Comments that took Mayor
Sirmon just a few minutes to add to the new business section of the previous
meeting took hours to air out in this session. Many city employee were present
tonight and took personal exception to what the Mayor had said two week earlier.
Mayor Sirmon did apologize
but also said that his intent was to discover/clarify policies covering the
issues rather that specific claims of misdeeds by city employees as many had
"assumed". City Commissioners Sallee, Rogers and Overholt were openly
critical of the Mayor's Nov. 17th agenda request that occured on the eve of
the city charter election. Commissioner Porter was more guarded in her comments
but did say that she had been "caught off guard" by the Mayor's
proposed agenda topics.
The Mayor's proposed agenda
items (from Nov. 17th new business
of citizens and abuses of police power
religious discrimination in personnel practices
in code enforcement
policy on personal use of city vehicles
alcohol during working hours or while on call
of commissioned / non-commissioned city employees on and off duty and
the city's expectations
of City Manager in regard to citizen interactions
the Dec. 1 agenda posting Mayor Sirmon asked that the items be removed.
City Commissioner (& Vice Mayor) Stan Sallee had them restored to the
Dec. 1 agenda as it "was not in the best interest of the city to let
these items set out there unexplained" and it "had an effect on
city employees". The
context of the agenda topics above was challenged by the Mayor before the
minutes of the Nov. 17th meeting were approved on the consent agenda. The
Nov. 17th minutes reflect (& match my recollection also): "Mayor
Sirmon asked for the following items to be placed on the next agenda - as
related to the performance of the City Manager: " ...(1-6 above). All
four commissioners voted to approve the minutes as they stood. The Mayor
had asked that the minutes be modified to reflect the items were "in
regard to policy not the city manager's conduct except the last item".
Police Charlie Annis stated that there were no quotas in use by his department.
He said he does not believe in that system and would not allow it as long
as he is chief here. Further discussion brought out that the Mayor had asked
the City Manager about the existance of quotas after two of the Mayor's
family members had been stopped by the Collinsville Police recently (and
given a verbal warning). Chief Annis also stated that he was not aware of
any complaints of harrassment by his police department.
use of city vehicles, City Manager Mike Tinker stated that when he came
to work here a year ago he was given the City's (Oct. 2000) Handbook with
policies covering use of city vehicles. When asked about the city's policy
on use of alcohol, Tinker replied that "it is not allowed". Mr.
Tinker stated that he was "outraged and slandered" by the Mayor's
implication of wrong doing and requested that the Mayor apologize to all
city employees. At this point the Mayor did offer an apology to the city
employees, but continued to state that his intent was to work the policies
and formalize them to "protect the city" from potential law suits.
Commissioner Sallee stated that he thought "the city and the Mayor
would be lucky if they were not sued" over the Mayor's previous comments.
the opportunity to address the commission, several city employees took the
opportunity to defend themselves and their departments against "these
outragous allegations" and in general were critical of the Mayor for
how he had handled this regardless of his intent.
agenda item concerning the "conduct of the City Manager in regard to
citizen interactions" began, the Mayor suggested it would be more appropriate
in executive session. City Manager Mike Tinker requested it be discussed
in open session. Commissioner Sallee stated that "we are fortunate
to have Mr. Tinker here" and that he is a "hugh asset to this
community." Several other citizens also addressed the commission and
spoke in favor of the City Manager and the positive things he has accomplished
in his short time here. A later agenda item had the commission discussing
the City Manager's performance evaluation and contract in executive session.
Upon return to open session no action was taken as the commissioners wanted
more time to work the details of a possible contract offer. That
discussion will continue Thursday Dec. 4th at 8pm in a special session.
The meeting begins with executive session, but will be followed by open
session for voting on any action concerning the city manager's contract.
topic of code enforcement, both Mike Tinker and Jim Rogers indicated it
was "impossible to make everybody happy" but they were not aware
of any problem of "disparity" in enforcement. Tinker did acknowledge
that not everyone agreed completely with the cleanup of merchandise left
on the sidewalks after business hours & parking issues he addressed
in a recent letter to business owners. Rogers indicated the department was
more complaint driven than taking time to go out looking for violations
(other than health, safety & welfare). The Mayor asked for a specific
process for someone to follow if they "were not happy with code enforcement".
Mr. Tinker indicated they would likely contact the City Manager or the commission.
City Attorney Ken Underwood indicated that ordinances allow an appeal process.
-- Ted Wright -- Dec.
2, 2003 (3:30am)
Note: Tulsa TV Channel
2 had a camerman at the meeting ...
but don't what if anything was / will be aired ...
There were other
issues acted on at the meeting(s) above:
A one-time pay
increase for city employees ($150 for full-time and $100 for part-time)
was approved. The initial City Manager
recommendation was for $100/$50 which had been budgeted, but Commissioner
Sallee asked if the budget could support a higher amount and the City Manager
& City Clerk agreed it could be handled.
Another Cooper Mesa
zoning request (ordinance CZ-147) was
approved. This one for 8.82 acres 1/4 mile west of Sheridan on
north side of 136th St. North in the southern part of the property annexed
into the city in November. The change was from agricultural to residential.
Reappointment or appointments
to Planning Commission were skipped on the agenda as the Mayor said he was
not ready. Gerald Brannen was reappointed
and approved to
serve on the Board of Adjustments.
The Mayor and commissioner
discussed options for another attempt at city charter
changes in light of the failed proposal voted down Nov. 18th. No
action was voted on, but the commissioners gave the City Attorney several
options to draft into election proclamations that the commission could vote
on soon in hope of making a January 2004 election ahead of the April 2004
election of city officers. The commissioners agreed they would simplify and
ask for the less controversial portions of the previous changes. All agreed
that turning elections over to Tulsa County would be requested again and that
changes to the Mayor's selection and term length would not be requested. The
other points were less solid, but another likely request would be for staggered
terms for commissioners with 4 years terms. Having all wards vote for all
commissioners was also an options to be considered. A special session might
be scheduled (as with the previous election proclamation) to match the required
publication deadlines. The discussion also included several laments about
the previous election.
-- Ted Wright (with Tuesday
afternoon additions to the initial 3:30am upload) -- 12/2/2003
-- later add on for notice of Dec 4th special session on City Manager contract