Much to the chagrin of Coupeville Town Council, Oak Harbor Mayor Scott Dudley publicly called for Bob Clay’s removal from the Island Transit Board Tuesday.
His five-minute presentation during the council meeting’s public comment period was inappropriate and unnecessary, council members said.
Citing depleted resources, reduced services and negative cash flow balance, Dudley said Clay and the rest of the Island Transit Board have failed.
“Your representative has failed the council,” he said. “Your representative has failed the citizens of your town. Your representative has failed the citizens of Island County.”
Dudley made a similar presentation to the Langley City Council last week, asking them to replace Councilman Jim Sundberg on the board.
He told the Whidbey News-Times that he’s going to also speak to the Board of Island County Commissioners next month and ask them to remove Commissioner Helen Price Johnson.
Dudley told the council that, as elected officials, they need to take their obligations seriously by asking questions and requesting documents.
Bob Clay, a longtime Coupeville town councilmember, has served on the Island Transit board for about 11 years.
Dudley pointed out that the Oak Harbor City Council appointed him to the board in September to replace its representative, Jim Campbell.
“It’s time for a change in the entire management,” he said.
“The other three (board members) need to go along with him.”
Resident Jeff Lauderdale also spoke in support of Dudley’s assertions. He asked the council to consider reshuffling committee appointments and give another council member an opportunity to serve with Island Transit.
“Bob Clay needs to step down,” Lauderdale said.
Town Council remained silent during Dudley’s and Lauderdale’s comments, with only Mayor Nancy Conard responding.
She thanked them for their input and said the council would take comments into consideration when considering appointments in the coming months.
It wasn’t until the end of the meeting and after Dudley had already left that Clay responded.
“I’ve never had a fellow elected official come and give a presentation to say I haven’t done a good job,” Clay said.
He went on to say the information Dudley presented was taken out of context and presented unfairly.
“He’s not really trying to solve problems,” Clay said. “I’m not sure what he’s doing.
“He’s a bully,” he added.
Knowing Dudley had publicly announced he would be attending the meeting, Clay came prepared with transit financial documents to share with the council.
This month, transit has more than $724,000 in available working cash, he said.
“We are on target with what our recovery plan was,” he said.
By the end of 2015, Clay said the board anticipates have an ending working cash balance of $844,000 and plans move $525,000 into reserves.
“This is a balanced budget,” he said.
The other council members, with the exception of Diane Binder, who was excused, thanked Clay for sharing the financial information.
Councilwoman Pat Powell said she was offended by Dudley’s presentation and was sorry he came.
Councilwomen Jackie Henderson and Molly Hughes agreed they felt Dudley’s presentation was inappropriate.
“And who was he here representing?” Hughes asked. “He didn’t say one thing we can do to move forward.”
Clay added that Dudley himself actually went to his council and asked to be appointed to the transit board.
“When Scott took this position he started making requests for public records,” Clay said.
“He’s made 84 individual requests.”
Requests included hundreds of page documents to the invoices for refrigerators purchased for the new building and everything in between, he said.
“Sometimes he’s asked for things twice after he already received the document,” he claimed.
“That doesn’t show leadership,” Clay said.
“He’s a troublemaker, and I don’t really have a lot of respect for him.”