Stillwater News Press

March 29, 2013

Council seats, propositions up for vote in Perry

By Russell Hixson
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Perry voters will decide on two propositions as well as three city council positions in Tuesday’s election.

The first proposition concerns how close the city manager is required to live near the city. The proposition would amend the city’s charter to allow a city manager who has resided at their residence for more than five years to live within 10 miles of the city rather than the five miles the current charter requires.

“This is a special question for a special reason — we are not trying to sugar coat it,” said Mayor Chuck Hall.

He said the city would like to be accommodating to city manager Mary Rupp who has lived less than 10 miles outside city limits for 30 years. He said if voters agree with the proposition, she would not have to relocate.

The second proposition would increase hotel and motel taxes to 8 percent to fund an access road that will parallel Interstate 35 and city’s commercial park.

After Vance Chevrolet decided to relocate to the park, other businesses have shown interest but only if an access road would be built.

The change would also clarify language that wasn’t clear for the original 5 percent tax passed a decade ago.

This would allow the city to use proceeds from the tax to issue bonds.

The tax would also apply to those who stay at hotels and motels for extended periods of time.

With the oil and gas boom, many oil company employees are filling up hotels and motels for months at a time, allowing them to bypass that as it becomes a residence.

“If that’s what is filling our hotels we are missing out on our tax,” Hall said.

Hall said the tax would generate approximately $75,000 a year and pay off the access road in 10 years.

The ballot will also decide three city council positions. Timothy W. Moxley and Jason Kamp are running for Ward 2. Kyle Smith, Darren Webb and  Marvin D. Dement are running for Ward 3. Bill Streller and Simone VanArsdell Belk are running for Ward 4.