City of Ocean Shores’ Top 10 Goofs: 2008-2013

  1. The “oops, we forgot to include interest” goof in Street LID budgeting (thanks, Ken Lanfear!). That, and/or lack of management (pick your poison) sends the project spiraling out of control, nearly 50 percent over original budget.
  2. The City of Ocean Shores obtains more than $6 million to build a new “MIEX system” water treatment plant. And fails to provide funding to build a cover for it.
  3. In early 2008, city council sets the salary of the new “strong mayor” position: $12,000 per year. But after Dean Bunkers is elected as mayor, he points out that he has to be paid the same $99,600 salary that former city manager Rich McEachin was paid. The difference, including benefits, over four years: About $500,000.
  4. City clerk Diane Foss and then-city attorney Art Blauvelt forgetting to send a letter to an insurance agency, resulting in a lawsuit going unchallenged (and probably adding years and tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, even if the city overcomes a judge’s ruling).
  5. Council appointing Garland French as mayor, after Bunkers resigned (French promptly hired back employees Bunkers had laid off).
  6. Even after being warned repeatedly about interfund loans by the state auditor, City of Ocean Shores fails to properly manage its tourism spending, leading to even more interfund loans . . .
  7. After a big sales pitch to city council over several weeks of study sessions, finance director Steve Ensley tells council his idea to sell bonds to finance “long-term debt” is not legal.
  8. After an even more intensive sales pitch, Ensley is about to present an ambulance utility for vote. But citizen Don Williams points out that the law requires mailed notices and a 30-day notice, Ensley and Mayor Crystal Dingler do a temporary retreat to follow the procedure.
  9. Council approves an ambulance utility . . . but  the resolution has a big blank for “start date” that is left unaddressed.
  10. Blank. (Insert your entry here.)

About Tom Scanlon

Tom Scanlon started his journalism career as a sports stringer with the Pittsburgh Press (RIP) and Post-Gazette, then moved on to the Seattle Times, Mesa Tribune etc. He is the author of plays including "The Superhumans" and novels including "Ocean Shores Tourist Killer," "Atlantis City," and, now, "The Immaculate Jagoffs of Pittsburgh."
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14 Responses to City of Ocean Shores’ Top 10 Goofs: 2008-2013

  1. Anne Immelnut says:

    If the results were not so costly it would almost be funny! Can’t these twits be removed from office/jobs for misfeasance?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well,hey,what’s a few million between friends? Don’t be so damn negative! Don’t worry, be happy!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry, be happy is the new city song. Ignore the past is the new city motto. There has to be another non-voter approved fee we can impose is the new business plan. Citywide LID for downtown redevelopment where they will tear up the streets they just bought is the revitalization plan. Chop them all down on the weekend is the new tree and growth management plan.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The two who always vote against citizens and the new abstainer doverton@osgov,, eengel@osgov need to get a copy and the link to this blog every time someone comments. They think citizens don’t care because they get no communication like this and may not know this blog even exists but they would be enlightened if they read the comments. It would also make it easier for them to learn and communicate with citizens. The other one and the mayor who vote against citizens may be hopeless cases and the only way to deal with them may be is to give them no support and then vote them out. You have to be anonymous or the employees and their cabal of supporters will retaliate against you if you exercise any free speech according to the conventional wisdom in Ocean Shores. True or not that is the perception.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said Anonymous, and after listening just now to the minutes of the council meeting that Tom provided…my only response can be Wow, really?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think the blog stats and strong trend of the comments are a valuable tool in trying to determine the thoughts of the people of O/S. Should be required reading for all elected officials.

  6. Anonymous says:

    None of this is news. Same people beating a dead horse instead of talking about how to change it. Working toward & making positive changes would most happy!

  7. Anonymous says:

    No,this is not news. Sadly,this is becoming a way of life here. Change it? No easy task. First we have to make enough voters aware of the magnitude of the incompetency. Ergo the blog.

  8. Grean Bean says:

    Again folks, You can be anonymous on this blog, but it would be nice if Asparagus and I where not the only two veggies on the this site. All these anonymous’s gets confusing. I’m quite sure that after all this time, many of the original blogger types are still out there commenting and for the most part, the stuff is good and insightful. A blog site handle should be a refection of ones inner self or at least something a person really likes in their life or has a memory attachment.
    So nobody wants to be Carrot man? or Mr. Geoduck? Or Razor Clam Kid? come on folks… What ever happened to the “Crabber”? Did he/she leave?Die? wash out to sea? I liked the Crabber..

    • Heat of Palm says:

      Cheesy, cheesy!

      (This is a song about vegetables . . . they keep you regular; they’re real good for ya.)

      Call any vegetable
      (Call any vegetable)
      Call it by name
      (Call any vegetable)
      Call one today
      (Call any vegetable)
      When you get off the train
      (Call any vegetable)
      Call any vegetable
      And the chances are good
      Ooooh! The vegetable
      Will respond to you

      (Some people don’t go for prunes . . . I dunno . . . I’ve always found that if they . . . )

      Call any vegetable
      (Call any vegetable)
      Pick up your phone
      (Call any vegetable)
      Think of a vegetable
      (Call any vegetable)
      Lonely at home
      (Call any vegetable)
      Call any vegetable
      And the chances are good
      That a vegetable will respond to you-hoooo

      RUTA-BAYYYYY . . .

      (A prune isn’t really a vegetable. Cabbage is a vegetable.)

      No one will know
      If you don’t want to let ’em know
      No one will know
      ‘Less it’s you that might tell ’em so
      Call and they’ll come to you
      Covered with dew
      Vegetables dream
      Of responding to you
      Standing there
      Shiny & proud by your side
      Holding your hand
      While the neighbors decide
      Why is a vegetable
      Something to hide?

  9. Strawberry says:

    Positive changes is an over used term. It is not negative or positive. It is opposition that brings forth the additional facts that are systematically forgotten by the “be happy” crowd. Every decision has a price. It is either a price you pay in dollars and cents or freedoms. Sometimes the dollars and cents take freedoms away too. The history of Ocean Shores is interesting in that there is always the “flavor of the day” plan that is right behind the scene all the time. Soon hearings on zoning and home sizes will come forward. This is after the RVing issue. Every decision has a cost. Generally the decisions based upon dollars and cents are lost to the emotions. The RVing question turns on sales taxes vs. property taxes. The zoning question will turn on property taxes alone. Smaller places are worth less and will exist for 30 or more years. That impact will be felt for a long time. The builder will make their money and run. The city will have a lower tax base. Rving is similar in that you never get the building because transient use will never support greater property taxes. Commercial RV Resorts on commercial property would increase both the property taxes and the B&O taxes. It would possibly increase the Hotel/Motel Tax. Yet, emotions win and what was done in the past continues. Is it positive? Is it negative? No, it is change. Change is something Ocean Shores does not know how to do.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Strawberry;excellent comment.

  11. downintheos says:

    The hits just keep coming in Ocean Shores. I sure hope that someone, someday gets a clue but I fear that will never happen.

  12. Anonymous says:

    If the staff and mayor found that a citizen had a clue they would find a way to tax or fee it into submission.

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