(Former Dubois Museum Director Katrina Krupicka Dingman spoke to the Dubois Town Council last February. (C10 File photo)
(Dubois, Wyo.) – The controversy surrounding the personnel changes and other issues at the Dubois Museum surfaced at Wednesday’s Dubois Town Council meeting.
Two topics were discussed by audience members with input and questions put forth by Mayor and council members, involving granting a parcel easement to Rodger and Sandie Leseberg as a trade for work and an overview presented by former Dubois Museum director Katrina Krupicka Dingman about her tenure in that position. Dingman resigned in December 2013.
Mayor Blakeman invited Dingman to address the council by stating, “Please tell the council what you’ve been putting up with for the past 18 months”.
Dingman told the council that the Fremont County Museum Board (FCMB) had hired her to build Dubois a new museum. At the beginning, “they were 110% behind me” in those efforts utilizing funding from a Scenic ByWays Grant, “then that [funding] went away.” She said she received conflicting perspectives from the FCMB members, with different directions on “what I was to be doing. This became a very stressful situation,” she said, “I’ve always wanted the Dubois Museum to be a living breathing part of the community and was not hearing that [from FCMB].” Dingman stated that in March  the “FCMB’s focus shifted away from a new Dubois museum being built” and that she was “staking my reputation on saying something different than what I was telling the community.” She continued,“then when Steve Banks was removed with unsubstantiated allegations, that was it.”
Blakeman asked how much money the FCMB agreed to spend on planning and for the building construction cost. Dingman stated the $4 million construction budget had been pared down to a $2.5 million project. Blakeman asked, “So the County never gave you any sort of clue how much money they would put in”? Dingman responded, “No dollar amount was given.” Dingman ended by stating “It broke my heart to leave, but it was a way to gain attention.” Dingman encouraged the public to attend Thursday’s FCMB meeting in Dubois.
Later in the meeting Blakeman addressed council members, seeking authorization to write a letter of protest to the FCMB and the County Commissioners regarding recent actions of the board, which would include protesting the ‘illegal removal of Mr. Banks.” She also stated that she would protest a statement she was told that Mr. Lane [Chair –FCMB] had allegedly made that he was not going to allow any more of the planning grant to be spent on a new Dubois Museum. Council members discussed whether the transfer of museum land to the county from the Town of Dubois could be reverted as proposed by council member Pete Chimenti, “once they (Fremont County) got the land they were done [with the intention to fund a new Dubois museum]. Council member Rick Lee stated, “ Sounds like they are disgruntled down there and the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing and we need to know what they plan on doing.” Blakeman encouraged council members and the public to attend the FCMB meeting today where she would, “point blank ask them what their plans are-especially in light of Mr. Lane (allegedly) wanting to take all the planning money away.”
Action items approved at the meeting included the following:
-Council members approved the Mayor’s re-appointment of the following:
Attorney: Western Law Associates, Lander
Municipal Judge: The Hon. Robert Denhardt, Lander
Town Clerk: Sandy Hust
Airport Manager: Tim Schell
Airport Board – (5 Years) Brad Lindsey and Harold Albright
Planning Commission: (6 Years) Frank Welty and Dave Gaddis
Board of Adjustment: (3 Years) Vonna Smith, Monte Baker, Lynn Stewart
- Approval completion as recommended by Nelson Engineering on the Sewer Rehabilitation and Sawmill Water Project.
– Approval to authorize Nelson Engineering to provide engineering services for the relocation of the antenna under the Agreement for Professional Engineering Services dated July 30, 2013 and approved by the Governing Body on August 14, 2013 based on the estimate provided of $1,000.00.
- Approval to expend funds in the amount of $2,000.00 per the quote from Pinnacle Electric for the installation of exterior lighting at Town Hall stairs. Liability Insurance to be provided with the Town as Additional Insured.
- Approval of the adoption of and authorization to implement the Town of Dubois Safety and Loss Control General Safety Procedures Manual.
- Approval of a Temporary Catering Permit – Rustic Pine Tavern – “Soupananny” Fundraiser for the Headwaters and NOD– Headwaters, February 22, 2014
- Approval of a Malt Beverage Permit and Open Container Permit for the Dubois Chariot Races, January 11 and 12, 2014.
- Approval to authorize Mayor Blakeman to submit a letter of protest pertaining to the recent actions of the Fremont County Museum Board to the Board and to the Fremont County Commissioners.
– Approval of Accounts Payable list dated January 3, 2014.
- Approval to accept December 2013 Financial Report as presented.
Six audience members and two media representatives attended the regularly scheduled meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 8 p.m. before reconvening for an executive session to discuss legal and personnel issues.