The Winlock City Council meeting on November 12, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. started out as a usual council meeting. The flag salute started the meeting in motion but later in the meeting the audience erupted into clapping for Desarno's Treasures.
Desiree Bowers, owner of Desarno's Treasures, received a letter from city hall giving her 14 days to come up with almost $2800 to turn on her water and sewer per the Winlock ordinance that all businesses must supply public restrooms to customers. Bowers addressed the council and Mayor Bradshaw by stating, "I am here tonight to ask for a variance." Bowers opened her thrift store approximately 2½ years ago and was informed by the previous administration at that time that she did not need to connect to water and sewer even though the ordinance was in effect at that time.
Bowers stated she would not have opened her business if she would have known she had to have sewer and water. She stated if she is forced to pay this amount, she would need to close her business. Bowers continued to discuss her building situation at which time she stated she has been doing cosmetic repairs to building. Bowers is under contract to purchase the building from owner Glenda Cothren.
Mayor Bradshaw stated, "It is up to the council to grant a variance." After much discussion, Councilwoman Connie Sneed made the motion to grant Desiree Bowers of Desarno's Treasures a variance and Jodie Curtis seconded the motion. Discussion then continued with Andrew Maloney asking Mayor Bradshaw if council needed advice from their legal counsel at which time Mayor Bradshaw stated, "No, we will make the variance. We will run it by the attorney for the correct verbiage." Mayor Bradshaw then stated, "Before we celebrate too much I need a vote." From there the vote was taken to give the variance to Desarno's Treasures while she remains in business as a thrift store.
The meeting continued from there, then for some reason Mayor Bradshaw made derogatory comments about Red Rock Construction and the Haunted Hostel stating on the record the Haunted Hostel was starting rumors.
As of this writing, on the Monday, November 26 the City Council Meeting Agenda there is a comment to rescind the variance. Missing from the agenda is public comment. On the Agenda there is also the first reading for the 2019 budget. A recent request for public records of all staff salaries and information has been delayed as responded by City Clerk Tedi Curry which stated, "I have been unable to process your records requests as I have been swamped with year end and budget amongst other pressing issues. I will do my best to get you the records by the end of the year. I am sorry for the delay."
In a June 20, 2018, interview with The Daily News, Mayor Bradshaw had stated that three officers would not be more expensive than what we are paying Toledo which was $217,000 for more coverage. In reviewing the 2019 budget received by the Town Crier in a public records request the expenses for the Winlock Police Department total $250,000, which includes two full-time officers and a part-time office clerk. As of October 31, 2018 the amount of money spent on the police services is $235.000.