It’s a real stink in one central Missouri town after male public works employees were forced to bring their own toilet paper to work.
The revelation left city alderman and the mayor steaming.
“Ultimately this was an embarrassing mistake,” Mayor Justin Brown said. “We can’t see any logical reason why would they be told that they can’t have toilet paper at their workplace, regardless of budgetary concerns.”
Justin Brown and his fellow aldermen were thunderstruck this week when Nancy Dunbar approached the podium to speak during what everyone thought would be a routine meeting. Dunbar asked about starting a fundraising effort and said public works employees had been told to bring their own toilet paper because they were using too much and had gone over budget.
“Everybody likes potty humor,” Brown said.
But he definitely wasn’t laughing this week.
City administrator Sandra Underwood allegedly said Windsor would no longer provide toilet paper for male public works employees. Underwood allegedly claimed that male employees were using far more than female employees.
Brown said Dunbar literally dropped a bomb on him and his aldermen colleagues Tuesday night. Brown and everyone was all smiles when Dunbar first asked about doing fundraising for the city.
“That’s when she told us it was for toilet paper for the men at the city barn,” Brown recalled.
Mortification set in.
“The mayor was like what are you talking about? Because the mayor had no idea. The aldermen had no idea. I mean mouths just dropped,” Dunbar recalled.
Brown admits he didn’t hear much of what Dunbar had to say after learning why she wanted to raise money for the city.
“I was just really incredulous that this was a topic to be brought up at a City Hall meeting, much less have any truth to it,” Brown said. “The number one emotion is embarrassment. We have a lot of good things going on in our little town, and this is the topic.”
Windsor has a population of 3,000. The four employees who work at City Hall, including Underwood, are women. Ten public works employees, all male, work at the municipal barn.
Brown was able to confirm that male employees were bringing their own single ply and two-ply sheets to work.
“Just because they’re cleaning lagoons out doesn’t mean they don’t need to clean their rumps,” Dunbar said with a laugh.
Underwood declined an on-camera interview. But she said that she didn’t make any remarks about men using too much toilet paper or having to bring their own. She said the public works director on his own told his staff that the budget was tight and it spun from there.
“I did not make a comment about them having to buy their toilet paper or even that they were using too much,” she said.
The public works director did not return a telephone call seeking comment.
But Dunbar said Underwood admitted after the meeting being behind the toilet paper edict.
Brown doesn’t believe an edict was the case, but he’s glad the issue is now resolved and the men have their toilet paper. He also emphasized that issues should be addressed before an aldermen meeting.
“We are always looking for ways to save money,” Brown said. “I’m just fearful that this finally hit a fever pitch and this is where it got ridiculous.”
Whether anyone will face discipline for the brouhaha is unclear. Brown declined to comment on possible repercussions.