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Ted Wright -- last update 3/30/2004
(& 3/31) (cityComisMar30.html) Copyright 2004

City Commission & Mayor At Odds Again
March 30, 2004
Mayor Sirmon's Election Petition Tactics Challenged
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The Collinsville City Commission met in special session Monday, March 30th at 6pm (at the City Hall Annex) to validate the nine petitions for city candidates to be voted on April 6th. All commissioners and the Mayor were present.

Despite earlier reports (in other media) that he would not seek re-election, Mayor Sirmon did turn in an election petition Monday before the 5pm deadline with the required number of city voter signatures. How he went about obtaining that petition and when he did it, turned what could have been a simple/short meeting into an almost 2 hour long session. In the end, all nine petitions (including Mayor Sirmon's) were certified.

But before that long awaited vote (on the only agenda topic), Mayor Sirmon, some Commissioners, citizens, a citizen's lawyer, and the city attorney via a phone connection to Oklahoma City, all shared their opinion of what was legal or moral about each petitioner's approach.

When asked by Commissioner Gail Rogers, City Clerk Dana Conners replied that "all but one" had obtained petition packets during normal city business hours. That one was Mayor Sirmon.

Kyle Smalygo was the first citizen to speak and related how he had considered running for an office, but had been uable to obtain an election packet (containing a petition) from the vacationing city clerk on Friday (before the Monday deadline for signature submittal). He challanged that the Mayor had taken unfair advantage of his public position to obtain his petition during off hours and bypassed the city clerk process which Kyle had been told was required. Mr. Smalygo said he decided not to attempt the petition process as he had lost the weekend for gathering signatures. He brought his attorney with him to this Tuesday meeting after learning that Mayor Sirmon had copied a blank petition from the city clerk's desk on Sunday night before the Monday deadline. The Mayor said he obtained his (at least 52) signatures in the last 24 hours.

Mr. Smalygo's attorney requested the commission consider two issues relating to the Mayor's petition to enter the April 6th election: the moral character of the mayor (for taking unfair advantage of his position) and possible exceptions to city charter election petition requirements. The Mayor disagreed and said his petition was valid and met the charter requirements. The Mayor indicated that the citizens would untimately decide who should be elected on April 6th. Several citizens spoke for and against the Mayor's position.

The first motion to certify all the candidates' petitions (made by Commissioner Pam Porter) died for lack of a second. Much more discussion by both sides followed. A cell phone call was made to the city attorney (Ken Underwood) which was held to the microphone for the crowd to hear his response to questions from Mayor Sirmon, Kyle Smalygo and Commissioner Rogers. His basic response was that the only legal challange to the petition would have to be based on not having the reguired number of valid signatures or not being submitted by the deadline. At that point Commissioner Porter made a new motion to certify all the petitions. Commissioner Rogers seconded and all Commissioners voted yes.

Although many of the nine candidates were mentioned indirectly during the meeting a complete list was never read or provided to indicate all the candidates and which offices they were seeking. It was stated that list would be posted at the city offices Wednesday morning (3/31).

-- Ted 3/31/2004 (just after midnight)

=========== After a Wednesday morning trip to city hall the following
information is now available (i.e. who the nine candidates were that were certified and for what office):

Mayor: Stan A. Sallee and Michael S. Sirmon
Ward 1: Pam Porter (unoppossed)
Ward 2: Sherri L. Davis and Gail Rogers
Ward 3: Melodie Bateman and Stephanie Bittner
Ward 4: Brad Overholt and Carly Luttrell's
City Commission / CMA Meeting Index