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A high-stakes legal battle is developing in the small Texas town over the forced removal of 200 low income families from an apartment complex.
You should check out their latest city council meeting to get a taste of a little Dickinson.
The welcome mat is out Dickinson City Hall, unless you dare to question this guy. The dick of Dickinson.
“I’ve been here since I was 12 years old and I care about Dickinson a lot,” expressed Kathy Palmer.
Kathy Palmer had plenty she wanted to say, but her comments along with the chance for residents to confront their mayor and city council at the beginning of public meeting -which happens all over this country – was delayed in Dickinson the other night. While the mayor and council went behind closed doors for nearly an hour and a half instead.
Some of the folks who had packed the council chambers had to leave, but it was obvious that’s what mayor Sean Skipworth wanted. It was disrespectful.
“Absolutely shameful, that you went into executive session before these people had a chance to talk. These people have kids at home,” said Wayne Dolcefino.
And the delay only made the natives a lot more restless.
“And what you did was childish and rude and I think it was planned,” expressed Kathy Palmer.
“Half of y’all don’t even look at people when they are up there talking. It is disrespectful,” expressed Tami Steambarge.
The meeting had begun with a mea culpa of sorts from the city manager.
“I wanted to address something; you know head on. For those that follow social media,” said Theo Melancon.
Theo Melancon didn’t apologize for often drinking on city tax dollars or hitting local bars till 2 am. But he did admit that one receipt he turned in five months ago was false.
He claimed he was meeting with a developer, he wasn’t.
Surveillance video showed he was taking the mayors family out to dinner.
“The reason why I wanted to say it publicly in front of everybody is because I do want to own an error,” continues Melancon.
But the video showing Melancon out until closing time at area bars was first shown by Dolcefino Consulting and the sarcasm from the gallery was not unexpected.
“All these people stayed back here for an hour and a half. I think that is completely inappropriate. I was hoping we could order pizza and just turn in the receipt as a developer or something,” said Joseph Lowery.
“It looks like the only new sales tax dollars are being generated from liquor sales consumed by the city manager paid for by our tax dollars,” said Joe Wilburn.
Pressure on the City Manager to resign appears to be growing. The chamber president warning Dickinson is heading in the wrong direction.
Promised big economic projects like water street have yet to materialize. Sales tax revenue is down almost forty percent this year.
“Millions of dollars of land have been purchased with no projects attached to them. Hundreds and thousands of dollars spent on projects that have never happened and never will happen,” said Dawn King.
The crowd was there to hear about the legal shockwaves hitting Dickinson, possible litigation over the recent condemnation of the Creekside Apartments near I45 and 517.
The mayor called the legal threat by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee a shakedown.
This small towns response, voting to hire Rusty Hardin.
The two powerful lawyers are currently on opposite sides in the Ken Paxton impeachment case.
They were on opposite sides in the Deshaun Watson sex assault case.
Now, a multimillion dollar battle than could bankruptcy this city.
“They bring in Tony Buzbee, they’re raising the stakes and this is to protect the citizens off this town from getting soaked in a bogus lawsuit,” claims Sean Skipworth.
News of the legal threat came days after our investigation revealed the city planned to close the low-income apartment complex, even before inspections took place.
A press release was drafted the day before the inspections.
Creekside owners claim tenants were told not to pay rent by the city.
“City officials literally walked on to our property our private property knocked on doors and convinced the residents not to pay rent,” states Ahmet Kalkan.
Documents reveal a city consultant was researching the value of the Creekside property in September of last year, for a possible redevelopment zone.
In November, after the city building standards commission voted to work with the owners to make repairs a bolt on one of two gas boilers at Creekside somehow became loose. The owners say it was sabotaged.
The gas leak gave the city the event they needed to close the apartment down for good. For weeks, the city refused to turn on a second boiler that left more than 100 low income families without hot water.
That allowed the city to shut Creekside down.
Look at it now, a decaying ghost town.
“The public at large says that place was terrible and it should have been shut down and everybody in this town knows it,” claims Skipworth.
The mayor says the city’s much publicized pr campaign to document the shutdown was worth it, even though critics say Skipworth and the city manager used the Creekside crackdown as a publicity stunt to win reelection.
“Now, let’s see how much the taxpayers will have to spend to protect their egos,” stated Jow Wilburn.
“And now a multimillion-dollar lawsuit looming over us. Accountability comes no matter how much you run from it,” Said Dawn King.
“It was said we wouldn’t come back from Harvey, but after storm we showed what defined Dickinson,” claimed Melissa Skipworth.
Sean Skipworth obviously has supporters, he won reelection in may and this woman let the growing chorus of critics have it.
“Outsiders will not come into our community and shake us down without a fight. please these radicals who we are, we are Dickinson strong,” continued Melissa Skipworth.
Did I mention that is Melissa Skipworth? She’s the mayor’s wife.Keep up with us on social media: