Healdton City Councilors under fire for attempted minute change

Published: Aug. 4, 2016 at 6:23 PM CDT
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HEALDTON, Okla.-- In the last 5 years, the City of Healdton has seen 7 police chiefs and 5 city managers. Last week, nearly 30 residents signed a petition to recall two city councilors for not following state mandated procedures. And now one of those councilors is under fire for trying to change meeting minutes, to allegedly try and circumvent that recall.

"Just not right. Or crooked, you can use that word," long-time Healdton resident Donald Pierce said. "But they're supposed to be working for the good of the people here, and that's what its all about."

Healdton city manager Greg Parker tells us Vice mayor Treva Gage and councilor-at-large Linda Hill are accused of not holding recall votes on financial issues, refusing to act in the best interest of the city of Healdtonm, and in Gage's case, allowing her position within the Healdton Industrial Authority to compromise her role as councilor.

At Monday's meeting, those two and another councilor voted to amend the minutes from a July 18th meeting, where two councilors left, leaving Gage to run the meeting.

Gage had asked councilor Manuel Dovilla to replace Mayor Randy Welch on the Southern Oklahoma Rural Council, which is illegal without a vote.

Now Parker says Gage is trying to deny it ever happened, by changing the minutes.

"It's not right, and it's unethical. And I'm not going to let them change it for a favorable outcome for themselves." Parker said.

No councilors were available for interview, but in her statement against the recall petition Gage denies any wrongdoing.

The minutes haven't been released to the public yet, but when they are, Parker says they will be unaltered, with a separate or italicized version of Gage's comments.

And now that both accused councilors have responded to the recall, the petitioners will have 30-days to gather 110 more signatures, before a recall election can be held.