, Muskogee, OK

February 19, 2013

Boynton trustees make no decisions

Personnel issue put on hold, board to meet Friday

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— BOYNTON — Boynton's Board of Trustees made no decisions concerning personnel following a lengthy executive session Tuesday.

They decided to adjourn and schedule a special meeting for Friday.

A recent audit of Boynton’s financial records by a consultant hired by the town found problems with its financial records and how they are kept.

Mayor James Holt allegedly “relinquished” Town Clerk Tiffany Mayo of her duties last week after receiving the audit report.

Boynton’s agenda for its regular meeting Tuesday stated the Board would enter into an executive session for “discussion/action regarding personnel issues.”

The agenda item did not name the person who would be discussed in the executive session.

Mayo attended the meeting, taking notes for meeting minutes, and stayed with the Board during the executive session.

While in executive session, Holt came into the hall and asked two representatives from the Eastern Oklahoma Development District to come in the room.

After adjourning the executive session, Holt said, “I make a motion to request EODD to help us set up record keeping.”

The motion was not seconded because the question arose whether they could legally vote on the motion. The issue was not on the agenda, and therefore, could not be legal, according to the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act.

EODD Executive Director Ernie Moore told the board, “I do not give legal advice — I want to make sure you understand that. I can advise you that you do not have to take action on the executive session. That is probably the best way to keep you on the straight and narrow here.”

The board continued to discuss whether they could take action before deciding to adjourn.

“We did enter into the executive session initially to talk about the agenda item, but our attorney wasn’t here,” said Trustee Rose Walker.

Asked if EODD would attend a special meeting if one was called, Moore told the board, “Again, I advise you to consult with your city attorney on this, but we can come if our schedule allows. I can suggest you put an agenda item on that says, ‘Ask the EODD to assist the town with proper record-keeping,’ or something to that effect.”

The board then voted to adjourn without addressing any of the other agenda items, including “requesting an audit from the State Auditors Office of the financial records of the Town of Boynton,” “accounts receivable,” “old business,” “new business” and “open session.”

The board did not announce what time the special meeting would be held Friday. By law, the special meeting agenda must be posted 48 hours before the meeting.

After the meeting, Moore said the EODD does not usually assist with teaching record-keeping to towns, but the offer was made in this case “to try and help this small community.”

“That’s what we’re here for,” he said.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton