PIEDMONT — A Piedmont city councilman who faced a recall election Tuesday lost after one of his two challengers pulled in nearly 55 percent of the vote.
Councilman Vernon Woods, who upset some local residents by meeting privately with officials from a company interested in building a wind farm in northern Piedmont, lost to Bobby Williamson in Tuesday's election.
Woods received 35.7 percent of the vote Tuesday night. When he was re-elected last year, he received nearly 70 percent of the vote.
Local resident Donovan Rubley ran for the council seat, as well, but he garnered just 9.7 percent of the vote.
Pam Suttles, a local resident who led the charge to hold the recall election, said many local residents became upset with Woods after he continued to meet with representatives of Apex Wind Energy Inc. after city officials decided not to allow the massive turbines to be erected within Piedmont city limits.
“He's not representing the citizens in his ward and he's not returning phone calls to some of them,” Suttles said before Tuesday's election. “We didn't have trouble collecting the signatures.”
Woods said the recall election has little to do with the planned wind farm and more to do with “political games the likes of which Piedmont has never seen.”
“I've made some enemies since I got elected,” Woods said recently. “I guess you could say I ask the wrong questions.”
Woods never denied that he continued to meet with Apex Wind Energy, which is planning a massive wind farm in northern Canadian and southern Kingfisher counties, but he claimed that some residents of northern Piedmont actually were interested in having the turbines on their property.
Suttles said many Piedmont residents believe the turbines that come with a wind farm would limit growth, hurt property values and become a potential safety hazard if Apex Wind Energy is allowed to build them close to the city.