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Welp, the Bromley City Council Just Imploded Over a Bobcat

The special meeting of the Bromley City Council on Monday evening devolved into a mostly unintelligible shouting match as members of council barked at the mayor and he barked back over the planned purchase of a Bobcat, the branded construction equipment that can be used to dig and to plow.

"We were totally ignored and not told it was being put out for bid. You totally ignored us," Councilwoman Dixie Meyer said to Mayor Donnie Jobe, accusing him of "going behind our back."

Background: In April, The River City News reported that the City of Bromley was considering the purchase of a Bobcat and had budgeted roughly $35,000 for it.
 
Editor's note: Two previous stories about this topic incorrectly listed the Bobcat amount at $3,500. It is $35,000.
 
In July, members of council began questioning the need for the equipment and that was a month after a blow-up between council members and Mayor Jobe over the alleged misuse of mail delivered to the city building.
 
On Monday, it was clear that any order or decorum had been lost as tensions between members of the city government continued to rise. A legal notice was placed in the Cincinnati Enquirer, advertising the desire for bids from companies that could sell a Bobcat to the city. Some members of council argued that the mayor was not authorized to solicit bids.
 
"I have money in both the road fund and the municipal road aid fund and I come here every time I want to do something and ask for permission or for your blessing," Councilman Bob France said to Jobe. "We're here for nothing anymore. You just do whatever the hell you want to do. You don't give us enough credit to make decisions and I'm sick and tired of it. We don't need a damn a Bobcat."
 
Some members of council were concerned that the placement of the ad required the city to make a purchase. City Attorney Kim Vicke clarified that that is not the case.
 
"I talked to the mayor last week on Monday and I may have misspoke. I think these bids are a solicitation for an offer," Vicke said. "In other words, I'm asking for you to give me an offer, I'll accept it or I may not. The ad in the newspaper is the solicitation to get the offer."

Mayor Jobe contended that he was authorized to place the ad because the budget had been adopted with the line item for the Bobcat included. Meyer made a motion to begin the process of amending the budget to strip the Bobcat funds from the public works department. She was joined by France and Councilmen Charlie Foulks and Tim Wartman in approving the action. Councilwoman Gail Smith opposed it.

Vocke explained that the process to amend the budget is not as simple as a vote like the one taken Monday.

"Here's the problem you're going to have with this," the attorney stated. "The ordinance can be vetoed by the mayor within ten days and council cannot take it up again until the next regularly scheduled meeting. Assuming the mayor would veto an amended budget, it would probably be September before council could pass a new amended budget."

Another special meeting was called for Monday, July 25 at 6 p.m. to deal with this issue.

Meyer also called for an ad to be placed to rescind the bid solicitation. Jobe argued that that was not necessary because nothing had been removed from the budget officially yet.

"We have never received any kind of validation that it would be a prudent expense for the city," Meyer said of the Bobcat. "The mayor has went ahead and decided to purchase it without council support. We as a council are being left out of everything.

"I don't know why you're determined to fight your council instead of working together."

"You're the only one fighting," Jobe replied.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher