GROVE - The founder of the Grove Political Action Committee has filed a complaint with the district attorney after being denied use of a city facility.
“This is a perfect example of corruption in our city government,” said founder Troy Kyman who planned to host a political event Saturday at the Grove Community Center.
“Hundreds of citizens have been affected by this type of treatment over the years and that's exactly why GrovePAC was founded.”
Kyman said Debbie Mavity, assistant city manager, first notified him on Monday when he went to city hall to pay the $100 fee to use the facility, that the group was denied use of the building.
“If you assumed that you could use this facility without a written statement or some sort of authorization, you were mistaken,” Grove City Manager Bill Galletly said to Troy Kyman in an e-mail issued Monday afternoon.
Galletly further directed Kyman that he could request permission from the city council at the March 6 meeting.
However, that would be too late for Grove PAC, since Kyman said he'd already made advertising arrangements for the chili feed and voter registration event.
Despite the fight with city hall, Kyman said the fund-raising event will take place. But, he is moving it to another location.
The Hickory Inn Conference Room in Grove is the new event site, Kyman said. Details can be found on the group's Web site at GrovePAC.org
Kyman said it will also be an opportunity for residents to meet and visit three city council candidates - incumbent Larry Parham, Mike Davenport and Gary Trippensee.
Parham said Tuesday in a telephone interview that he was glad the event was moved to a privately owned facility, adding that he always preferred to “err on the side of caution.”
Kyman said that, on Feb. 20, he clearly outlined what would take place at the event to not only Mavity, but also to city attorney Ron Cates.
Kyman's event is for the sole support of a the three city council candidates and, according to Mavity, appears to be devoted or biased in support of a specific party, group, or cause.
In light of the group being partisan, Mavity said the staff didn't want to make a decision without the blessing of the city attorney.
That was impossible to obtain, Mavity said, because city attorney Ron Cates is in Mexico and unable to be reached.
“The staff does not feel that it would be appropriate to grant permission,” Galletly wrote to Kyman.
Mavity couldn't explain why other political partisan groups had traditionally been allowed to utilize city facilities. She was able to confirmed the city has no written policy addressing the type of faction that may utilize its facilities for events.
The city official also said that a local newspaper would be allowed to proceed with its candidate forum next week because it is an event that invites all people seeking office to give input.
Absent of any political foes, last Thursday, U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican stopped at city hall and spoke solely with Grove residents.
Two days later, the Delaware County Republican Party utilized the Grove Community Center for is biennial convention. The group also meets at city hall once a month, according to its local media advertisements.
The Delaware County Democratic Women split their functions between Grove and Jay city-owned community centers, according to their media announcements.
Through the years, scores of political groups and sole candidates have sponsored fund-raising events such as hog fries and Indian taco dinners on both city and county owned facilities in Delaware County.
In 1994, Republican Frank Keating came to the newly remodeled Grove Civic Center and made the first public announcement to Oklahoman's that he was officially running for governor.