The Mustang City Council voted down the adoption of an international set of building codes after several citizens expressed their concerns about the origin of the codes, saying they promoted an international agenda that could jeopardize their rights.
The City Council voted 4-3 against the adoption of the codes. Mark Grubbs, Terry Jones and Jay Adams voted in favor of the codes while Matt Taylor, Linda Bowers, Linda Hagan and Don Mount voted against them.
The City Council considered adopting the 2009 International Building Codes, authored by the International Council Committee (ICC) at their previous meeting in March.
Ward 1 City Councilman Matt Taylor voiced his concerns with the origin of the codes and questioned whether they were best for the City of Mustang. He urged that the city held a public hearing on the codes for local citizens to voice their opinions on them.
Mustang developer Robert Crout spoke to the city council at their April 2 meeting and encouraged them to adopt the codes.
"I am a board member of the Oklahoma State Homebuilders Association and our executive officer was interested in this item and asked me to come tonight to let the council know that the association appreciates you thinking of us when you are looking to adopt plans like this," Crout said. "These particular codes have been long discussed by the state homebuilders association and it has been brought through the state of Oklahoma. We endorsed them and we think Mustang should accept them."
Several citizens spoke out against the codes.
Mustang resident Juanita Holland said she believed the codes were linked to Agenda 21, which is a nonbinding, voluntarily implemented action plan created by the United Nations regarding sustainable development.
"Councilman Taylor, thanks for letting us have a public hearing on this," Holland said. "I did a lot of research over the past several days about Agenda 21. You are right, this is mandated by the government, but it is the government taking over our rights and taking our private property. I would hate to see Mustang become one of the cities that lets the United Nations come in and walk all over it. This city council is our local government and we elect you to be our voices, we don’t have the voice you do."
Yukon resident Danielle Patterson also spoke out against the codes and voiced her displeasure that House Bill 1412 is in danger of not being heard. The bill would prohibit the state from contracting with or exchanging funds with a nongovernmental or intergovernmental organization accredited by the U.N. The House voted 67-17, mostly along party lines, to pass the bill.
"You all are our voice here and our line of defense," Patterson said. "I would ask that you would stand for our sovereignty, our state and our nation. I wonder, what does an international entity have to do with local plumbers, electricians and construction workers. Are we not our own? We should remain sovereign."
Jason Timm of Mustang also spoke out against the codes. Timm is the Fourth District committee man for the Republican Party. He also served as a alternate delegate at the Republican National Convention in Florida last summer.
"The fact of the matter is, the national issues don’t get resolved at the national level, they get resolved at the city level," Timm said. "We are built from the ground up, not from the top down. If you never read this Agenda 21 stuff or studied it, it probably sounds crazy. We are talking about the laundering of ideologies and philosophies. This is a United Nations agenda that they are trying to launder down to us. I didn’t believe it at first, and I have talked to people all over the state and they are completely clueless about Agenda 21. I don’t think they are bad people or evil people, I just think they are lost in this whole maze of organizations."
Timm urged the city council to find another set of codes.
"I truly think Mustang needs to find a separate set of codes and reject these ICC codes," he said. "I agree that we need to have sound building codes, but I beg that you hold this off as long as possible before everyone has had a chance to research some of this stuff. It all sounds like science fiction, but it’s not and you need to reject this so we don’t promote Agenda 21."
Mustang Community Development Director Robert Coleman told the city council that the City had adopted the 2003 International Building Code but had never adopted the 2006 codes.
He proposed for the city to adopt nine books of building codes at their March meeting. He said the city is required to keep three sets of the codes in inventory and the total cost for all three sets is $2,253.
"I didn’t study Agenda 21, but I do know that there are some codes that the state did not adopt," Coleman said. "No code is perfect, but these codes are the only ones that address modern building materials and other things."
Taylor said he believed Mustang should create its own codes rather than adopt the international codes.
"Our staff here knows what is best for Mustang," Taylor said. "Even before these international codes, we were doing just fine with other codes."
Adams said he supported the codes.
"You said Mr. Coleman knows what is best for Mustang," Adams said to Taylor. "And he is recommending that we adopt these codes."
Ward 6 Councilman Don Mount said he was not comfortable adopting the codes.
"I’m interested in the citizens’ basic rights and I don’t want to give those up," Mount said. "I don’t know what the differences are between the 2003 codes and the 2009 codes, but I’m not going to approve the changes when I don’t know what they are."
Taylor said he would continue to fight against Agenda 21.
"This is real, this is not a conspiracy theory or something generated by right-win activists," he said "This is a threat to our local property rights. I will take this fight to the state to restore local control."