STEVENSVILLE – Stuck with three out of four empty chairs on the town council, Stevensville will pay its latest bills on the administrative authority of its embattled mayor.
But the move comes without the approval of the sole remaining member on the town council.
It was a surreal meeting in Stevensville on Thursday evening where the town council met for the first time since three council members resigned in the past week.
Those departures leave Councilwoman Robin Holcomb as the sole member of the panel, a problem with Mayor Brandon Dewey saying the town needs to pay $35,000 in claims.
But Holcomb wouldn’t consent to approving the payments on her own, disagreeing with the town’s attorney that she had that authority, or Dewey’s option to pay them administratively, getting council approval later.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate for just me to vote on something that has to do with money,” Holcomb said. “So I will not be voting on this tonight.”
“We fear that the town faces greater liability by not paying the claims than the liability we may incur by going forward and paying them,” Dewey stated.
“I have a problem with us moving on with these claims because they are to be approved by council. And I can not approve, and I will not sit here and argue. But I strongly disagree with you paying these claims without approval by council<” Holcomb said.
The pair also butted heads over filling the council vacancies. Holcomb prevailed, saying the city will take applications for the empty seats through next week, and then she will appoint all three of the replacements.