MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

July 9, 2013

Cutting panels boosts citizens’ voice


— By streamlining the number of city/county boards, authorities and commissions, Muskogee city councilors have taken a great step to having more public input into city government.

The councilors agreed with a plan that would reduce the number of boards and commissions by nearly one-quarter.

The plan should make it easier to find citizens to fill vacancies and replace those who serve on the panels but whose term has expired.

Mayor Bob Coburn was faced with trying to find around 85 volunteers to fill spots on 40 panels.

That was a herculean task.

By eliminating three boards and consolidating nine boards into three, the council effectively cut the number of panels to 30.

That should make it much easier to breathe new life into the panels.

But now it is up to the citizens of Muskogee to step up to fill the remaining vacancies.

Anyone who has felt the city is run by the same “good ole boys” should seriously consider applying for one of the vacancies.

Serving a term on a panel will help you better understand city government.

It will give you an appreciation for how difficult decisions are made.

It will give you a better voice in those decisions.

Serving multiple terms on multiple panels would give you the necessary experience to some day run for the City Council.

The councilors have made government less cumbersome.

Now it is up to you to make it more effective.