DISNEY, OK —
In regard to speculation that Coats is targeting fire departments who oppose the commissioners decision to reallocate funding, he said that's simply not the case.
“We filed this suit about eight months ago, long before the county commissioners made the decision to change the funding. It has nothing to do with that,” said Coats, who says he is just a concerned citizen.
“We do have plans of suing the commissioners if we get all the little towns together,” said Barger. “I don't see how they can change a resolution after the people have voted, without taking it back to a vote of the people.”
Barger does not believe the commissioners should be allowed to make the change.
On a ballot in 2002, the citizens of Mayes County voted on the distribution of money generated by sales tax. The money, the vote stipulated, would be divided evenly among 14 fire departments. Recently, county commissioners Alva Martin and Darrell Yoder out-voted commissioner Ryan Ball in their decision to redistribute the funds.
The decision resulted in a monthly allotment to each fire department with additional funding to be determined based on number of fire runs made.
On Thursday, the judge ruled in favor of Ron Coats.
“I won, hands down,” said Coats. “They pretty much got smacked in the mouth today.”
An order will be filed by Coats’ attorney requiring the town of Disney to supply Coats with the records he requested.