Dilapidated buildings and abandoned structures are routinely considered by the council.
In a letter to Oklahoma Gazette, Nelson wrote, “They (city officials) insulted me and refused to allow me to speak before the council on matters that were in fact part of today’s agenda.”
Nelson wrote he wanted to address the council about the same concerns Ward 3 Councilmen Larry McAtee and Ward 4 Councilman Pete White had aired in previous meetings regarding the large number of dilapidated structures in OKC.
Assistant Municipal Counselor Rick Smith said city policy prohibits mayoral candidates from making political speeches or comments during city council meetings.
Smith was unaware when the policy was enacted.
“I guess since candidates for political office tried to make speeches,” he said. “Sir, I don’t know. I don’t have a date for it.”
According to Smith, Nelson could only speak about one of the three dilapidated buildings on Tuesday’s agenda, and not the city’s overall program of enforcing the dilapidated structure ordinance.
“If this is what politics is all about, it’s no wonder people don’t get involved,” Nelson said. “They, in effect, barricaded me from going into the council meeting and I was told to leave.”
Nelson claims he left city hall on his own to avoid a public confrontation.
Nelson, a retired general contractor, is one of four candidates seeking the mayor’s post, including incumbent Mick Cornett and Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid. The fourth candidate is Phil Hughes.
Nelson contends Cornett and Shadid make comments at every council meeting that are not related to an agenda item.
“They can say anything they want, but not me,” he said. “They want to keep me down. But I am going to speak before this council as a citizen. It’s my absolute right to do so, especially where the people of this city and their rights are also concerned.”
Citizens who want to address the council must fill out a speaker’s form with their name, address, telephone number and reason for appearing. Each citizen is given three minutes to address the council.