Mayor to Tackle Water and Funding Issues at Town Hall Meeting | New


McAlester Mayor John Browne will hold a town hall next week that he plans to combine with the city’s information rollout for the upcoming municipal election related to water issues and a proposed increase in the sales tax.

The town hall meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 19 at the Girl Scout building on B Street and West Seneca Avenue, the mayor said.

Mayor Browne said the meeting was scheduled for residents of Ward 3, as Ward 3 is currently without a city councilor, but anyone in town is welcome.

“When the Fourth Ward did not have a City Councilor, I would have a meeting once a month for the residents of the Fourth Ward to raise their concerns or questions,” Browne said. Since the residents of Ward 3 do not have a city councilor at the moment, Browne said he is doing the same for them.

In addition to hearing their questions and concerns from the residents of Ward 3, Browne plans to provide information regarding the upcoming special election on November 9, which includes two proposals.

Browne said he is planning a city-wide town hall later this month, primarily to provide information on the proposed indebtedness as well as whether it should be paid through the proposed increase in sales tax by a quarter of a cent or a water rate. to augment.

“One of the things I’m going to talk about is the water line improvement project,” Browne said. “I will also explain the two-part vote. “

Proposition 1 asks city voters if they will agree to the city incurring a debt of $ 32.5 million for water system upgrades plus associated costs, in the form of a loan.

Proposition 2 asks voters whether they should adopt a quarter-cent sales tax to pay for improvements. If the proposed quarter-cent sales tax fails, city council already has water rate hikes set to go into effect to help pay for water system improvements.

“The first part approves the debt and the second part approves the method of payment,” Browne said.

Browne said the project, if approved, would provide 28 miles of new water pipes, including transmission lines and other lines, such as distribution lines.

“I want the city manager and I to be available for any questions,” said Browne, referring to McAlester city manager Pete Stasiak.

Ward 4 went without a Councilor for much of 2021, following the death of McAlester Deputy Mayor / Ward 4 Councilor James Brown in February, following complications during treatment for COVID- 19. Because of the way city and state election laws were drafted, an election could have been held at the earliest to fill the position in September, when Randy Roden won an election for the Ward 4 position.

Ward 3 is currently without a city councilor due to the resignation of Steve Cox, who told the mayor he had to resign from his post to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest because a promotion at the factory McAlester Army ammunition might require it. working with the city at one point.

A special election to fill the seat of the City Council of Ward 3 is scheduled for February 8, 2022.

Contact James Beaty at

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