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Grocery store owner calls campaign letter ‘complete lies’

Williams Grocery

Williams Grocery Store

Williams Foods owner Jeff Williams has called campaign letters mailed by two councilmen “complete lies” and continues to say he is willing to sit down with the city council and work out a deal concerning the $1.9 million in tax incentives promised to the new store.

In a letter dated March 24 that was mailed to Ward 4 residents, Hoss Cooley outlined his reasons for being opposed to the grocery store contract and the most recent proposal that includes interest payments to be made by the city to Williams.

“I just thought it was important to let people know the real story,” Cooley told Piedmont Today in a Friday morning interview.

However, Williams went through the letter line-by-line and offered his opinion on why he felt Cooley’s letter was full of misinformation.

The letter states Williams is paying Canadian County property taxes on a $2.5 million building and that “Williams has never shown (the city) proof that he has $3.8 million invested in the grounds of the building.” Williams’ response to the statement is the contract signed in 2010 says nothing about the “grounds of the building” but instead states the $1.9 million to the grocery store is meant to cover half of the “development and operations.”

“He is right that I am paying taxes on ($2.5 million building),” Williams said. “But that doesn’t included the equipment. The equipment is included in the operations and he knows that. The contract does exclude inventory, but I’m the one that put that in there because it wouldn’t be fair to the city. The contract does, however, include operations and equipment.”

Williams also said he has provided the city with numerous documents on his construction costs and investment in equipment.

“I spent $1.7 million in the equipment,” Williams said. “I have showed proof of total cost, and they have had it for a years.”

Cooley’s letter also said Williams is trying to get the city to pay 5.5 percent in interest, which was never a part of the original contract signed in 2010. Interest was not included in the original contract but the original contract was also designed to pay Williams one lump sum through a bond payment and Williams said he wants interest because he has had to borrow more money while he waits for the city to pay up.

“(The city) was going to have to pay some interest either on a bond or note,” Williams said. “If the judge rules they have to go with a note or a bond they are going to have to pay interest in some form.”

Williams also said Cooley was wrong when he said the city would have to pay more money to the grocery store than it might bring in with sales tax revenue.

“That is a complete lie,” Williams said. “Even the city manager has told the (council) that is not true.”

In his letter Cooley writes, “I believe (Williams) should honor the original contract dated August 9, 2010 that he signed. He should also furnish the city attorney and city council proof of what he does have invested in the buildings and grounds.”

Not only does Williams say he has supplied the city with all that information and would do so again, he is also ready to accept the original contract if the city is willing to pay him a lump sum of $1.9 million.

The letter signed by Cooley is also a near exact copy of a letter sent by Councilman Jeff Davis who is also running for reelection. Davis said earlier this month he had received information that Williams wanted to sell the Piedmont store and Cooley referenced that in his letter by saying Williams wants to make the tax incentives transferable to another owner. Williams responded to Davis’ claim by saying he has no intention to sell the store and said making the tax incentives transferable to a new owner is something any bank would require.

“Banks have to have that to get the loan,” Williams said. “I have to be able to do that so my bank can sign the contract incase I died. They would have something to go back on to make sure that note was taken care.”

Williams also reiterated that he has no intention to sell the store.

“If I had contacted anyone about selling this store it would be on the street so fast,” Williams said. “I have absolutely zero interest (in selling).”

The grocery store contract has been a common theme during the council election season with Davis and Cooley saying they are skeptical of the deal. However, several of the challengers for the council say they want to put this issue behind the city. Williams said he was frustrated to see council candidates spreading misinformation, especially since he said some council members will not talk to him about it.

“I would still love to sit down with this council and work it out,” Williams said. “I will do what’s right for the city and my business.”

 

79 Comments

  1. JT says:

    So the city, i.e. the taxpayers who generate the city’s revenue, will have to “pay interest in some form”. So Mr. Williams thinks it should be paid to him because he had to borrow money to finance his store construction? Cry me a river. Why shouldn’t I get a voucher from Mr. Williams for free groceries since I am paying for part of his store?

    • Lauren says:

      I’m sure you know by now, many cities do incentive programs to get businesses to come to town to generate sales tax revenue. This was and is the case with Williams. You cannot vilify a man that did nothing wrong. He has patiently told city council to write up a contract that they could live with and continue to screw around getting it honored.

    • Mike says:

      JT thats how it works your wonderful council memebers and Mayor, agreed to paying the incentive to get the store to Piedmont, now they want to back out on it. So the question that you sould be asking is why YOUR council members voted for it and now they don’t want to pay up like the contract state. it’s no diffent than you taking out a loan and paying interest. It is probably in the contract that he has to keep the store open for a certain period of time, and if he closed the store then he would be in violation of that contract, the city is in violation of the contract they signed, So he could realistically close the store down and not be in violation, because the city is in breech of contract, and he could go after the amount it cost hime to build the store and outfit it with all of the food and equipment plus the cost to close it down and that would be alot more than 1.9 million. So think about that and go ask your city council why they are in breech of contract.

    • That is funny JT, I have two questions and I would like for you to answer them. First; How much taxpayer sales tax was being generated in Piedmont for grocery sales before April of 2011? Second; If I gave you a building worth $5 million dollars and all you had to do was go borrow $1.9 million dollars and in return you would recieve a minimum of $250,000 a year for at least 40 years and possibly life, would you do it? Two simple questions.

      • JT says:

        Mr. Williams, the city has to pay you the $1.9 million. We agree on that part. The problem is how do they pay it. Why not just give you the $250,000 a year in sales tax for 8 years and call it even? Why do they need to borrow money with a loan or a bond? With the growth of the town, I would think they could pay it off sooner than 8 years. You didn’t give anyone a $5 million building, you own it remember, it’s yours not the city of Piedmont. I don’t support the government subsidizing private businesses, and if I had been a councilman I would have not voted for this deal. Let the market determine if we need a grocery store or not, let it stand on it’s own merits. Why tie yourself to the government like this and become somewhat dependent on them? I don’t understand it at all. However we do agree that you are owed the money. We just don’t agree on how it should be paid back to you. Looks like a judge will decide that soon though.

      • JT says:

        Mr. Williams yes we know that your store generates sales tax and that before it was here it generated zero sales tax because it didn’t exist. Second if I had $1.9 million in CASH and could invest it so that it returned $250k a year for 40 years I would do it no question about it. However, I would NOT borrow the money to do it. If I was a city councilman I would defnitely not do it. As a representative of the city I’m not using MY money to do anything, I am spending OTHER peoples money. There is a lot of responsibiblity there, and I am not going to monkey around with $1.9 million of OTHER people’s money. That’s how I was raised and that’s my core belief. I like Hayek and Mises, not Keynes.

      • Ant says:

        First of all the idea of bringing a grocery to piedmont had options that would not have cost the city so much. Mayor fina was hell bent on getting you in here with no reguard to what he was giving up. it was a race to beat PB and he was willing to agree to anything. Secondly you are not giving anybody a 5 million dollar building, you asking for the city to give you money for your building so you can grace our community with your store (it is a nice store). The proposals you are now trying to get cost more than 1.9 and keep the city on the hook much longer than anyone anticipated. The city is entitled to the sales tax your store or any other generates and most people that are against the deal know if they agree to your current terms they are giving up to much. I feel the mayor is getting a very bad rap on this as i believe she is wanting it settled as much as anybody. One question for you in terms of dollars, how does your latest proposal compare to the other cities you are in now?? Are they paying as much as you are asking for from Piedmont?? Are you getting interest from them?? Did they sell bonds to fund you?? How much of their tax are you getting?? Did they have a unified council when you started construction??

        • Reagan Republican says:

          Ant = Buel Hoar, I rest my case.

        • Reagan Republican says:

          ant, hell bent to beat PB?????? mr ant, phil boevers had the contract with jeff williams before boevers got mad when he didnt get his flawed town central pud passed by the council last year,why dont you tell the truth for once. please for our town, remember piedmont first.

          • Ant says:

            Fina blocked everything that was proposed by PB no matter its merit. The current fight is soley about what is legally required by the contract

          • Reagan Republican says:

            Ant, PB was told to do a full and complete market survey, impact study, and Phil refused too, PB, was trying to use williams investment of his market study. Besides there was no.comparison of the two proposals, the best deal for our sales tax dollars is the wiiliams store, PB building proposal was a a 20,000 sqare foot barn, we got twice the store for $1.9 m vs a metal building for $1.4m that your friend wanted to build, .apples and oranges my friend, piedmont got the best deal!!!! We got a full grocery store whileyour friend PB wanted to build as convenient store, no thanks.

          • Ant says:

            No we did not get a better building, Mr Williams did. Tax incentives are not for lining the pockets of business to locate in our town and and that is exactly what happened. PB has done grocery studies several times over the years to try and get a grocery store here. The items requested were nothing more than a delay tactic while Fina got the Williams south deal pushed through. Talk about abuse of office!! there was merit in the pud and it was revised several times to try and accomidate the council and each time the deal was turned down as not good enough. then the Williams south deal comes through that is going to cost the city at least 1.6 more than any of PB’s deals and your side hails it as the best thing to hit town with no reguard to how bad the deal was or is. The city is not Williams partner and you want to act like we are. Fina and his pack were trying to give away everything just to beat PB. Like him or not his deal was good for the city and we missed out due to closed minds

  2. Theresa Simpson Schulte says:

    I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.

  3. Mary Nell brueggen says:

    Ben, please run story on Williams Grocery regarding their award they received from the OK department of Labor, Entrepreneurial Excellence in Oklahoma. They were also given a Citation of Congratulations from the State of Oklahoma. I think this is very newsworthy since Williams is receiving such controversial press! He deserves some positive from the local newspaper. What do you think?

  4. Bill says:

    No one can deny or even has denied the city has offered an incentive of 1.9 million to Williams grocery to locate the store in Piedmont. Williams put to store in Piedmont. Since the city does not have 1.9 million to pay in a lump sum then they will have to borrow that money. That money can be borrowed so to speak by an approved bond or by some other method of loaning the money, in either event the city will have to pay interst or some cost for that money. It is not Williams responsibility to finance the city’s commitments. It is the city’s responsibilty to pay the money they promised. If Williams has to finance his own incentive then he should be paid the cost of that just like the bank or bond would be. Keep in mind he could have easily moved his store out of our city limits and had none of these issues to deal with except one, HE KEPT HIS WORD AND TRUSTED US TO DO THE SAME. I think the cost of our city’s integrity is much higher than the interst we would have to pay anyway no matter who we have to pay it too.

  5. Charles Coffman says:

    JT. Unless the city pays in a lump sum there is a cost. We had the opportunity to pay a lump sum and finance that note through a bond. Bonds typically run 1% lower than treasury notes and have tax incentives as well. It is the lowest cost form of borrowing. No form of financing is free. That is what was voted down. That is what should make you cry. The deal that was on the other side of town with Williams had a $2M incentive. You must understand that this was the same deal but at another location. That is what this is about. Please see the Dec 2009 city council video and you will see who was for that deal. Please see the letter from the Bass law firm asking to confirm the $2m incentive at the first location. Bottom line, we have the store built, we made a deal, now we need to find a way to pay it. We do not have cash and the cheapest way is bonds but some members will not vote for it. Now we will have triuble getting the best bonds rates because our city is too risky. Help us fix this.

    • Ant says:

      Charles,
      You make very good points but, it is not as simple as you are wanting it to be. The incentive to go north was a very different proposal. The incentive was for 1.4 and NO interest. The Williams South contract is very clear that the city of piedmont will pay 1/2 of construction up to 1.9. The statement about equipment and furnishings being part of construction is not a valid position. Look at any vacant grocery store anywhere and you will see 4 blank walls as the equipment leaves with the tenant. Go to the vacant Buy for Less at Council and you will see an empty building. Most of what you see on these blogs are opinions and what either side wants the contract to say. As a council member I feel it is in the best interest of Piedmont to let the Judge make a legal opinion and then we will all know what is legal. The bonds are not an issue as the city has never had a legal right to do them. If the council power swings the votes may be there to approve a bond, but is that really what is best for Piedmont or Jeff Williams. Remember last night Piedmont First!! It is public funds and opinion does not make it right. I am very concerned with the candiates making blanket statements that they will vote to pay Williams without the benefit of legal advice from the city attorney and city manager. I am for all of the current council members and future council members wanting to get the Williams deal settled, but only if done in the best interest of Piedmont. We have come this far and have a suit filed, why not let it play out so we ALL know the contract is honored based on its merits both for Mr Williams and the City of Piedmont. The entire council has the right to defend their positions and views without all of the anger. I hope if you are elected you are able to serve your term defending your views and governing based on your beliefs without fear of recall because some do not agree with you. I watched the candidate forum very close last night and i felt Leon Meyer, Jeff Davis and yourself came off as the most informed on the issues. The roads are bad but Jeff Davis made the best point of the night as it takes a million a mile to build a good road and the candidates that want to rip them all out and start over are living in a dream world. As far as developers go, they are basically hated in every city for following the rules set forth Go to Edmond and you will see almost every development is protested. Go to every surrounding city and you will find additions without curbs and sidewalks. Look at the sidewalks in the last Pud submitted that stated 80% before sidewalks were completed. If you look close it is saying once the addition hits 80% the developer then has to complete the remaining 20%, not 100% at once. The deals in this city are so twisted out of reality you need to look at both sides of an issue before deciding. If i were in your ward I would vote for you, but not because i was voting against Hoss, It would be because i believe after listening to you that you will ponder each and every issue on its merits and not on public opinion. Right now public opinion is a runaway uninformed train.

      • Piedmont taxpayer says:

        Ant, you left out the big enchilada that is a glaring omission, if you view the April 26th 2010 video of the city council meeting and the comments from the Dec 2009, regular council meeting with all the comments from boevers attorney andy bass in the minutes, you failed Ant ………to mention the advolrem taxes that was going to be siphoned off from this Town Central Pud project that was going to cost our school system millions of dollar to go in the home builders development.

        • Ant says:

          the ad valorm was being siponed by the williams TIF proposal that was withdrawn by mayor fina once he figured out he could not win the lawsuit condeming the property as blighted. Again facts are twisted. just let the council (whomever it will be) make informed decisions based on the law and this deal will get settled. If the contract is so valid williams would welcome the judge

          • Reagan Republican says:

            Reagan Republican, thx for heads up, I now just read the town central pud, I can tell you first hand that Ant is speaking for his budy boevers. good thing they voted that POS of a pud down.

          • Reagan Republican says:

            Ant, the advolrem tax diversion was Phil.Boevers ldeal from the beginning read the minutes from Dec 2009 council meeting from the beginning when PB had the contract with Jeff Williams so it was a part of the original contract and phil boevers was the first to file s lawsuit with his hanpicked candidate leon meyer the realtors best friend.

      • Sue James says:

        @ Ant – I was impressed with Mr. Coffman too, but will NOT vote for him because of his ties to the “group” causing all the problems.

        • Ant says:

          that is a good point but my hope the group will not corrupt possibly good people that want to serve ths city. I believe Hoss is great and his record is based on common sense, i am just concerned the group has damaged him enough that mr coffman will prevail. either way we need an informed council without the outside influence.

          • Lauren says:

            Ant the only one that damaged Hoss Cooleys reputation is Hoss Cooley with his continued lies. Chasing Petitioners. Myself included and telling people he only chased us because we went to his house with the recall petition. You’ve got to be kidding me! Good one! We had a list of every registered voter, why would we bother going to Hoss’s house to waste our time knowing he’s not going to sign his own recall, and even if we did go to his house, which we did not, what kind of person thinks they have the right to chase people? I invite everyone to go to the police station and ask for a copy of the police report from that chase last August. Hoss keeps lying to cover up his lies. On the police report you will find we weren’t even in Hoss’s addition. We were in Emerald Point addition. Phil Boevers showed up first flying through the addition, there were many residents that saw this. Then Hoss Cooley, then Joey Peters. Phil leaves, Hoss and Joey follow us. We drive to police station, show officer video of them following us and he agrees they were following us. He goes. Back to Emerald point and sits watching while we get more signatures. Officer leaves, Hoss Cooley shows back up now with Phil in his vehicle with him. Witnesses said these men were racing through the neighborhood, evidently looking for us. Officer comes back asks Phil who never gets out of Hoss’s Hummer what’s going on and Phil Boevers states he has no idea what’s going on and has no further comment LIE! Then as he’s speaking with Hoss Cooley who is LYING saying he wasn’t following us, officer said yes you were I saw video of you following he admits to following us but just to tell us recall was over. Another LIE! Why would he waste his time if the recall was over. Plus we passed him slowly when we turned around had our windows down and he never attempted to tell us anything. It’s all intimidation with these guys. Eventually people will see the non consistency in his story, the things that make no sense and he’s desperate to come up with some of these outrageous accusations.

          • Ant says:

            Lauren, Hoss is a man who has served his country and community with honor and sacrifice. You want to sit there and say he has no right to defend his reputation when your group attacked it. I cannot believe he has remained so calm in relation to the mean spirited attacks on his integrity after all he has done. Your groups approach to this deal has been over the line.

    • Sue James says:

      @ Charles – how do you see the Dec. 2009 video?

    • JT says:

      Simply remit 100% of the sales tax monthly back to Williams every month. No bond needed or note needed. I think you have a short memory about bonds. Here is what Jeff Williams said in October 2011: “’The bond ended up being bad for the city,’ Williams said. ‘With the fees, the interest rate is through the roof and it’s unsellable right now.'” He basically agreed with Hoss Cooley who said: “Cooley said he had spoken with several financial experts, including Terry Anderson, president of F&M Bank, and believed the city would not be bondable…” Has something changed where the City of Piedmont can get bonds? Sometimes the simplest way is the best way. Just give the sales tax directly back to Mr. Williams until he is paid his $1.9 million.

    • JT says:

      One more question for Mr. Coffman. When you came to my house you told my wife and I that you were not taking sides with any of the feuding parties. Why is it that Donya Hau came to my house a few hours before you did passing out the same flyers that you gave me? Mrs. Hau has been a plantiff on several lawsuits against Mr. Cooley and Mr. Davis. She IS one of the feuding parties.

      • Sue James says:

        @ JT – Same thing happened to me. Hard to vote for somebody that has those ties.

      • Lauren says:

        JT/Ant/Sue James are all Hoss Cooley friends. Of course you will try and stand by your friend. It’s just sad that you can support someone that has to resort to intimidation. Like I said, the truth always comes out and the lies have to be covered up by more lies. Their is no such thing as a free loan. The bonds if passed when they were originally voted on would have sold and for lower interest. Hoss was one that voted against them. Even if we pay interest it’s still coming from sales tax revenue so stop making it sound like it’s costing the city more money. Once the debt is paid instead of making just 2% we will make the 4%. If the store wasn’t here we’d be making $0. At least now we are making approx $240,000 a year!

        • JT says:

          I’ve never met the man. Just because we may disagree with you does not mean we are friends of someone you disagree with.

  6. Ron Hau says:

    Instead he’ll just bring jobs, and approximately $20,000 a month in tax revenue.
    City’s do it all the time. In fact I think if you’ll check Hoss’s voting record you’ll find Hoss and Jeff Davis supported incentives when the store was going to be put in a different location…….ever wonder why that location made such a big difrence to them?

  7. taxpaying citizen also says:

    Really the city i.e. the taxpayers who shop the grocery store should hold the council accountable for the contract they made with Williams. Tell me if you build a building for someone and they said they would pay and then you got done and they did not pay, what would you do? If you had to pay interest would you want that interest back?

  8. Get a Clue People says:

    @JT – Wake up and smell the coffee. Do you have any idea about finance basics like present worth and future worth? Taxpayers are not paying ANYTHING extra for this store. The City is not paying anything EXTRA for this store. If the City gives all the 1.9 million to Williams, the city will be able to use ALL the sales tax from the store to repay the Bond or note, depending how they get obtain the 1.9 million, the interest would very likely be less than 5.5%

    If Mr. Williams were to receive payments on a monthly or quarterly basis over time, he would be due more than 1.9 million after 10 years or 20 years because 1.9 million today is worth about worth about 3.1 million after 10 years @ 5% and 5.04 million after 20 yrs @ 5%. weather or not he gets 1.9 is a different matter.

    Regardless where you buy your food, you pay tax. It is where that tax goes after you pay it is the issue. Did you know the outlet stores in OKC also receive tax incentive and repayment of investment and marketing costs.
    Have you heard of the phrase, it takes money to make money? well that applies to cities too who need sales tax income.

    Please do a little reading and research and educate yourself before you spout off. Wikipedia does a good job explaining present worth and future worth and here is the back up for what the OKC is paying for the outlet mall.
    http://www.okc.gov/AgendaPub/cache/2/sfjp52e11q4l02452kxidsza/94819003302012043934534.PDF

    • JT says:

      Get a Clue, do you think the city can pass a $1.9 million bond? See what I wrote above, even Mr. William didn’t think they could. Please don’t lecture me about the present and future value of money. Why are you assuming a 5% inflation rate? Where does the contract state that the $1.9 million is in 2010 dollars? Why not just remit 100% of the sales tax revenue generated by Williams back to Williams until the money is paid back. What is so wrong with that? Why are you such a fan Keynsian economics? If these incentives are so great why didn’t they build 10 outlet malls in OKC? Why not build 5 more grocery stores in Piedmont with incentives? It’s logic like this that allows pro sports teams to finance new multi million dollar stadiums on the backs of taxpayers in big cities. Your analogy of comparing a business’ income to sales tax revenue frightens me. Cities don’t make money they forcibly take money in the form of taxes.

  9. Amazed says:

    Thank you Mr Coffman you will be a much needed voice on the council when you get elected. We need strong leadership representing our ward with common business sense, unlike what has been representing us here in our ward.

  10. Piedmont Man says:

    continued. that is why im am supporting with words of encouragement, my one vote, by calling my neighbors to do what I can to elect Vetnon Woods, Al Gleichmann and Charles Coffman for city council. We need true leaders who will actually be leaders not beholding to the special interest and their henchmen and do what their ordered to stymy this city by the puppet master.

  11. donya hau says:

    @ Sue….the video shows they were for it before they were against it. Its on the city of Piedmont Website. You should go check it out…its quite interesting. @ Ant…nothing is free…only cash transactions have no interest.

  12. Charles Coffman says:

    Mr. Ant. I read business deals very carefully and parse every word. I would not just vote on any proposal based on history. Sorry if I gave that impression. Every item will have to stand on its own merit, not based on what took place in the past. It will need to pass the legal muster in its format and voting requirements. It will also need to make business sense. In other words, we will have to ensure that any deal still leaves some form of revenue for the city after costs. Costs include any maintenance of infrastructure. I desire to build revenue streams for the city so we can plan our budget. That budget planning component is very important. Cities “like” retailers because they are low cost to the city but generate cash flow. Other forms of income that rely on someone applying for a permit, or signing up for a new water meter are hit or miss. We need to build revenue streams that allow us to pay for our costs and have enough left over to build a reserve. All the talk about interest rates and incentives are important but are the wrong business question. The real question is does it generate reliable, positive cash flow for the city and have an acceptable risk. I must move on, but enjoyed seeing the comments.

    • Ant says:

      OK so you are saying you will look at all sides on the williams deal before voting??? No blanket support??

  13. Zonia Nizo says:

    I’m tired of being first all the time.

  14. donya hau says:

    Mr. JT…..I only went to two houses in Mr. Coffmans ward during this entire campaign….& I only went with Ms. Mitchell (who by the way does live in Mr. Coffman’s ward) so she wouldn’t have to go by herself. Thank you so much for just blowing your cover!!!! You’ve just made my day!!!

  15. donya hau says:

    By the way JT (I’ll keep calling you that so as not to blow your cover) Mr. Cooley continues to twist the facts & lie….he was recalled because of his voting record for his business partner which is a conflict of interest. If you want to say I AM one of the feuding parties for holding a councilman responsible for his actions….so be it…..over 200 people apparatnly agree w/ me….that’s how many people signed the petition to recall Mr. Cooley….

  16. Reagan Republican says:

    Mr Coffman, with your honest statments and your businesslike approach to this problem we have, you got my vote, my support and my hearfelt prayers that you can get this city moving forward. People of these wards look what has transpired over the last year, put Mr Coffman in ofice, and vote for him on April 3rd.

  17. donya says:

    Ms. James….(or whomever you really are) it’s not becoming of a lady to so outrightly lie like that…tsk…tsk…tsk….as I stated to Mr. JT (if that’s who he really is….) I only went to 2 houses in Mr. Coffman’s ward during this entire campagin…& went w/ Ms. Mitchell so she didn’t have to go alone…& we only talked to two gentleman….no wife’s were ever present…just the men. One asked some very good questions…one, upon hearing my first name, seemed to think he knew an awful lot about me even though we have never met. So, either one or both of you are not telling the truth….why the need to distort the facts? Why the need to mislead the people? Why the need to hide behind an assumed name? We as citizens have every right to support which ever candiate we choose…Mr. Coffman nor Mr. Cooley really have any control over who wishes to support them….I would think they would welcome any & all support, unless of course it is coming in the form of lies & misleading information. I will once again sign my name so everyone knows I can honestly stand behind my words….won’t you come out from hiding so we can all know who you are & debate this like adults. I would really welcome the chance to see where exactly you are coming from. You know where I stand because you know who I am….

    • JT says:

      Donya I am a real person, JT is a family knickname. I don’t want my name splattered all over the internet. I’m not really sure why you think I have a cover. The reason I know about you is because I read the comments here and on Facebook, I saw your name in a Gazette article, and I can look up court cases on OSCN. Mr. Coffman doesn’t have any control of who supports him, but he should use some discrestion over who campaigns for him. Here is my adult debate: You were a plantiff to the lawsuit to remove Jeff Davis, you were a petioner on the Writ of Mandamus against Judge Miller when you lost the suit against Davis, and you were an intervenor in the suit when Mr. Cooley sucessfully had his recall petition thrown out. In my opinion that puts you right in the middle of one of the feuding parties. Therefore when Mr. Coffman comes to my house and tells me that he isn’t part of the feuding party, and then you come to my house to campaign for Mr. Coffman with his official campaign flyers, what conclusion do I reach? Mr. Coffman has associated himself directly or inderectly with one of the feuding parties. I cannot support someone like that unless or until he clarifies himself.

  18. donya says:

    by the way,,,,Ms. James….there is NO ONE in Mr. Cooley & Mr. Coffmans ward named Sue James…..

  19. Sue James says:

    @ Donya – there is NO ONE in Mr. Cooley or Mr. Coffman’s ward named Get a Clue People, ary, Petter Dragon, Piedmont taxpayer, JT, Ant, taxpaying citizen also, Amazed, Piedmont Man, Regan Republican, Theresa Schulte, Mary Brueggen, Zonia Nizo, Ron Hau or Donya Hau either.

  20. appalled observer says:

    I would vote for a potted plant if they were running against Hoss Cooley or Jeff Davis.

  21. ary says:

    Jt, I have a question for you. Why wouldn’t Hoss go to his friend and banker Terry Anderson to run an amortization schedule? He chose QuikenLoans, First Choice Bank and Ever Bank, what a joke. First Choice Bank is in Tulsa, Ever Bank is out of state, who knows where Quiken Loans are located, Hoss is still saying the city has to pay Williams Grocery for the next 25 years. Another big lie by Hoss. How many times does it have to be explained to Hoss???? The 25 year plan was on the “LETTER OF INTEREST ONLY” with Buy for Less that Phil Bovers called a CONTRACT. When the amount that is owed to Williams Grocery is paid, we don’t have to keep paying him for 25 years. What if you had a home loan to be paid off in 25 years, if you made extra payments and paid it off early. you would stop making payments. Right!!! Therefore you would not be making payment for 25 year. How simple is that, even a 1st grader could understand that. Maybe I need to draw Hoss a picture, or maybe Terry Anderson can call him and explain it. Please Terry give your friend a call, so Hoss will stop confusing and telling lies to citizens of Piedmont.

    • JT says:

      An amoritization schedule is an amoritization schedule. The payment amount and interest over the life of the loan calculate the same for a given principal, interest rate and time period. It doesn’t matter what bank calculates it, the math is the same. If the city takes out a 20 or 30 year bond it will take 20 or 30 years to pay off. If they borrow the money from a bank I have a hard time believing they will pay it off early. When was the last time you heard of a government entity paying off debt early?

    • Lauren says:

      I was at this meeting were it was explained to Hoss. He was either playing stupid or he’s not to bright. I figured he was playing games as another month to not honor the contract. It worked. At the current rate of sales tax revenue the store should pay for itself in approximately 12-13 years. Then the co tract is fulfilled and we make all 4% of sales tax revenue. Let’s say the store must isn’t making the money there is a 25 year cap on the loan so if the debt isn’t paid off in 25 years Mr. Williams is done being paid.

  22. piedmont person says:

    @ JT…Just in case you may be confused or otherwise misinformed. Mrs. Hau was only listed on one lawsuit..The citizens have only filed one lawsuit agains the City.
    Others have filed several.
    Lawsuit number 1..was when a group of citizens filed agains the city reagarding Williams
    Lawsuit Number2..same group same issue..
    Lawsuit Number 3..when a group of citizens sued city over Jeff Davis appoinment
    Lawsuit number 4..Hoss Cooley filed against city protesting Recall
    Lawsuit Number 5..Wade Johnsnon filed against city protesting Recall
    Lawsuit Number 6..Bovers, Leaon Myers filed another suit against city regading Williams

    Looking back through papers for this information…it can easily be confirmed in court records…The group of citizens who want to change councilmen have only filed ONE lawsuit The othere who oppose them have filed FIVE LAWSUITS…They are telling people it is the other way…that is just not true.

    • Sue James says:

      Lawsuit 1 – Group filed saying property wasn’t blighted. Group won.
      Lawsuit 2 – Group won
      Lawsuit 3 – Jeff Davis appointment was done correctly. Group Lost They took it to the Supreme Court and lost again.
      Lawsuit 4 – Courts found Hoss Cooley’s recall was invalid – Group Lost
      Lawsuit 5 – Mr. Johnson’s recall protest hasn’t been heard yet
      Lawsuit 6 – Not sure what you are referring to here

      you have to remember who the people were that caused these lawsuits.to begin with and have NOT won any yet.

      • Ron Hau says:

        Our mayor swore Jeff Davis in at her campaign mgr’s house on a Friday night. After she ran on open and transparent city government. God help us when the ends justify the means.
        Does anyone really wonder why no one trust our city government?

      • Ron Hau says:

        Sue the most important judge of all will speak Tuesday. After 6 months you can appeal that judge’s ruling ( in the form of a recall)if you feel the judge made a mistake. And Sue it’s not only your right to appeal that decision (if you truely feel it’s harming our community) but your obligation.

        As fare as Hoss’s recall, you should remember this. Hoss hired Tom Furguson before the city hired Mr. Ferguson. So they had a prior relasionship before Furguson was hired by the city. Neither one disclosed this fact during the hiring process. Hoss pushed hire his former attorney and got it done. Hoss’s former attorney gave us poor advise during the recall. Now Hoss is suing the city because the attorney he previously higherd and did not disclose that had worked for him made a mistake on his recall.
        Think about it!

        • Sue James says:

          Again the county court and the supreme court both said Jeff Davis was legally seated on the city council. So you are saying if the people in Ward 4 elect Mr. Cooley then you won’t agree with their decision and you will begin a recall?

      • Lauren says:

        Sue James can you explain to me what you meant by it wasn’t properly blighted.

        Jeff Davis was not done correctly. What was determined was their are to many holes in our city charter. We all know the Mayor swore Jeff in that Friday night because if she waited till Monday we would have had to have an election. Hoss was dead set against letting the people vote in that ward. Even Judge Miller commented at court (I was there) that Mr. Davis should have been sworn in properly in public. This was all sneaky. Judge also agreed with Larry Gage’s testimony that an election should have been held.

        Supreme Court also said Charter not clear.

        Hoss Cooley was recalled, Judge Miller would not let him remove signatures, and due to City Attorney Ferguson that Hoss brought in the group was given the wrong information on where the signature was supposed to be on the page. So, yes recall was dismissed but not due to lack of citizen signatures, do to we signed our notarized signatures in wrong place.

        • Ant says:

          Lauren, it is funny how Larry and Vernon are so dead set on having an election after trying to get Cardwell appointed to the council seat. When that did not work they wanted an election, when that did not work they abstained thinking that would cancil eveything else. What the Judge decided was the abstentions had no merit and the Mayor had the right to vote and appoint Jeff Davis. He would like to have seen it done publically but it was not absolute. She actually tried to do it publically but Larry and Vernon said they did not care what the judge said and would vote to block it from the agenda. They left her no choice but to get it done in private. Which is funny because Larry then attended the swearing in. Your group only wants to use the parts of the law and charter that favor your position and desreguard the rest.

    • JT says:

      Please see my reply to Donya above.

  23. mike says:

    Mr. Williams,

    I am not a fan of Fina, or Boevers. I do however like the upper class store you have built in our community.
    I am sorry you and your business are caught in this drama. best wishes to your store.

  24. ary says:

    This is the wording on Hoss Cooley’s letter and campagin flyer:

    The Mayor and City Council went to Washington DC to receive a $1.Million Doollar grant for the NEW police station,
    Question: That statement make me think that is was the curent Mayor and City Council.
    ” Why did he leave off Mayor Fina and previous City Council members?
    Answer: In fact is was Mayor Fina, Mayor Pro-Tem Donnie Robinson, Vernon Woods

    members that got the grant along with the grant to make Piedmont Road 4 lane
    highway..

    I actiivity recruited for a grocery store,

    • ary says:

      Computer problem, let me start over.
      This is the wording on Hoss Cooley’s letter and campagin flyer:

      The Mayor and City Council went to Washington DC to receive a $1 Million Dollar grant for the new police station:
      Question: Did that make you think it was the current Mayor and City Council???
      Thats what I and other thought.
      Answer: In fact it was the previous Mayor Mike Fina, Mayor Pro-Tem Donnie
      Robinson, Council members Vernon Woods, Hoss Cooley, Jeff Davis
      and Councilwoman Jodi Lewis.

      Letter to Citizens: I activity recuited for a grocery store, but I just don’t like the
      location.
      Question: Why is the location such a big issue? Hoss was for the grocery store
      when it was located on his business partners (Phil Boevers) land.
      What does the location have to do with paying Wiliiams
      Grocery Store? Just do the right thing and honor the contract.
      Letter to Citizens: The only real income Piedmont has is its water sales.
      Answer: Not true!
      Tax revenue is received from all the business in Piedmont.
      Grocery sales brings in more monthly tax revenue than any other
      business.

      Lawuits: 5 Lawsuits, Harassment threats $100,000.
      Answer: The flyers failed to mention that the first lawsuit was filed
      against Williams Grocery Store by: Phil Boevers, Bill Sharp,
      Jim Weaver, Gary Layton, Cindy Boevers, Leon Meyer, Ted
      Hyde, Richard Strubhar, Richard Ferrell, Forest Wells in 2010.

      Current Council members Hoss Cooley, Wade Johnson have both filed
      Lawsuits against the City of Piedmont. Jeff Davis against the
      citizens. Leon Meyer running for city council has filed against
      Williams Grocery Store and the City of Piedmont.

      Hoss Cooley, Joey Peters, and Phil Boevers were following Ron
      Hau and Lauren Boatman when they were collecting signatures.
      Don’t know where they came upwith the $1000,000 Harassment &
      Threats.

      Jeff Davis and Hoss Cooleys statement that Jeff heard Williams was
      going to sell the Grocery Store. That is one big LIE.
      Please give the name and phone number of the person
      of the person you received that information from.

      The letter in the newspaper said Jeff was verbally attacked.
      In fact Jeff Davis verbally attacked Clark Williams and Jeff Davis
      during city council meetings.

      • Ron Hau says:

        You can NOT continue to throw facts into this debate! It just makes the other side look bad!

  25. Ron Hau says:

    As Charles Coffman said, let’s get the election over so we can begin the healing process.

  26. Sue James says:

    @ Ron – It will take a long time for this town to heal….. if it ever does.

    • Ron Hau says:

      @Sue, I think you are correct. It took a decade or 2 to create this wound I’m sure it take a lot of time heal.

    • Lauren says:

      I hope your wrong Sue, we all need to honor the contract and move on.

  27. Jeff Williams says:

    @JT – That was one of the 5 options that I had given the council a long time ago. The mayor even put them on a slide and showed them to all of the council during a council meeting Mr. Cooley, Wade Johnson and I believe Bill Sharp voted no on that one. In fact they chose number five. File a lawsuit in court.

    • JT says:

      Well at this point the judge might as well serve as an independent arbiter between the two parties. I don’t see this being resolved with anything less than a court ruling. It is sad, but it is the truth. I am against government subsidizing businesses, but this agreement is binding so it must be enforced.

  28. Paying attention says:

    I am voting for Charles Coffman because I want positive change. Don’t kid yourselves folks….. Phil, Buel, Leon and Hoss are buds. They meet weekly over at Leon’s. I live in a LeonBuel addition. I am not proud to say a former PB addition. I am a tax paying citizen and I am tired of the BS. We were visited by Hoss and Buel together in my addition. My husband told them….”guess you can see who I am voting for” as he pointed to the COFFMAN sign in our yard.

    Ward 4…..Be heard….get out there and vote…..vote coffman!

  29. Lauren says:

    The whole situation is sad for everyone on both sides. Hopefully after tomorrow we can move forward, get the contract honored and work on bringing in revenue to Piedmont to relieve the burden of the taxpayers. I would rather see sales tax revenue go towards repairing our roads not hitting our pockets for it. Taxes are high enough.

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