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Happy Labor Day Weekend, keep safe!
Thought some might be interested in getting some cash using your artistic 🎨 skills. Visit the Locust Grove Arts website for details.
Not much happening on the local government side since Meredith Frailey took over Darrell Yoder’s seat as County Commissioner, and is doing an excellent job keeping Kevin Whiteside doing the right thing.
Source: In An Instant Art Show
A good source for a couple of your New Years Resolutions.
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?
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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”!
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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 email@example.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:
- 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.
- Dave has many “Partners” I know will donate thousands of dollars worth of time and materials if constructed on this site.
- The $32,000.00 PLUS cash contribution will definitely be gone if the Board does not approve this location Tuesday.
- The health and safety of MESTA employees is at risk from continued occupancy of the Adair Station. Some of their complaints have been:
- 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.
- Mice and rodent infestation.
- Trash dumpster located right outside the Station entrance. Reported gnats in the Summer, with maggots and flies.
- Carbon Monoxide from running fire trucks in the adjoining station.
- 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.
- “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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- The following is a bit of history on our raising funds by auction of items, mostly autographed guitars, at our concerts.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.