By Per Peterson
EDA Board President Dennis Fultz was asked by EDA member Tony Peterson to resign his position from the board at last Wednesday’s meeting for “making a statement to the City on behalf of the board without the board’s knowledge.”
Fultz, who said he was blindsided by the request, said this week that he has no intentions of resigning.
Peterson said he wrote up a formal complaint which he said he would “gladly destroy” if Fultz stepped down. He also asked Fultz to abstain from the rest of last Wednesday’s meeting, which ultimately did not happen since the matter was tabled until more information can be gathered.
On Thursday, Tracy City Administrator Kris Ambuehl said he has sent the complaint onto the City Attorney. Ambuehl said he has reached out to Fultz on the matter.
“I think you have a conflict of interest… with the intent to sell the Asian grocery store (Asian Market),” Peterson told Fultz. “I think you’re conflicted in the way you’re operating meetings. It’s come to my knowledge — and it’s been proven by the (city) council — that all you need is an opinion of conflict. You need to recuse yourself or be censured.”
Fultz said he was caught off guard by Peterson’s request and subsequent statements— a sentiment shared by at least one other EDA board member.
“This got sprung on me — I haven’t had a chance to contemplate or think this through,” he said. “This is totally news to me.”
In response to the accusations, Fultz told the Tracy Area Headlight Herald that he doesn’t feel he has done anything wrong.
“I think they did this as a retaliatory measure after Jeff (Salmon) got voted off the EDA at that Monday night meeting,” he said. “The grounds that they have for even asking for a resignation are extremely flimsy at best. I have no fears whatsoever about any type of allegation that would turn anything up that would warrant me resigning.”
Peterson said Fultz signed a document sans board approval and that he didn’t have the authority to do so. That document addressed to City Administrator Kris Ambuehl — a formal complaint against EDA board members by Jamie Mattson, who was in line to purchase the Asian Market building but eventually withdrew interest in the property — reads as follows: “I would ask the City Attorney and City Council review this matter on behalf of the EDA. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.”
Peterson took exception to Fultz signing the document without consulting the EDA board.
“Everything you’ve signed in the past was approved by the board — all the sales, all the contracts — this should never have been signed by you without the knowledge of the board,” said Peterson. “And you had the opportunity at the July 3 meeting to bring it to the board. But someone, somehow let this drag on and become a fiasco in the paper and in the council chambers …”
Fultz, who said he wasn’t the one who initiated the document, told the board he signed it on the advice of the City Attorney in the process of looking into the allegations that Mattson was making.
See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.