A new look at global ethics and The Four-Way Test

A good source for a couple of your New Years Resolutions.

We the 4

By RI Director-elect Lars-Olof Fredricksson

Moral codes and ethics give us tools but also raise questions to be answered: How should we live? What is morally good and bad, right and wrong? Shall we aim at happiness or knowledge? Virtue or the creation of beautiful objects? If we choose happiness, will it be our own or the happiness of all?

View original post 764 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mayes County Commissioner Candidates – District 2

Public Comments invited. Tell your friends about this site.

Election Dates: 

General Election Tuesday, November 8th.

Early Voting at Courthouse: Thursday and Friday prior to Tuesday elections.

The Republican Candidate

Meredith-Frailey-Photo-1

MEREDITH FRAILEY:  Our Choice as the Best Candidate

 Meredith is our personal choice as Commissioner for District 2.  At the Pryor Daily Times Political Forum at RSU Pryor on June 7, she showed more poise, knowledge, and leadership qualities then ALL of the candidates. 

Background: She is currently City Attorney for Locust Grove. She was elected and served three terms as the Cherokee Nation Speaker of the House,[Click here for tribal candidacy info ] and Chaired the legislative Rules Committee. As a resident of Locust Grove, she is the daughter of the late Susie Swimmer. She has one son and two grandchildren. Graduated from Locust Grove high school, is a licensed aircraft pilot, and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Northeastern State University, and a Juris Doctorate from Tulsa University Law School. Her website is www.meredithfrailey.com , email mfrailey@sstelco.com, phone 918-479-2321.

Platform: 

  • Determine how to improve public safety, and raise revenue to adequately fund all services of County Government.
  • Transparency in County Government:
    • Public Comment on Commission Agenda
    • Internet live tv coverage of meetings, stored for permanent reference.
    • Budget and other important information posted on internet.
    • ALL county contracts on-line for easy citizen review.
    • Greater Citizen Access to ALL County governmental information.
  • Promote Industrial and economic development.
  • Bring Integrity back to the Commission.
  • Appoint qualified persons to all boards and commissions, without selfish or political agendas.
  • Return control of MESTA to its Board with unlawful direction by the Commission.
  • LET’S BUILD A MODEL OF A 9-1-1 ONE-STOP-SHOP
  • Road maintenance:
    • Prepare a Written Quality Road Plan
    • Do it better.
    • Do it smarter.
    • Use computer technology to help.
      • Vo-tech schools help without county cost.

CLICK HERE  for more Platform Information

CLICK HERE for Frailey Campaign Website.

To Contact or Volunteer To Help Elect Meredith Frailey
Call: 918-479-2321
E-mail: mfrailey@sstelco.com

Campaign Office Location:
8435 S. 437
Locust Grove OK 74352


Democrat Candidate

Sheets Photo from Card.

 

Bruce Sheats:  

A lifelong resident of Mayes County, is currently in his 23rd year serving on the Osage School Board, helping oversee the school’s $1.5 million budget. He has owned his own custom hay bailing, ranch and cattle business since his teen years. He also operates an excavation business. For the past 25 years, he has been employed by Buzzi (Cement Plant) as a heavy equipment mechanic. He is a Pryor High School graduate, and attended OSU Okmulgee where he received an Associate Degree in Diesel Technology.

Platform:  Bruce believes that

  • We need transparent County Government.
  • County Committees & Boards filed with qualified people.
  • Quality maintenance on roads and bridges.
  • A united effort to make Mayes County great.
  • You, the public will be my employer, if I am elected.

Contact Info. Phone 918-636-3437; Email: brucesheats1@yahoo.com . As far as we know Bruce does not have a campaign website.

Please Comment Below.


 

Posted in County Commissioners, Elections | Leave a comment

Dirty Politics at its Worst – MESTA Board

Rick Langkamp fired as Executive Director without cause!

At the MESTA (Mayes Emergency Services Trust Authority) Board meeting on June 14, 2016, Dirty Politics reached a new low! Five of the Board members,  Trent Peper, Chairman, Rob Foreman, Sherman Weaver, Steve Hall, and Dr. Jason Joice,  who have special personal interests, not in the public interest, or the interests of MESTA, voted to terminate Rick Langkamp as Director of MESTA, without any cause being given. Board Members Larry Williams, Don Berger, Leon Blankenship, and Brent Crittenden voted against the motion to terminate.

Langkamp has served with distinction as Executive Director of MESTA since 2003. He has NEVER received a negative evaluation by the Board, nor any disciplinary action, nor instructed to accomplish any task which he has not done. No reasons were given for his termination, although information requested multiple times prior to the meeting.

He took over MESTA leadership when there was a terrible mess to clean up. It was losing money, equipment was in poor mechanical condition, employee training was not as it should be, and times taken for an ambulance response took longer than they should. Employee morale was at a low. Rick cleaned all of this mess up. MESTA began earning a profit, response times, morale, and training improved, and the public was well served.

This 5 to 4 vote has been in the planning stages for months, and is a result of Mayes County Commissioners Darrel Yoder, and Kevin Whiteside refusing since January to ratify two MESTA Board Members appointed by the City of Pryor, and the Town of Locust Grove. The 5 major towns in Mayes County are each permitted to appoint 1 member of the MESTA Board, and each of the 3 County Commissioners are allowed 2 appointments each, for a 11 member Board.  The Commissioners are required to confirm the appointments of the City/Town Board Members, but have refused to do so.

Pryor has twice submitted local civic leader and Realtor Harriet Dunham as its representative. She is a well respected member of this community, and has previously served with distinction as a MESTA Board Member. Two times, upon Motion by County Commissioner Ryan Ball, Yoder and Whiteside refused to second the motion, and it died.

Locust Grove has twice submitted the name of local CPA (Certified Public Accountant) Eric Sanford as its nominee, (January 4th and 14th)   and again a Motion by Ball died for lack of a second. Sanford then withdrew his name, and the Locust Grove Town Trustees submitted Jodi Dunham as its nominee. Jodi had previously served as a MESTA Board Member from 2000 to 2010. She served as a Certified EMT “Working Street Medic, and Training Medic” with Tulsa EMSA Ambulance Authority for 18 years from 1983 to 2001. Yoder and Whiteside wouldn’t confirm her as the Locust Grove representative! Why?? Dirty Politics!

Locust Grove on April 1, 2016, filed a Petition for Writ of Mandamus to require the Board of County Commissioners to approve Jodi Dunham as its nominee. Case Number CJ-16-32 is still pending before Judge Terry McBride, with no scheduled hearings set.

Why was Langkamp Fired?

We believe itt all goes back to a matter of CONTROL by Yoder and Whiteside, and prior thereto Commissioner Alva Martin want control of the MESTA and its money, contrary to the provisions of the Trust.  The MESTA Trust Indenture  (click link to view Indenture)  recorded in the office of the County Clerk of Mayes County at Book 654 and Pages 46 and following specifically provides in Article X, Section 2 as follows:

“The Beneficiary, (Mayes County Commissioners) shall have no legal title, claim or right to the Trust Estate, its income, or to any part thereof, or to demand or require any partition or distribution thereof. Neither shall the Beneficiary have any authority, power or right whatsoever to do or transact any business for or on behalf of or binding upon the Trustees or upon the Trust Estate, nor the right to control or direct the actions of the trustees pertaining to the trust Estate, or any part thereof….” Emphasis added. 

Under Langkamp’s 18 years of service, MESTA upgraded its staff, stations, service response, and operated at a profit. It had over One Million Dollars Profits in reserved funds for future improvements and equipment purchases, and the Commissioners wanted it! They “Stacked” the MESTA Board to try to get it, and refused to appoint qualified Board members who would oppose their unlawful efforts.

Langkamp has filed an action in the District Court seeking to remove for cause, MESTA Board Members Peper, Weaver, and Joice, and seeking damages and other relief. We wish him well, as ALL informed citizens of our county should do.

Outrageous Attorney fees and billing practices:

We were shocked to recently learn that James Orbison, General Counsel for MESTA has through his firm, billed MESTA over $100,000 in attorney fees the past 12 months. His billing for the past month was about $13,000, and we are informed that about $10,000 of that amount was not documented or detailed, except to Mr. Peper, who was the Board Member who recommended hiring Orbison following the resignation of local attorney Fred Sordahl. The resignation was based on the refusal of Peper, and 5 other board member aligned with him and the Commissioners to follow legal advice, and engage in what Sordahl characterized as improper conduct by these members. These board members have been previously designated in this Blog, and called “The Fixit Six”! 

IF YOU ARE A FIRST TIME VISITOR TO THIS BLOG, WE HOPE YOU WILL “FOLLOW” IT! If you view the site from a desktop, (not cell phone) in the upper right corner you will see a tab labeled “Follow” click it, add your email address, and you will receive an email when comments or new posts are made. 

PLEASE COMMENT BELOW, and share this information.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

January 12th Vote Fairgrounds Bond Issue

 

Fairgrounds Bond Issue

An important election will be held January 12th, 2016 in Mayes County, with voting at all regular voting places. The current 1/4 cent sales tax for the construction of the Mayes County Courthouse will be paid off soon. The County Commissioners are proposing to continue the 1/4 cent tax for construction of a new $20 million Arena and improvements at the fairgrounds, including a 1/8th cent Permanent sales tax, to fund maintenance of all county buildings.

PROJECT COST ESTIMATE:

This project cost estimate is based on estimated unit costs per type of area to be built. The estimated costs were determined with a broad understanding of the design elements and work required to complete each similar construction type.

Description Sq. Footage Cost / SF Budget

1 Building Demolition – Agriculture Bldg. 12,580 S.F. $3.80 $47,804
2 Building Demolition – Exhibit Building 12,500 S.F. $3.50 $43,750
3 Bldg. Demo. Concession (Pork Chop bldg) 1,500 S.F. $3.80 $5,700
4 Building Demolition – Restrooms 800 S.F. $3.80 $3,040
5 Event Center 32,000 S.F. $135.00 $4,320,000
6 Arena – East sidewalkways and stands 28,762 S.F. $80.00 $2,300,960
7 Arena – Dirt show arena 45,285 S.F. $85.00 $3,849,225
8 Arena West side – Livestock area 12,506 S.F. $50.00 $625,3009
9 Arena West side – Livestock area with
wash bays and restrooms 9,258 S.F. $85.00 $786,930
10 Existing Barn Renovation 24,816 S.F. $9.00 $223,344
11 Existing Cover Renovation 22,900 S.F. $9.00 $206,100
12 Existing Show Arena Renovation 15,750 S.F. $9.00 $141,750
13 Existing Animal Cover and Wash Bay –
East Renovation 11,475 S.F. $9.00 $103,275
New Animal cover and Wash Bay – West
Expansion 11,475 S.F. $50.00 $573,750
15 Main Entry Icon 1 EA $30,000.00 $30,000
16 East and West Entry Icons 2 EA $20,000.00 $40,000
17 Center Pedestrian Gathering Place 1 EA $20,000.00 $20,000
18 Existing Poultry Barn Renovation 3,000 S.F. $5.00 $15,000
19 Poultry Barn Addition 3,000 S.F. $40.00 $120,000
20 Site – North parking 29,360 S.F. $4.00 $117,440
21 Site – Paved Roadway 14,125 S.F. $4.00 $56,500
22 Site- East Parking 128,748 S.F. $2.00 $257,496
23 Site – Gravel Roadway 173,617 S.F. $2.00 $347,234
24 Site – Gravel and Crushed Fill Pedestrian
Walkways 115,514 S.F. $2.00 $347,234
25 Site – Concrete Sidewalk 6,261 S.F. $5.50 $34,436
26 Site – Landscaping (including FF&E) 1 EA $100,000 $100,000
27 Site – Trash Recycling Areas 21,678 S.F. $3.50 $75,873
28 RV Hook-ups 15 EA $1,000.00 $15,000
29 RV dump stations (300 gallon) 1 EA $5,000.00 $5,000
Sub Total $14,812,141
General Contractors Overhead and
Profit: 12% $1,777,457
Contingency: 7% $1,036,850
(FF&E) Furnishings, Fixtures and
Equipment 7% $1,036,850
Professional Fees 7% $1,233,851
Total Base Bid : $19,897,148

KEY BUILDING SQUARE FOOTAGE

Event Center, Extension and Exhibit Existing Square Footage New Square Footage Differences
Extension Center 11,500
Exhibit Building 12,500
New Event Center 32,336
35% Increase 24,000 32,336 8,336

Poultry Barn Existing Square Footage New Square Footage Differences
Poultry (Red) Barn 3,000 3,000
Poultry Barn Expansion 3,000
100% Increase Livestock Area 3,000 6,000 3,000

Existing Livestock Complex Existing Square Footage New Square Footage Differences
Livestock Barns (5 PEAKS) 24,816 24,816
Warm-up Cover 22,900 22,900
Animal Cover and Wash Bay 11,475 11,475
New Cover & Wash Bay 11,475
New Livestock Barn area inside New Arena 21,764
56% Increase Livestock Area 59,191 92,430 33,239

Existing Show Barn and New Arena Existing Square Footage New Square Footage Differences
Existing Indoor Show Barn 15,750 15,750
Existing Concession Building 1,500
Existing Restrooms 800
New Arena- walkways, concessions and stands 28,762
New Arena – show arena (150 x 300) 45,285
397% Increase Show Arena Area 18,050 89,797 71,747

Our thanks to our friend, Kim Reeve, of BKL, Inc., project architects for the info. Kim was the principal architect on design of the new Mayes County Courthouse, constructed in 2002/03 at a cost of about $10.5 million including the parking (about $17-18 million cost today).

I have a full 65 page Project Report  (click to download). It gives much more information on the project, including building plans, and planning meeting minutes.

Please click “Follow” in the upper right hand corner if you are viewing on a desktop, then enter your email address, to get an email when there are new posts or comments on this site.

Hope all of you have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

Judge Dean

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Need your Help and Attendance !

We need your help and attendance at the MESTA Board Meeting at 5 pm at MESTA offices in the Industrial Park Tuesday May 12th.

The question of locating a new Station at Rocklahoma will be again considered by the Board. Last month the “Fixit Six” [5 originals now joined by Dr. Joyce] voted against the move.

I talked with Dr. Joyce this afternoon, and he still seems dead set against any approval of the station at this time. If you are his patient, or know him, please call and ask him to support the Rocklahoma station. Contact info: (918) 824-6407 (Office)(918) 824-6408 (Fax); email jjoyce@gmail.com.

I sent him the following email after our meeting today:

Dear Doc Joyce:

I certainly appreciate your taking the time to visit with me this afternoon concerning the proposed Rocklahoma Station. I hope you will take a few minutes to read this email, and give it your very careful consideration!

Your desire for a “Professional Survey” is certainly understandable, and the estimated $5000 cost is not unreasonable. But you also advised me that the Survey spokesman told you that EMS Staff “Generally” had a pretty good idea as to the best location for a Station. I submit that Rick and Brandon have the experience, and knowledge which can, and should, be relied upon by the Board at this critical time. Certainly a computerized or on site survey could move the station a bit,  perhaps a half mile or so in any direction. The way computers work, that could possibly be in the middle of a Section! Grin.

Please consider what MESTA has to lose from no positive decision now:

  1. Totally free utilities over the 50 plus years life of the Station. This means tens of thousands of dollars in cost savings. Think of free electric heat for the winter, and free air conditioning for the Summer. That means a lot for MESTA costs over the years.
  1. Dave has many “Partners” I know will donate thousands of dollars worth of time and materials if constructed on this site.
  1. The $32,000.00 PLUS cash contribution will definitely be gone if the Board does not approve this location Tuesday.
  1. The health and safety of MESTA employees is at risk from continued occupancy of the Adair Station. Some of their complaints have been:
  1. Mold and mildew in the Station. The Sheetrock was never pulled after water damage, and employees with allergies complain that being at that Station causes their allergies to worsen.
  2. Mice and rodent infestation.
  3. Trash dumpster located right outside the Station entrance. Reported gnats in the Summer, with maggots and flies.
  4. Carbon Monoxide from running fire trucks in the adjoining station.
  5. Firefighters in bunker gear sitting in MESTA recliners in day room, when your employees have to sit elsewhere.

Doc, I sincerely believe that considering ALL of the above, your wanted Survey simply is not worth it to MESTA, and face loss of the above.  I hope that after discussion, and possible citizen input tomorrow, your will vote in favor of the relocation.

Below are some portions from Dave’s letter which you will receive tomorrow night.

  1. “First, I want to say that our organization has nothing to gain from this proposal. Since the beginning of our business, MESTA has provided full on site services at all of our events. The new building will not change how we handle our events.
  1. We propose to deed to MESTA, or enter into a 99 year lease, 1 acre of our property, free and clear of liens, along Road 450 on the North edge of our property. The only restriction being that construction begin within 1 year, and that the site only be used as an ambulance or emergency services station at all times, unless we grant permission for other uses. (This would need to be done by our lawyers, the offer is simple AS LONG AS IT IS USED FOR AMBULANCE-EMERGENCY SERVICE LOCATION for the County you will have the property.)
  1. We shall furnish to the station, free water, electricity and sewer, provided you shall be responsible for the costs of laying line to reach our sewer, as well as any electrical or water hook ups to our current system, for which we will give permission to lay.
  1. We will use our best efforts to secure from our many “partners” donation of labor and materials to help reduce the cost of construction, provided that your contract with the General Contractor will permit this.
  1. I will NOT serve as a General Contractor, but will fully cooperate with the Contractors you may choose. (My original offer included that I would help General contract this project at no cost. I now feel that some will think I have something to gain by it and make controversy, so I have removed that part of the original offer.)

Regarding the Donation of Funds

  1. The following is a bit of history on our raising funds by auction of items, mostly autographed guitars, at our concerts.
  1. The first major donation was given to Joplin tornado Relief, the second year funds were used to help with construction but specifically the radio control system for a tornado Siren at Lakeland serving that surrounding community as well as Salina High Banks Speedway. Also Radio controls were added to the Siren on 450 road to make the siren on our site a year round asset for our community. The 3rd year a large amount of funds went to help with the devastation around Oklahoma City.
  1. The funds still being held are from last year and should have been used a long time ago. I would personally like a decision before Rocklahoma begins on May 22nd so that if questioned on last year’s funds by media we can tell where they went. We will again build a fund at this year’s event and hopefully there will be no major disasters.
  1. Since we are so lucky to have had no nearby disasters this year, our organization decided to donate the approximately $32,000 we have to help with the cost of a New MESTA Station on our property should you elect to do so.
  1. If you decide NOT to build the station, we will review numerous worthy organizations for us to make the grant to.

Once again, we did not initiate this offer. Mr. Langkamp approached us about this after his study as to possible new locations for a station.”

Thanks again for your careful reconsideration. Please call me if you have any questions.

Posted in MESTA Happenings | 2 Comments

We Need YOUR HELP !

Had a great meeting this afternoon with Dave Giencke​, one of the owners of Rocklahoma​. He is going to write a letter to the “Fixit Six” on the MESTA Board to clarify his offer of land for a new MESTA Station.

Rick Langkamp​, his staff, and Don Berger, Board Member, have done an extensive study as to where MESTA needs to locate a new station. Rocklahoma fits their need, No strings, except getting construction underway, and use property as Ambulance station. FREE UTILITIES forever, and free land. Locating a new station there is in the best interests of ALL of the citizens of Mayes County.

MESTA Bus

MESTA Bus

The “Fixit Six” [5 of the original 6 are still on the Board] have always had an “Agenda” to serve special interests, and are not acting in the best interests of citizens of our county. If you know Board Member Dr. Stephen Joyce, Owner of Doc’s Gun Store, please contact him and urge him to blindly follow the “Fixit Six” and vote for the Rocklahoma station.

WE HOPE that all residents of Mayes County will attend the MESA Board Meeting next Tuesday at 5 pm at their headquarters in the Mid America Industrial Park, just behind the park headquarters, and show your support for locating a new station at Rocklahoma.

Call me at 918-373-4055 if you have any questions. I would love to see many of my friends at the meeting.  
.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The “Fixit Six” Are Back in Action – Unfortunately

The Fixit Six” Are Back! I coined this term last year for the group of MESTA Board Members who voted special interests, and took actions which were not in the best interests of the Citizens of Mayes County at its March 10th. They are currently under investigation by the OSBI for alleged Open Meeting Act violations last year.

Well, they are back in full force, casting votes for special interests, and not making decisions in the best interests of MESTA, or the Public. One of the original six has left, and unfortunately, it appears that Dr. Jason Joice may have replaced him!

The Fixit Six” voted a second time to have MESTA “Indemnify” them for costs and attorney fees arising out of the OSBI investigation of possible criminal action by them. We don’t think it’s a wise use of public funds!

A big controversy arose over a decision on whether or not to move the current MESTA station at Adair to a new station to be built at Rocklahoma. The current Adair station was built by volunteer fireman, without formal plans, inspections, or approval, as a temporary location for MESTA. It was leased for 5 years, which passed 2 years ago, and the cost of the station has been more than fully paid to Adair. Health problems exist there for employees, including mold, and rat infestation, which have gone unremedied.

Rocklahoma has offered to give MESTA land for a substation to be located there, and serve as general contractor there without charge, provide free utilities, and also provide a gift of over $30,000 cash to MESTA. Preliminary plans have included a “Safe Room” so in the event of disaster, Emergency Personnel would be able to respond after a tornado disaster. Total estimated cost to MESTA to build the station would be about $60,000.

MESTA Director Rick Langkamp, and Brandon Hawkins presented a detailed map and spreadsheet showing the number of “Runs” from the Adair station. In 2014 the Adair Unit responded to 926 calls. Of those calls, 669 were to areas South of the proposed Rocklahoma Station, and only 257 were North. In other words, about 2/3 of the Adair runs are to areas which could be reached about 4 minutes earlier than they have been in the past. On those 669 runs, the Ambulance drove past the Rocklahoma Intersection.

Sherman Weaver was vocal in throwing up “smokescreen questions” off subject, during the discussion. Dr. Joice questioned “What’s in it for Rocklahoma?”. Chamber Director Barbara Hawkins answered that question by saying: “Since inception of the park, they have given back over $1 million to our communities, as a part of their commitment and philosophy!”

Seldom in my over 40 years of attending public meetings have I seen more ignorant and partisan voting by those who have sworn to represent and protect the public!! Those voting NO were Dr. Jason Joice, Jamie Starling, Sherman Weaver, Trent Peper, and Rob Foreman. Adair Mayor Steve Hall abstained, which equals a no vote. It appears to me that they were voting FOR the Adair Fire Department not for the best interests of Mayes County and MESTA.

Voting YES were Chairman Brent Crittenden, Kaye Baldridge, Leon Blankenship, Don Berger, and Larry Williams. They understand their obligations and duties as Board members.

Such a shame that Commissioner Darrell Yoder, and former Commissioner Alva Martin have “Stacked the Board” for their personal agendas.

Please leave your comments, and invite friends to “Follow” this Blog. From a Desktop (not cell phone) in the upper right corner, click the “Follow” icon, add your email address, and you will be notified by email of new posts and comments. 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment