Bullshit On The Bayou

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One member of Dickinson City Council says he’s actually embarrassed now to admit he even lives in the Galveston County town. That’s how bad it has gotten as the City Secretary tries to block attempts to recall the Mayor Sean “The Dick of Dickinson“ Skipworth. Time for some BULLSHIT ON THE BAYOU.

“I pay a lot of taxes and so do these people right here. A lot of taxes. And we get nothing from y’all about where our money goes. No audits, nothing,” Richard Gustafson tells the Dickinson city council.

You’re watching the political implosion in dysfunctional Dickinson, Texas.

There’s an effort underway to throw the Dickinson mayor out.

“We have a right to know, we live here too,” Kathy Palmer says to the city council.

It’s a fight going beyond the petition. It’s spilling out to city hall and social media, creating a pretty ugly situation.

“From all the publicity and everything that’s going on, I am the most embarrassed person of Galveston County that I could possibly be right now. And I want transparency. I want you to tell me, and you to tell me, and Skip to tell me where my money’s going. I want an audit and I want it in the next month,” Gustafson says to the city council.

You can see the natives are more than restless, tired of what we are now calling the “bullshit on the bayou.”

Among the questions, was the city charter changed without a council vote giving controversial city manager Theo Melancon the right to buy booze on the taxpayers’ dime?

“Did that happen? Who allowed, who voted for that? That’s what I’d like to know,” David Lehmann said to the city council.

We busted councilmember Jessie Brantley after city invoices showed he was listed as the project manager for a company raking in money on secretive city real estate deals.

“It was probably a mistake,” said Brantley.

“Really? A mistake that was made over and over again?” Asked Wayne Dolcefino.

“Probably,” answered Brantley.

“If you’re doing business with the city, you shouldn’t be on any project as a manager,” Lehmann said to the city council.

“There’s a lot of mad people,” said Joe Wilburn.

The city and the economic development board in Dickinson have now simply refused to turn over key financial records, ignoring our demands.

There are already hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to consultants with, so far, just empty fields to show for it.

“And we have not had a city audit since the mayor has been a mayor and we have not had an audit since he’s been hired on, with his almost $300,000 a year salary that the citizens are paying,” said Wilburn.

The mayor claims the lack of an audit is the fault of the auditors, but the emails tell a very different story.

While there were audit problems before Skipworth and Melancon showed up, that’s no excuse.

A full year and a half after their administration began, auditors wrote this: “basic accounting duties have not been performed. We have been unable to obtain audit evidence from the city in a reasonable time period. We assess Dickinson in maximum risk.”

But look at all those folks Dickinson voters put on city council. They sit silent.

“Why is the rest of the council going along with this non transparency that is happening in Dickinson?” Wilburn asked.

Their excuse may be listening to the wrong guy, the new city attorney.

“The Texas Open Meetings Act does not allow the council to have discussion with members of the public during public comment,” Nghiem Doan said.

Nghiem Doan graduated from the university of Houston, but he must have missed the class on open government.

He’s dead wrong.

The Texas Open Meetings Act absolutely does not prohibit council members from communicating with the public, it just keeps them from deliberating.

If Nghiem doesn’t know that, he should be fired.

What a minute, he just was from another city, League City.

So, he should fit in just fine in Dickinson.

And you know why he was hired?

To help Sean Skipworth try to cancel the recall effort to throw him out of office.

“We just need some answers,” Scott Shrader said to the city council.

The Galveston County tax assessor said there are way more than enough Dickinson residents who have signed the petition to hold a recall election of mayor Skipworth.

But the city secretary now says the petitions aren’t valid.

The complaints against the mayor aren’t specific enough.

And this: when you collected the signatures, you were supposed to put the total number of signers at the top of the page.

The recall folks forgot to do that.

Each page of the petition had to have an affidavit that said each signer had an opportunity before they signed to read who was actually being recalled.

Is the city secretary actually calling more than a thousand Dickinson voters stupid?

That will go over well.

Don’t be surprised if this latest mess ends up in court—more legal fees for taxpayers.

And that raises another whole question, why should the taxpayers of Dickinson be paying for Sean Skipworth’s problem?

He should be using his own campaign funds.

“I’m in absolute shock. I’m almost in disbelief,” Palmer said.

Think folks are mad at the mayor now? Just wait.

“There’re people that were on the fence, and I think this is going to piss them off and they’re going to jump in the group that wants him out. And I think they’re going to be more vocal on it,” councilman Bill Schick said.

Councilman Bill Schick didn’t speak up at the council meeting but says the city’s effort to try and block or stall the recall election is dead wrong.

“Do you think its valid what they are doing?” Dolcefino asked Schick.

“I don’t, I don’t believe it is,” answered Schick.

“I call it B.S. on the bayou. Is that what you think?” Dolcefino asked.

“Mmhmm. I do,” said Schick.

Recall organizers wanted the election in May if Skipworth didn’t resign.

They suspect he’s trying to push it to November because, in that election, more people vote because it’s a presidential one.

But that could mean at least ten months more of this.

“It’s really embarrassing. I used to very proud to say I was from Dickinson. Now it’s like, oh my God, I’m embarrassed,” Schick said.

For the first time there’s talk of more recalls.

This time against city council members, after their shameful silent reaction to legitimate questions.

“You need to look at yourselves and ask yourself, will you be the next one that is led down the hallway like a prisoner to his doom?” Wilburn said.

On social media, one resident wrote this:

“It just amazes me that some people refuse to be bound by decency and moral and ethical standards that are expected by the citizens that you voted into office.”

“I have, in my possession here, a status update for Creekside Apartments in Dickinson, Texas,” Wally Deats told the city council.

And then there’s the Creekside problem: two hundred residents were forced to leave the place right before Christmas in 2022.

The complex was shut down, boarded up.

There were legitimate problems at this old apartment complex, but we’ve been investigating the city’s misrepresentation of the extent of the problems there, plotting to take over the land for years.

The Kalkan family offered to help redevelop the property when it was clear the place was going to be shut down.

“I feel like I’ve been done wrong. I had a $30,000,000 property that is now worthless. I need answers,” Ahmet Kalkan said.

The sprawling property once worth $30,000,000 is now all boarded up.

For thirteen long months, it sparked threats of a possible lawsuit by the family that owns it.

But when Creekside owners sent their required monthly status report to the buildings standards commission this month, it exposed something else.

The mayor has been holding private meetings with the Kalkan family, even though council never authorized him to do it.

“Maybe you guys did, you know, delegated authority to the mayor to negotiate on behalf of the city or behalf of this council,” Deats said.

We’ve learned the first secret meeting kept from the public was brokered by another politician late last year.

It was controversial La Marque city councilwoman, Kimberley Yancy.

Why does she care?

“I’m about to go to war with y’all. I’m just telling you,” Kimberley Yancy said to police officers.

Recent body camera video showed her threatening cops in her town when her son was busted for DWI.

“I used to work for the government, I know how this goes,” Yancy said.

Remember we showed you evidence the plans to shut down Creekside likely began long before the inspections happened?

We found that draft press release announcing the relocation of all residents and the closing of the complex created a day before the first big inspection in May.

We also know city officials had been plotting privately to buy that land for years, long before the pressure was put on Creekside to shut down.

And when the Kalkans found that out, they hired lawyers.

One of our lingering questions, did anyone get inside information on the city’s big plans?

We noticed a flurry of real estate transactions in the 60 acres the city wants to redevelop since January 1, 2021.

Two months after that May inspection of Creekside, the New Vision Baptist Church bought property virtually next door to Creekside.

You know who’s the pastor at the church? Clinton Yancy, the councilwoman’s husband.

They could make a pretty profit if the development deal goes through.

The city faces an imminent choice on Creekside, follow through with the promised redevelopment so the Kalkans can recover the millions they have already lost, or condemn the property.

Because right now, it’s a black hole, an eyesore. Just one in a growing line of financial blunders under the Skipworth, Melancon regime.

In the report to city officials, a representative of the Kalkan family closed with this: “Creekside is deteriorating by the day, increasing the cost and the losses for ownership. Time is of the essence.”

The mayor got the message.

We’ve learned he’s now promised to put the Creekside redevelopment proposal on the February agendas of both city council and the EDC.

But expect lots of questions: where will the city get the money to pull the deal off with no audits to show, and no bond rating, and a wall of financial secrecy that must come down.

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