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Iowa Park economic development director suspended without pay

<P>Economic development director for Iowa Park allowed to keep his job but faces consequences.</P>

The Iowa Park City Council met on Monday evening to talk about the future of their city's Economic Development Director David Owen.

During an interview with KFDX last week, Owen said because of his strong Christian values, he's against a petition circulating in Iowa Park that would make precinct three wet.

While owen was allowed to keep his job, he is facing consequences.

Owen has been placed on probation for a period of 90 days.

He is to be suspended without pay for three days beginning Wednesday, Sept. 12 and a written discipline will be made a part of his personnel file.

City council member Sherrie Williams motioned Owen be informed that as economic development director, he must carry out the city's economic development policies as established by the city council and cannot refuse to do his job or carry out the economic policies of the city.

Owen says he is ready to move on while some critics remain skeptical.

"Please know that I'm ready to get back to my job that is selling the City of Iowa Park to any business that is looking to expand, start up or relocate," Owen says.

Tim Sheppard, a concerned citizen and spokesman for the group Citizens to Keep Tax Dollars in Iowa Park, says he is skeptical Owen will be able to do his job if alcohol sales makes the May ballot and approved by voters.

"If this town does go wet, the very first growth that this town is going to have is going to be the big restaurants chains that are already here that are going to bring in that alcohol sales to their shelves," Sheppard says.

Owen was also informed he is free to express his individual opinion on political issues but is not allowed to speak on political issuses on behalf of the city or its corporations.

He must not use public resources to express his views on political issues and must refrain from political activity while on duty.

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