Stillwater's Mayor Confronts Allegations of Inappropriate Behavior
By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9
STILLWATER, Oklahoma -- Dozens turned out for a Stillwater town hall meeting to address allegations of bad behavior against one of Oklahoma's youngest mayors.
One by one, people passionate about politics in Stillwater told their mayor to stay strong.
"I applaud this guy. I applaud him beyond all recognition," said one Stillwater resident who attended the town hall.
Mayor Nathan Bates is facing a petition seeking his removal from office. Because of that, the 27-year-old mayor hosted a town hall meeting Tuesday. He said he was hoping to confront those who not only accused of him of inappropriate behavior, but also those who organized and signed the petition.
"Isn't it interesting to note that no one has been able to stand here and say I threw this rock," said a Stillwater resident during the town hall meeting.
Instead of opposition, Bates was greeted by a room full of supporters. There was even a high school student who said he wasn't taking anyone's side. Instead, he asked the mayor, guilty or not, how he plans to rebuild his reputation in the community.
"All I really know is what I read in the paper, and what I hear from people," said high school student Henry Kulick.
Also in the crowd was the same Stillwater city councilman who on Monday asked Mayor Bates to resign during a city council meeting.
"It's nothing personal between Nathan and I. We actually work together really well. We get together quite a bit," said Councilman Darrell Dougherty. "What has happened here, true or not, allegations or not, issues or not, Nathan is going to go through some struggles through this process, you know, that people wouldn't wish on him."
Dougherty said he didn't know who organized the petition against Bates. However, a recall election petition is moving forward. The group Concerned Citizens of Stillwater will need to collect 650 voter signatures to force a recall election.