By Justin Jaech
The Times 

Dayton City Council to work update Procedure and Ethics Handbook


February 22, 2024

DAYTON- Mayor Roger Trump called the Dayton City Council to order at 6 p.m., February 13, 2024. Councilmembers Teeny McMunn, James Su’euga, Michael Smith, Kyle Anderson, Joann Patras, Laura Aukerman, Shannon McMillen, and Mayor Trump were present in City Hall.

In the public comment, Katie Roughton referred to her remarks at the January council meeting suggesting a voter referendum on whether the city should withdraw from the Columbia County Rural Library District (CCRLD).

Roughton said she was concerned that “appointed people” (the Library Board of Trustees) decide how to spend her tax dollars. She said she had not requested to withdraw from the library district, “it was never my request. I never, one time, attempted to hurt the library. I tried to come to a different conclusion that might assist in other funding in our city. That’s what I came to do. I apologize that I gave you such a big task in such a short time-period. That is my fault. As a college instructor, I should know that. But now, it falls upon you guys to listen and do the research. Is it beneficial? Is it not? Would it hurt the library? Wouldn’t it hurt the library? What are the actual things going on? That’s all I asked.”

Jonathan Watson asked the council if anyone would be talking to the adjacent landowners of the planned wastewater treatment plant. Ryan Paulson, Public Works Director, said the city would reach out.

Roughton returned to the podium, focusing her comments on Councilmember McMunn, saying she was making an ethics complaint to the city.

She said, “A known councilmember, Councilmember McMunn, was then at the library board meeting the following week, and properly stood up – and remember, this is recorded – and said Katie is trying to hurt the library. Oh, yes. It is recorded.”

She said McMunn distributed pamphlets at a workshop meeting, to show the library’s budget. However, the pamphlets were published by a local political group. Roughton said that was highly illegal and against the city’s code of ethics. She expects the council to take up her complaint, adding, “If you don’t, I will.”

After public comment closed, Columbia County Sheriff Joe Helm gave his report. He said the department had received three new patrol cars, with three more expected. Helm also announced a new deputy on the force.

Helm said his office will participate in the Coalition of Youth and Families event at the Liberty Theater on February 29, 2024, and schedule another Citizen’s Academy.

In response to a question from McMillen on staffing, Helm said the department has seven road deputies and two administrative staff. He said there is one administrative and one road position that has not been filled.

Desirae Lockard presented the County’s Emergency Management Department report. She wanted to remind the public that anyone who accidentally dials 911 should stay on the line to let the operator know it was an accident. This keeps 911 from having to dispatch a deputy to check on the caller.

Ryan Rundell, speaking for the County Commissioners, said they passed the resolution to establish the Columbia County Parks and Recreation District per the November election results.

The council passed the following four action items:

Resolution 1532, declaring, authorizing, and directing the disposal of surplus items.

Resolution 1533, appointing an agent to receive claims for damages.

Authorization for the city to provide a letter to the Dayton School District in support of grant applications to repair the football field.

Ordinance 2010, amending the Animal Control authority in the municipal code.

The meeting went into an executive session, per RCW 42.30.110(i), stating pending litigation. The council returned to the regular session in just under 30 minutes.

The mayor scheduled a council workshop for February 20, 2024, at 3 p.m. to update the “Council Rules of Procedure and Ethics Handbook.”

Paulson said the hydro-geological survey for the wastewater treatment plant is ongoing, and the cultural resource survey is complete.

In the Public Works report, Paulson said the city obtained a $2 million grant to resurface about 90% of the city’s streets with Otta Seal. The grant is part of a trial project by the Washington Transportation Improvement Board. He said information on the schedule for the project will be available soon. The Otta Seal is a replacement for chip sealing, and he expects it to be a better surface.

Paulson said it will make it a busy and hectic summer, but it is needed and worth the inconvenience. Main Street, Dayton Ave., Third Street, and Fourth Street are not included in the project.

The mayor adjourned the meeting just before 7 p.m.


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