(Lander, Wyo.) – Dubois Mayor Twila Blakeman met with the Fremont County Commission yesterday and aired concerns with recent resignations at the Dubois Museum and on the Fremont County Museum Board.
Blakeman stated that certain Museum Board members “plotted to remove Mr. (Stephen) Banks” from the board. In November 2013, board members Jon Lane, Carol Chidsey and Erin Shirley voted Banks out of his chairmanship and subsequently planned to ask the commission for his removal. Banks resigned before the letter to the commission had been sent. Banks is from Dubois.
During yesterday’s commission meeting, Lane, Chidsey and Shirley were in attendance, but did not speak.
She also said the recent resignations of Dubois Museum Director Katrina Krupicka-Dingman and Melinda Bobo were distressing, and that the employees were motivated in part by Banks leaving.
Blakeman said she was concerned about the delays of the construction of the future Dubois museum, which the town transferred land to the county for. She also said that Lane in previous meetings was wrong when he said the Dubois community might not be ready for another fundraising campaign, primarily due to the recent construction of the Warm Valley Lodge Assisted Living Center. She said the fundraising for that effort was done years ago.
“What right has Mr. Lane to speak for our community?” she asked.
Blakeman once designs are finalized, the construction would be “very easily completed.” The estimated cost of the new building is $2.4-2.5 million.
“I think our community will be totally behind it,” she said, later adding, “I’m just very very unhappy with the whole situation.”
Commissioner Travis Becker said, “I do share your concern with the museum entities as a whole.”
Blakeman said the Dubois Town Council shares her concerns and the matter is expected to be discussed at tonight’s town council meeting at 7 p.m. Blakeman is also on the Museum Board’s agenda for its meeting tomorrow at 1 p.m., also at Dubois Town Hall.