March 3, 2015

March 3, 2015, Owasso will conduct an election. To keep residents informed, we've created this page and links to pertinent documents regarding the election.

Mayor Jeri Moberly, Ward 1, and Councilor Chris Kelley, Ward 2, were unopposed in their bid for re-election and will, therefore, not be included on the ballot. 

The ballot will include proposed charter changes to the Owasso City Charter. The proposed changes will incorporate gender neutral references throughout the charter resulting in members being addressed as councilor(s) as opposed to councilman or councilmen. 

The procedure by which a new ordinance or amended ordinance requiring action by the council is read in meetings is also the subject of a proposed change. Currently the charter requires the reading of the full text of a new or amended ordinance. The proposed change would allow for reading just the title of the ordinance, unless a majority vote of the council requests the reading in its entirety. Often times when a new ordinance or amended ordinance is presented, the verbiage can be multiple pages due to the entire section of the affected existing code of ordinances being printed with the addition or change. Changing this section of the charter is a time saving/time consumption matter. All City of Owasso Ordinance additions and amendments to be considered by the council are published in their entirety on the city’s website and printed copies are provided to all Owasso City Councilors and any citizens who request such.

Additional proposed changes occur in Section 4 of the charter dealing with the sale of real or personal property owned by the City of Owasso. Currently if property owned by the city is offered for sale the charter places specific procedures on how property is to be sold. The proposed changes do not amend those procedures currently in place and they shall be implemented in order to sell said property. However, the proposed change increases the property value benchmark attached to those procedures. Currently the procedures outlined in the charter must be adhered to when the value of property is $25,000 or more. The proposed amendment would increase that ceiling to $250,000 or more.

Furthermore in Section 4, proposed changes to the city charter amend dollar amounts associated with public improvements. The change proposes to eliminate the requirement that any public improvement of more than $2,000 may be awarded to the lowest and best responsible bidder and inserts language stipulating that public improvements will be in compliance with the Oklahoma Competitive Bidding Act of 1974. Public Improvements are subject to strict guidelines in Oklahoma State Statute and while Owasso have always followed these laws, the laws have only been referenced in the Owasso Code of Ordinances and this amendment will incorporate said laws in the city charter.

The last proposed amendment addresses political activity by City of Owasso Councilors, Officers and Employees. Section 6-9, if approved, will be amended to read as follows: 

“No City Councilor or officer or employee of the city shall directly or indirectly solicit, coerce or attempt to coerce any employee to participate in or to refrain from participation in the nomination, election, or defeat of any candidate for City Councilor, or the recall of any City Councilor; but this shall not prohibit the ordinary exercise of one’s right to express opinions and to vote”

The above proposed amendment is being presented for consideration based on a recent recommendation by a Tulsa County Grand Jury report issued in December of 2013.

The final item on the ballot will be the renewal of an electric franchise agreement with Public Service Co. of Oklahoma. The City of Owasso and PSO have entered into 2 previous franchise agreements with 25 year term each, the first agreement being approved in 1965 and the second in 1990. In order to enter into a franchise agreement the Oklahoma State Constitution requires that a vote of the citizens in a community shall take place. The agreement between the City of Owasso and PSO allows the provider access throughout Owasso utilizing public rights-of-way and utility easements for the production, transmission and selling of electricity. In return for this access the City of Owasso receives a franchise fee of 2% of the gross revenue receipts from customers within in the city limits and guaranteed electric service for water treatment, lighting of public roadways, and wastewater treatment & collection. If passed the current franchise will expire in 2040.

For more information on the above referenced items including Owasso City Council ward boundaries and to view the document containing the complete proposed Owasso City Charter amendments and the proposed new franchise agreement with Public Service Co. of Oklahoma, please visit www.cityofowasso.com or you may request any and all information by contacting City Hall at 918 376-1519.