At a regularly scheduled Stevensville Town Council meeting on July 25, the lone remaining council member Robin Holcomb made a motion to the effect that she would accept applications for council seats, two in Ward 2 and one in Ward 1, through August 2, hold interviews on August 5, and make the three appointments on August 8. Holcomb seconded her own motion and then approved it “unanimously,” as noted by Mayor Dewey.
Holcomb was left as the only council member following letters of resignation from Bob Michalson and Jim Crews on July 16 and from Stacie Barker on July 22. All the resignations were effective immediately and included a generalized claim of “criminal activity” by the town administration.
Prior to considering the appointment of new council members, Holcomb declined to approve the town’s regular claims.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate for just me to be voting on something to do with money, so I will not be voting on these claims,” stated Holcomb.
Mayor Brandon Dewey put newly appointed Town Attorney Scott Owens on speaker phone, and he advised Holcomb to move forward with the bi-weekly claims. He said he understood her concerns, but that she could bring it all up again when she had a full council and deal with it again, if there were issues.
Mayor Dewey said that in the alternative he could make the administrative decision to pay them and then bring it to the full council for approval.
“I’m not here to debate or argue this,” said Holcomb. She said she had talked this over with the Local Government Center and others and that she had the power as the only member to make one or all the appointments, but they advised against making any decisions about money.
Dewey said he understood that, but the attorney’s logic was that the greater liability to the town was in not paying the claims.
Holcomb said she was not going to pay the claims.
After setting her application deadline, interview and appointment schedule, Holcomb approved the Special Event and Alcohol Use Permit for the Creamery Picnic.
“Before I get into this,” she said, “I did talk to a few people who I’ve been talking to about all this and they are OK with voting on this just because it’s going to be before August 8 and no money is involved. I’m OK with this.”
She moved, seconded and approved the special event permit.
Before adjourning, Holcomb said, “It saddens me, and I am still trying to digest all this. I’ve had numerous calls from reporters. I’ve told them I do not want to comment. I’m trying to digest all this. I’ve been here eleven years. I’ve invested a lot of time in this town. This town means a lot to me. So, bear with me and hopefully we can move forward, put the past behind us and move on.”