Port of Brookings Harbor Board President Angi Christian opened the meeting Tuesday by announcing Commissioner Roger Thompson had resigned in an email that afternoon, effective immediately.
Thompson was arrested in California April 13 for DUII.
He also resigned from the Brookings City Council Monday.
A saddened Christian then worked with the board to amend and approve the night’s agenda with the addition of a discussion to replace Thompson prompted by Vice President Jan Barbas.
After the agenda was approved, an executive session was announced and Christian sent the audience outside to wait as the board consulted with its attorney, Martha Rice, concerning litigation affecting the port.
The board and Rice are transitioning from previous counsel James Coffey, and the port and four commissioners have been sued by former Port Manager Gary Dehlinger, whom they fired during an open hearing March 12.
Dehlinger had previously been fired in an executive session and then reinstated and placed on paid leave.
His original dismissal lead to a recall effort, and port customer Doug Lewis read a statement to the three remaining commissioners targeted by the recall – Andy Martin, Christian, and Barbas.
Lewis informed the board the recall petitions had been submitted with more than 1,000 signatures on each, predicted all three commissioners under recall would be removed by the vote and asked them to resign to save the port the expense of a recall vote that could exceed $20,000.
Lewis’ comments came at the end of the meeting, and Christian responded by adjourning the meeting while refusing other requests to speak.
Christian said the other requests came in after 6 p.m., after she had called the meeting to order, and were disallowed.
Chief County Deputy Clerk Shelley Denney said the signatures to recall the three remaining commissioners had been certified and they had been notified April 19.
But Denney said she had been informed Commissioner Andy Martin had resigned effective April 20.
“The remaining commissioners have been notified, have five days to resign or submit a statement for the ballot, and if they do not resign, we will hold a recall election within 35 days,” Denney said.
Commissioner Roy Davis was not named in Dehlinger’s suit or the recall.
Maintenance and repair
Interim Manager Kathy Lindley Hall reported excessive rotting and weather damage had occurred on the boardwalk restroom building and asked the board to set money aside for repairs.
Barbas added two other maintenance priorities to her concerns: installing sandtraps in RV park restrooms and completing upgrades related to a pump station at Zola’s Pizzeria.
Davis’ motion to allow port staff to contract to repair or replace the roof on the boardwalk restrooms and complete the pump station work at Zola’s without exceeding $30,000 passed unanimously.
Barbas confirmed with Harbormaster Travis Webster the installation of sandtraps in the RV park restrooms had already been approved.
Contractors began replacing the boardwalk restroom roof Thursday.
A letter from Harbor Sanitary District Board Chair Anthony Burkett said the district had reallocated port System Development Charges (SDC) credits as previously agreed upon when it made a one-time exception to allow the port to transfer SDC credits from the RV park.
SDCs are charged to businesses that move in, build or expand on a site. They cover expenses incurred by the district for water, sewage and related infrastructure.
The port earned credits for SDCs paid for users in the RV park that were later removed.
Expansions by Zola’s Pizzeria ($8,267), the Hungry Clam restaurant ($4,5110) and Bell and Whistle Coffee House ($712) were covered by the credits.
The board agreed to discuss the use of other SDC credits and to seek legal counsel concerning how to do so at a later meeting.
A draft of changes to port rates was approved, including a flat 25-cent markup on diesel fuel.
Diesel was previously priced on a scale creating discounts for larger purchases.
Other changes included reinstating 15 percent winter discounts for spaces in the RV park and rejecting an increase in charges for charter boats, although Martin agreed to explore means of charging transient guides who use port facilities without mooring there.
While changes will go into effect when the rate package is approved at a later meeting, the changes in fuel pricing were enacted immediately.
Hall said the port would soon hire new office personnel and indicated the new hire would work in the front office and perform duties at the RV park as well.
The board approved a contract with the Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO) for consulting and assistance in the search for a permanent manager. The SDAO will help throughout the hiring process.
Commissioners instructed staff to find the port’s application for a commissioner and advertise an opening on the board.
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