Council Answers Questions about WTMPA Relationship - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/8/02

Council Answers Questions about WTMPA Relationship

After a lengthy closed door session the Lubbock City Council emerged from the meeting with questions and answers. Lubbock Mayor Marc McDougal talked with NewsChannel 11 just moments after the meeting was over about some of the things that were discussed in the meeting.

We first asked the mayor about the missing $1.6 million. “The $1,684,000 was spent by the West Texas Municipal Power Association in September 2000 to make a bond payment. They needed to make that bond payment because the turbine that had been installed did not work. Subsequent to that, there was a lawsuit filed which we had settled about a week ago. So that’s where the $1.6 million went to. It was a legal expenditure. It was certainly something that council was not aware of a week ago when we made that decision two weeks ago. It was a legal expense and we're satisfied with where the money went to.”

Another question that we have, there are speculations about Ty Cooke’s relationship with the WTMPA, the $3,000 reimbursement checks he is receiving. What did you find out today? “Well, the WTMPA has member cities; Lubbock, Brownfield, Tulia, and Floydada. Each of those member cities appoint two board members then appoint a chairman and they have appointed Mr. Cooke as chairman. So that’s how that relationship came about. They opted to pay Mr. Cooke $3,000 a month for office expense for keeping the offices of the WTMPA here locally instead of opening a separate office.”

Is the city council ok with that? “The city council’s statement this evening was that that is an issue between Mr. Cooke and the WTMPA board.”

This executive session took you six hours, what was discussed? Why did it take you so long? “We had a lot of questions about whether or not we wanted to continue to be a part of the WTMPA. Certainly all of those questions haven't been answered yet. We will have more executive sessions to start addressing those issues and more questions as soon as that information starts to come back. That will be a slow process, but I can assure you that this city council will get information to the public as soon as it becomes available to us.”

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