|Updated: 3/22/2013 7:37 pm
||Published: 3/22/2013 3:55 pm
Conflict is brewing among city leaders in Owasso.
The city held a special meeting on Friday after two city councilors voted against developing a subdivision and two commercial projects. Some feel it was because of a personal agenda against the Owasso City Manager.
FOX23’ Sharon Phillips was inside that meeting and learned the vote cannot be reconsidered until May 1st when a new council will be seated. Officials say this ‘no’ vote is causing the city to take a huge financial hit.
The vote of two counselors has caused a firestorm of controversy in Owasso. Many feel counselors Patrick Ross and Charlie Brown voted to delay the development of three projects because of a personal agenda against City Manager, Rodney Ray.
Brown was not at Friday’s special meeting due to a family matter, but said he could not vote yes on any item that involved the Owasso Land Trust because of their involvement with Ray on a personal retail business rent invoice\.
“The city manager says it’s been taken care, but if it has he has not produced any documentation that the 41,000 dollars in past rent has been paid for," said JB Alexander with the Owasso Tax Payer Alliance.
For his part, Ray says he has worked out a way to pay what he owes on the property.
All the while, three developments are now on hold.
One of them is the new Owasso Small Animal Hospital. Dr. Chris Kelley, also the City Vice Mayor, says they were planning on breaking ground soon, but now the vote has delayed this process and is costing him big bucks until the issue is resolved. “Six months of us paying interest on the land over there and 6 months of us not receiving the income that we would from that new building over there and 6 months of our staff wondering you know what’s next.”
Following Tuesday’s council meeting, Shawn Reiss created these online petitions on change.org asking that counselors Ross and Brown resign, “‘They chose politics over people, students and taxpayers and that’s why I started the petition.”
During Friday’s meeting it was made clear the three platts were previously recommended for approval and none had any unresolved issues.
The city attorney pointed out that typically if a platt isn’t approved, it’s due to some type of planning related issue.
During Friday’s meeting the city attorney also pointed out that denying the plats could result in a lawsuit against the city or the councilors who voted no.