Williams council fires back at Colusa mayor
The Williams City Council says Colusa Mayor Pat Landreth's letter clarifying economic development efforts by the city isn't all that clear.
In fact, in its own letter issued late last week, the council says Landreth's letter "contains several inaccurate statements regarding the City of Williams that we wish to correct for the record."
Attempts to reach Colusa officials were unsuccessful.
Colusa posted Landreth's letter on its website last month.
It was designed to clarify what Landreth and others in the city believed to be inaccuracies circulating around town about the city's economic development efforts.
Part of that letter included a timeline of efforts that did not work out, and according to Landreth, pushed the city in a new direction to achieve its own goals.
That timeline included what has largely been a failed joint economic development effort among the cities and Colusa County.
But Williams officials do not think Landreth was entirely accurate.
The Williams letter, produced by the city attorney and City Administrator Chuck Bergson and approved by the City Council, refutes several statements about Williams.
"It (Landreth's letter) states that Colusa County and the incorporated cities 'hired a consulting firm, Chabin and Associates from Chico, to work on the project,'" the Williams letter states, referring to an effort to establish an enterprise zone application.
Landreth's letter goes on to state that the costs were to be divided in thirds with each city and the county paying an equal share.
Landreth contends that Williams refused to pay its share, which in turn was picked up by Colusa.
"These statements are incorrect," the Williams letter states.
"The City of Williams was never party to the contract with Chabin and Associates, and therefore was not legally obligated to pay any portion of the contract price," the Williams letter states. "In fact, our city attorney advised the City Council that it would be an unlawful gift of public funds to pay a consultant for services for which it had not contracted and had no legal obligation to pay."
The Williams council also accuses Landreth of "misrepresenting" Williams involvement with a proposed joint powers agreement with Colusa and the county.
Williams' position is that it simply refused to join the joint powers agreement.
It contends that Landreth failed to note that joint powers agreement also involved the Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indian Tribe as a member, an association Williams attorney said was not legal as the situation stood then.
Both Colusa and the county refute that legal position.
Williams had other concerns at the time, the council letter states, but the county and Colusa decided to move forward on their own.
The Williams letter concludes by saying the city is still "willing to consider cooperative arrangements to facilitate county-wide economic development."
But insists such "arrangements have valid consideration and are legally authorized."
The letter is signed by Williams Mayor John Troughton Jr.