Council agenda items removed - Councilor walks out of meeting
Post date: Nov 19, 2008 4:31:21 AM
by J.B. Alexander
November 18, 2008
Just hours before the scheduled Owasso City Council meeting Tuesday evening city leadership pulled two very controversial issues from the agenda. With a legal quorum of three city councilors present, the Tulsa Technology Center/Tulsa Community College (TTC/TCC) $3 million dollar gift and the 990 acre Stone Canyon annexation items were pulled from the agenda. Over the past several weeks both of these issues have become hot topics of conversation around Owasso.
City leadership was to present a plan to borrow approximately $3 million dollars through the Owasso Public Works Authority to purchase 25 acres of land and give this land to the Tulsa Technology Center to build a campus in Owasso to house TTC and TCC. This loan was to be paid back through the Capital Improvements Third Penny sales tax fund.
Following the release of information from Tulsa County Assessor Ken Yazel, stating that the Tulsa Technology Center (through Career Tech) and the Tulsa Community College have a combined $119.9 million dollar carryover, citizens began questioning why the city would “borrow” money when these organizations have this much taxpayer money in their accounts.
The consent agenda contained Ordinance No. 934 which would have officially annexed 990 acres of the new Stone Canyon subdivision. Owasso city leadership has already approved a $358,000 contract for the engineering of the sanitary sewer system for the Stone Canyon development even though it is not offically in the city. The cost for the construction of this system is estimated at $5.2 million dollars.
As the council was getting ready to go into executive session to discuss the city managers new employment contract, Councilor D.J. Gall moved to table the executive session for discussion at a later date. Mayor Stephen Cataudella stated he was in favor of continuing with the executive session. At that time Councilor Gall removed himself from the council chambers leaving only two councilors present, causing the meeting to come to an abrupt end.
With the possibility of two of the three councilors present ready to vote against both of these controversial issues it seems coincidental that they were pulled at the last minute. Approximately 25 citizens were present at the meeting expecting to listen to and/or speak out concerning these controversial issues. I feel that by removing these two issues from the agenda and not allowing a legal quorum to discuss and vote, city leadership has created a dark cloud of trust over the issue of being “transparent”.
Mr. Rodney Ray, Owasso City Manager, stated he expected to bring these items back at the next council meeting in December. I urge all Owasso citizens to continue to contact their council representative and visit with them concerning these issues.
For more information on these and other Owasso issues go to www.owassotaxpayer.com