment. This is 3 or 4 to zero in confirming the Mayors appointments without obstruction. (Correction: The City Council approved ONE appointee without obstruction, Larry Cort.)

Let’s go back a bit in recent time to when the City Council approved a new rule that allows the City Council to confirm the Mayors appointments. Since inception Oak Harbor has allowed it’s Mayor the sole ability to hire and fire administrative personel under his control until this new rule by the council. This new rule was adopted with some controversy as this allows the council to control who works under the Mayor’s control and for the citizens of Oak Harbor. Remember the City Attorney and management personnel works for the Mayor and the citizens in this city not the council. The Mayor is elected as our executive officer and all city management personnel work directly under his control. The council has thrown a wrench into this process by voting in themselves the ability to confirm those appointees. Now the Mayor is faced with hiring an employee under his direct control but having to go through our obstructive City Council to actually hire that employee. There has not been one appointee for a position chosen by our Mayor that has not been rejected or obstructed by this council with the exception of Larry Cort.

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Last week Island Politics posted an edited video of the city council meeting on 1-15-2012 to youtube.com in which our Mayor Scott Dudley stood up for a local disabled veteran Lucas Yonkman and his right to carry a concealed firearm.

This video went viral during the past week and the response to this video has been overwhelming. The video has been copied and distributed far and wide. Most major news outlets have used our video in their reports and have interviewed Scott Dudley and Lucas Yonkman repeatedly. Below I have compiled a list of the media outlets that have so far reported on this and links to the various copies of this video on youtube.com.

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At last Tuesdays City Council meeting a citizen commented during the citizens comment period encouraging the City Council to support the Second Amendment and to help educate our children about firearms and firearm safety.

In a rather disturbing display by Councilman Almberg this citizen was called back to the podium by Councilman Almberg and the councilman asked the Mayor to enquire if he was carrying a concealed weapon. After some discussion with the city Attorney about the legality of Councilman Almberg requesting a citizen return to the podium to be asked a question by the Councilman the citizen volunteered to answer any questions Councilman Almberg saw fit to ask him. After the citizens confirmed that he was lawfully and legally carrying a concealed weapon Councilman Almberg made a motion (during the citizens comment period yet) that he wanted to make a requirement that citizens coming to city council meeting check their firearms with either the police department or the Chief of Police before being allowed to attend the meeting. The Motion was seconded by Joel Servatius. After a long discussion the motion was presented for a vote with Councilman Almberg and Councilman Servatius voting yes and the remainder of the Council voted no. Immediately after the motion failed councilman Almberg excused himself and left the meeting.

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Editors note: This was received from a citizen who thought it was important enough for our attention:

Article in todays Whidbey News Times re:purchase of OH fire dept rescue aid vehicle.

Concerned about lack of communication between Almberg and fire dept. on how things were done or are done. ignored requests to sit down and discuss anything he questions, look at rigs together or help him see what the fire dept. is all about. Yet he can write his opinions like its factual and hurt others in the process.

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The Second Amendment Foundation is the entity that alerted the City of Oak Harbor about sections of Municipal Code which violate Washington State Law regarding firearms

A Whidbey News-Times article Oak Harbor takes a stab at gun regulation delineates which five of our elected city council members clearly believe Washington State law is beneath them. Their actions smack of being yet another politically motivated attempt to undermine Mayor Scott Dudley, with the ultimate political goal of replacing him with the former sign-stealing Mayor, Jim Slowik, who was labeled a “political bully” and won a “Schrammie” award for his escapades while in office. Read the rest of this entry »

From watching what has happened in other cities that have gone through fiscal emergencies it looks like Oak Harbor may be in for some tough times. I question whether Oak Harbor is actually under a true fiscal emergency or if this issue has only been trumped up by the City Council for some unknown and possibly political reason. But it has been declared and now the city will need to live with the repercussions.

With the city having quite a few open employment positions available it is unclear that these will be filled. If they are not essential positions you would think that under a fiscal emergency that these would not be filled. We may even be faced with layoffs of our current city employees lowering the level of service that we receive from the city.

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I recently received a report prepared by the city finance director that answers a lot of the fiscal questions concerning the state of Oak Harbor’s finances and the need for a declaration of a fiscal emergency.

With the City Council declaring a “fiscal emergency” one of the first actions besides reducing the amount the Mayor and his staff can spend without City Council authorization was the creation by the Council of a special “stabilization account” that established a minimum reserve of $3,000,000.00 or 25% of the the general budget whichever is greater.

Reading the report by the city finance director it appears that Oak Harbor is already above the 25% limit of the new stabilization account, currently the projected reserve balance at the end of the year will be 25.8871% of the general fund budget and the ending balance will be $3,259,056 which shows both figures above the limits set by the Council for the stabilization account. The question does come up with our city finances in such good condition what was the purpose for the declaration of a fiscal emergency? Politics or was there a true need?

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Updated
At the Monday June 18th Special City Council meeting the council passed a motion made by Rick Almberg that the city is now in a fiscal emergency. With the emergency declaration it is  now possible for the council to make and vote on amendments during the same meeting greatly lessening the length of time that the council has to consider these motions.  OHMC Chapter  1.04 allows for final consideration of all amendments to be taken at a single meeting as long as an emergency is declared beforehand.

At this same meeting another motion made by Rick Almberg under the color of this declared “emergency”  was passed that has greatly restricted the Mayor, City Administrator and  department heads. This motion limits the amount the Mayor and his staff can spend without City Council approval. Previously the Mayor was allowed to spend up to $30,000.00, the City  Administrator $20,000.00 and the department heads $10,000.00 without council approval now the limit has been placed at $10,000.00 for everyone with spending authority including the  Mayor.

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At the last city council meeting Thursday the people’s voice to the council was severely restricted. The council did not move the public comment period to the end of the meeting as proposed but what they did was much more draconian than that.

We now have a public comment period that is severely restricted. Rick Almberg made a motion that was voted in by the council (with the exception of Jim Campbell who abstained) to limit public comments to 3 minutes per person with a limit of 15 minutes for all public comments during the meeting. This means that  the public comments will be limited to 5 people commenting at any one meeting for 3 minutes each. 5 people and that is all the people that our City Council members want to hear from no matter what the issue.

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Honorable Mayor Dudley,

It has come to my attention recently that some city council members have expressed unfortunate, ignorant, judgmental and prejudicial disdain for those who have earned their GED’s (General Education development certificate) as opposed to having traditionally graduated from high school. I am quite concerned that those council members might serve on a panel judging possible applicants for open positions for the City of Oak Harbor. These corroborated prejudices might certainly place this City in a liable position if an otherwise qualified candidate for an open position with the City of Oak Harbor might be disqualified or downgraded by a panel member due to their ignorance of the GED program.

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