MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

March 20, 2013

Councilors OK group to whittle boards

Committee has 30 days to study needs, make recommendation

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Former Muskogee mayor John Tyler Hammons told city councilors Tuesday about his difficulties during his mayoral terms filling vacancies in boards and committees.

“It was often frustrating to raise a committee,” said Hammons, who visited town to speak at a Public Works Committee meeting. “And some of the boards have lost their purposes over time. Their main reason for existence has gone away.”

Muskogee’s Public Works Committee is considering which, if any, numerous boards and committees the city has that may be consolidated or disbanded.

At its regular Tuesday meeting, the committee voted to form a small group to look closely at the others and bring a recommendation back within 30 days for Public Works to consider.

City Manager Greg Buckley said there are 80 to 85 vacancies on existing city committees.

“Are all these boards necessary? Some of these boards have members who continue to serve months past their terms have ended until a successor is found,” Buckley said.

Councilor Randy Howard immediately said he’d like to be part of the group looking into the existing boards and committees.

“Some are special call only, and some haven’t met in years,” Howard said. “I think we can sit down and work this out.”

Ward I Councilor Lee Ann Langston also volunteered to assist with the project.

The Public Works Committee voted to establish a temporary committee to study existing boards and committees and bring a recommendation back to the Public Works Committee within 30 days.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.