Recent Issues: June 2008


Tracey Lee Geringer

Ward 5 Councilwoman Linda Hagan called for a city-wide audit Tuesday, saying residents want to know “where all of the money is going.”

The request — “for discussion, consideration and possible action regarding a request that I’m making that the Council have a full and complete audit of all city accounts done, including monthly cash flow projection of revenues and expenditures including carry-forward” — was made, Hagan said, because residents have approached and called her, questioning what “is happening” to sales tax money.

Dale Howard Roberts
Rev. R. Frank Skillern
Ryley Currey
Noreta Grady
Warren D. Hacker

Pebble Creek Golf Course should have a new owner this week, and golfers could be teeing off this weekend.

Local residents and business owners Steve Baker and his wife, Carla Baker, said Monday they are expecting their purchase of the golf course from developer Robert Crout to be final sometime this week. If the closing proceeds as scheduled, Steve Baker said he plans to open for business Saturday.

Dale Howard Roberts

In five days 60 Mustang-area residents raised more than a church in the Arizona desert — they brought hope.

District 2 Commissioner Don Young spent more than $1.7 million since April 1 on maintenance and operations, more than twice the sum expended the entire nine months prior to that time.

Young, who announced he would not seek re-election June 3, said Monday the increased spending is to pay for “a 15-mile asphalt” project. Appropriations ledgers obtained by Mustang News showed of the more than $1.7 million spent by District 2 in a 70-day period, $1.5 million of it was paid to Schwartz Asphalt.

County staff said the job encompasses filling potholes and laying an asphalt cover on Reno Street, from the El Reno city limits west to Heaston Church and a portion of Airport Road south toward Union City.

Parents will pay 30 cents more per meal for their children to eat in Mustang school cafeterias this fall.

Doctors cutting into Mustang resident Sherri Nance’s skull to remove a life-threatening brain tumor were dumbfounded.

The vestibular schwannoma doctors had seen in a magnetic resonance image the day before wasn’t there. Instead they found a cyst. Nance said the doctors told her they believe the tumor died on its own. The case was unlike anything they had ever seen, she said.

Mustang Chamber of Commerce leaders and City Council members vowed to “work together” to hammer out a contract between the two entities Tuesday.

Several members of the chamber’s executive board attended the Council meeting to discuss financial arrangements between the city and chamber. The need to draft a new agreement between the city and chamber came to light earlier this month, when it was discovered the chamber’s lease for its office at Mustang Town Center expired in 2004.

Questions first arose about the city-chamber relationship during budget sessions and the June 3 budget hearing when some Council members questioned the benefits of the arrangement between the two.

As Lowes Home Improvement celebrated their grand opening last week, one city official questioned whether the incentive deal struck with the retailer was “set in stone.”

Ward 5 Councilwoman Linda Hagan said she was “very upset” by the agreement negotiated by city officials — and approved by City Council — in June 2007. During a June 3 city budget hearing, Hagan said she had asked the city attorney if the contract could be broken.

City Attorney Jonathan Miller told Hagan the contract could not now be severed.

Candidates vying for the District 2 County Commissioner spot are focusing on the July 29 primary, when the fate of at least some of the would-be county leaders may be determined.

Canadian County Commissioners shared a total of almost $38,000 in 2007 for mileage reimbursement after they chose to use their own vehicles instead of driving a county-owned vehicle.

Each Commissioner’s share of the reimbursement is in addition to their annual salaries of $54,000.

Even though the three Commissioners have access to county vehicles, each said they prefer to drive their own trucks. In all, the Commissioners shared $37,946.76 for travel claims in 2007.

County Commissioners took their first step to “reload and regroup” in their efforts to build a new county jail Monday.

District 1 Commissioner Phil Carson said officials needed to take a step forward in their efforts to “find an answer” to ongoing problems with the current jail, which include overcrowding and structural issues.

Mustang School District officials pledged Monday night to move to full-day kindergarten in August 2009, two years before the state mandate takes effect.

Victor Leroy Hand
Paul Griffin
George Bartley Sims
Kyra Dawn Sowter
Helen Willis

Perceived “isolationism” on the part of a few City Council members has left some Mustang Chamber of Commerce members feeling “left out in the cold.”

Chamber board member Ryan Tate said the cold front started with remarks made by Mayor Jeff Landrith and Ward 2 Councilwoman Kathleen Moon during recent budget sessions. During those meetings, Landrith and Moon questioned the need for an annual $10,000 allocation to the chamber, saying they had reservations about the benefit Mustang proper received for the investment. Moon also raised concerns about the chamber having an office in Mustang Town Center free of charge.

Mustang students participating in extracurricular activities may face drug testing starting in August if Mustang School Board members decide to approve a proposed policy.

City Council passed a resolution Tuesday breaking the dam on the city’s participation in a study aimed at finding a “permanent” water source.

The plan is a cooperative effort by members of the Central Oklahoma Water Resource Authority to jointly fund a $890,000 feasibility study of the Kiamichi basin. City Manager David Cockrell said the project’s aim is to determine the costs and problems associated with obtaining water from Kiamichi and transporting it to Mustang.

Vehicle counts released by Mustang city officials confirm what residents fighting traffic on city streets already know — there are more cars on local roads than ever before.

A section of a $1.5 million road project completed last week by District 2 County Commissioner Don Young is already buckling.

The estimated 30-foot section is part of a 15-mile asphalt overlay that starts on the south side of the El Reno Regional Airport and runs south to Union City and west from the airpark to Heaston.

District 2 Commissioner Don Young defended his decision Tuesday to spend $1.5 million since April on a 15-mile Reno Road project. The work comes in the final weeks when “unlimited funds” are available to Young to spend as he sees fit.

Betty Caves
William Henderson
Sherry Puffett
Terry Whitney

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