Nowata residents retain city officials; school bond issues pass - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Nowata residents retain city officials; school bond issues pass

NOWATA, Okla. (AP) _ Three city officials who pleaded no contest to open meeting violations have survived an ouster attempt.

Nowata residents voted 182 to 127 on Tuesday to retain Mayor Fred Maddox, and voted 370 to 296 to keep City Commissioner John B. Krouse Jr., according to unofficial results. Residents also voted to retain City Commissioner Willard C. Carey by a vote of 82 to 51.

``I'm just glad this is all over,'' Maddox said. ``The people voted us in the first time and reaffirmed the vote the second time. Now it's time to get on with city business.''

According to court documents, an informant told police the men were discussing city business each afternoon while at a Nowata restaurant. The informant wore a device to record their conversation.

The commissioners discussed the city water plant, city operations, the police department budget and cutting city jobs, according to court documents.

The act prohibits unannounced meetings of public bodies attended by a majority, or quorum, of that body. The body may not discuss or conduct business without posting an agenda and giving ample notice of the meeting time and place.

The men were given one-year deferred sentences after they pleaded no contest in October to misdemeanor open meeting violations. They were also ordered to perform 50 hours of community service and fined $475.50.

Elsewhere across the state, voters decided school bond issues and tax increase proposals.

Residents in Jenks passed a $13.3 million bond issue for buildings and equipment on a 1,416 to 414 vote. A $450,000 proposal for buses passed 1,396 to 430. No increase in taxes is expected.

In Berryhill, voters approved a $4.69 million bond, of which $1.72 million would be used for softball, baseball and wrestling sites. The issue passed 462 to 110.

Checotah school patrons voted 818 to 723 for a $2.7 million bond issue, but the victory margin didn't reach the 60 percent needed for the proposal to pass. The money would have built a gymnasium and event center.

In Okmulgee, voters passed two school bond issues, including one for $5.8 million to install new heating and air-conditioning systems and to renovate Brock Gymnasium.

Voters in Tonkawa passed a $2.25 million bond issue by a 582 to 70 margin. The issue will build new classrooms, rest rooms, a commons area in the high school and a new library media center.

In Elk City, voters dashed city leaders hopes to take over local electrical service. Residents voted 1,747 to 1,408 against buying out American Electric Power-Public Service Co. of Oklahoma's operation in their city.

Muskogee voters passed one proposal and defeated another. A five-year, quarter-cent sales tax increase to renovate the civic center and create a market square area failed 2,043 to 2,042.

Voters did approve a five-year, three-quarter-cent tax increase to fund an upgrade of the city's water and sewer systems on a 2,722 to 1,378 vote.

Elsewhere, Hinton voters rejected proposals that would have allowed the town clerk and/or treasurer to be appointed instead of elected.

Miami residents passed five propositions that will provide $1.96 million for various municipal projects and upgrades.

In Choctaw County, residents voted 607 to 545 for a one-quarter percent sales tax that will help fund a new county library. The money will match a $2.2 million donation from the Reynolds Foundation for the facility.

Residents in Craig County voted 1,520 to 556 for a 1-cent sales tax to build a new jail and judicial center.
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