Councilor Gall's Response
Post date: Nov 24, 2008 5:15:40 PM
Concerned Owasso Citizens,
For those of you that have been following the reports of my leaving the City Council meeting on November 18, 2008, I would like to offer the following explanation.
First, let me say that I have the utmost respect for my City Council colleagues and the citizens of Owasso. I take the position of serving as your City Councilor very seriously.
The agenda for the November 18, 2008 meeting was posted on Friday, November 14th. The agenda for that meeting had several very important issues to debate and decide upon. I had been working diligently over the past several weeks to educate and inform Owasso citizens about these upcoming important issues. Several citizens were in attendance to listen to the discussions and many were signed up to speak about these issues.
Two of the items on the agenda were projects totaling $8.2 million dollars for which the Owasso citizens would be indebted for many years to come. These items included:
- Stone Canyon annexation and subsequent $5.2 million dollar sanitary sewer line extension to support the neighborhood, if annexed. A fire station is also being considered.
- Tulsa Technology Center (TTC) land donation for $3 million dollars.
There was a legal quorum of three (3) councilors in attendance to the meeting. At the start of the meeting, City Manager Rodney Ray announced that the Stone Canyon annexation and TTC related items would be tabled. Knowing that we had a legal quorum, I challenged the City Manager to keep the items on the agenda since several dozen citizens had taken the time and made the effort to come to the meeting to speak on these issues. It is my belief that the City Manager requested these items to be tabled because he knew he did not have the necessary votes present to pass these issues. Mr. Ray advised that there is a rule that allows items to be pulled from the agenda at any city councilor’s request.
At this meeting the City Manager’s employment contract was also set to be discussed. Believing that this should be a discussion of all five (5) council members, I respectfully asked that this item be tabled for a future council meeting. My request was met with resistance from the Mayor as he wanted to proceed with discussing and voting on the city manager’s contract. I felt this was a contradiction to the process that had just been explained to me by Mr. Ray.
It is always my desire to maintain professionalism and I feared that I would be unable to do so if I remained at the meeting. By excusing myself and eliminating the legal quorum, it forced the meeting to end.
It is my personal opinion that the operations of the city are being compromised on a regular basis and I fear that many citizens are unaware.
At this time, I would encourage all concerned citizens to educate themselves on the issues that were tabled. I need your feedback and support to best represent your interests. I would encourage the other councilors to visit with their constituents as well.
I am committed to serving the citizens of Owasso assertively, to the best of my ability and I will be running for re-election in April 2009. You may contact me at 918-371-8111 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.
Councilor Ward 1
City of Owasso, Oklahoma