Anadarko mayor resigns after utility rate uproar

Saturday, August 21st 2004, 9:06 am
By: News On 6

ANADARKO, Okla. (AP) _ The mayor of this southwest Oklahoma city has resigned after an uproar over a utility rate increase aimed at paying off a $1 million debt and a $13.5 million sewage system renovation.

Mayor Beverly Willhoite said her final day as mayor will be Monday. City Treasurer Robert Brooks also resigned.

Citizens filed recall petitions against Willhoite, Vice Mayor Mo Kelley and City Councilors Kym Pendarvis, John Thompson and Greg Dakil on Aug. 10, a day after councilors voted 4-2 vote to raise utility rates.

The rate increase was intended to pay off a $1 million debt with Western Farmers Electric Cooperative and to finance a $13.5 million renovation of the city's sewage system mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

``I love this city with all the passion in my heart,'' Willhoite said. ``The people have a right to be upset that their utility rates are being raised. I'm upset. But they don't have a right to be ugly.

``I feel like everything has a season, and my season has passed. There's nothing more I can do for this city.''