Public Comment Policy Suggested to Commissioners

Public Comment Policy Submitted to the County Commissioners 

NOTE: This comment was originally posted in early April, but accidentally was erased from the blog. It is reproduced here, except for the comments made, which could not be recovered.)

We hope the County Commissioners will AGAIN begin hearing from the public, and not attempt to stifle it as did Chairman Yoder when his threats to have the Sheriff remove me made the Tulsa World. Speaking of that, Reporter Rhett Morgan is vacationing in California with his family, and will be back soon to continue his coverage of the MESTA mess. You can follow him on Facebook. But now for what I submitted to the Commissioners, with a copy to The Paper, and Daily Times. Share your thoughts on this policy with the Commissioners and the Press.


Commission Resolution Number 2014-______


BE IT RESOLVED, by the Board of County Commissioners of Mayes County, Oklahoma, on this 14th day of April, 2014, as follows:

The Commission realizes that public input is important to their function as a County Commission to hear from members of the public.

Any public comment however, must be limited as to the time, and number of persons speaking, in order that we may have necessary time to conduct other business, and in order that the number of hours of a meeting must be reasonable.

With these factors in mind, we establish the following policy:

Persons appearing before the Board shall be recognized for a period not to exceed 4 minutes, however the time may be extended by consent of any Commissioner.

The Chairman, with the consent of another Commissioner may limit the number of persons speaking on an issue to a reasonable number of persons.

No action may be taken on any request regarding a matter which is not on the Agenda. Any Commissioner may request the matter be placed on an Agenda.

The Secretary shall place the following on each Agenda of the Board.

“PERSONS DESIRING TO ADDRESS THE BOARD: Time limited to 4 minutes, and number of persons speaking may be limited. No action will be taken on matters not on the Agenda.”

Approved this 14th day of April, 2014.

Attest: Board of County Commissioners

Brittany True-Howard, County Clerk

Darrell Yoder, Chairman

UPDATE: May 7, 2014

Well, I  finally  got to appear before the Commissioners, and make my 4 minute speech. After I was finished, Both Commissioners Alva, and Darrell both indicated they were not interested in having public comment item on their Agendas! Commissioner Ball indicated he was in favor of the resolution. No vote was taken since Darrell left this part out of my appearance. I had requested my topic be listed for discussion and vote to approve or disapprove. Guess they didn’t want to go on record. When Darrell runs next time would be really great ammo for his opponent to show the voters he was against letting them speak at meetings! Requests to add the policy to the Agenda for the following week for a vote were ignored!

A friend is securing copies of the Agendas from many public bodies in surrounding counties. We plan to submit this matter to the Commissioners soon, and request that they put the matter of adopting a public comment policy on the agenda. It is VERY important that numerous citizens contact the Commissioners (all 3) to ask them to ask them to adopt the policy. If I am the only “squeaky wheel” I’m not going to get greased!


Recovered: What’s Up for the Week of March 17th

What’s Up for the Week of March 17th

(NOTE: This, as have other posts has been recovered, and is reposted without original comments.)

What’s up for the week?

1. A few thoughts about what’s up for the forthcoming week of March 17th. Commissioners meeting Monday Morning 9:30 am at the Courthouse. All come who can. I had hoped to be on the Agenda for presenting a discussion of my public comment policy for the Commissioners, but I made a mistake in sending it to the wrong email address.

2. I have given Commissioners Ball and Yoder drafts of my proposed policy for their earlier review. Yoder has opened his email, not sure about Ball as of now.

3. Commissioner Martin has not responded to my request for his email address, which I have misplaced, at least on this computer.

4. Assistant DA Isky hasn’t responded to anything I have written him, or returned phone calls. Hope he attends a meeting soon.

5. Hope the Commissioners will seriously consider again permitting public comment, which they stopped some time ago. My policy submitted to them is a good one for everyone, the Commissioners and the Public.

6. Brittany True-Howard, County Clerk has responded to almost everything I requested in my Document Request, just a few items she is working on remain. She is doing a good job as County Clerk, we needed a new one!

7. Commissioner Ball is due to replace Chuck Ward who resigned as a MESTA Board Member, he had enough of the “Fixit Six”.

8. Ball has a good replacement in mind who I hope will accept the position, which required Commission approval. I know this can b done at the Monday meeting under New Business not anticipated…. if everyone is ready to proceed.

9. We are told by a “reliable source” that DA Isky has agreed with me, that the “Fixit six” violated the Open Meeting Act, and it is grounds for removal by the Commissioners. Will they EVER act, or is it going to take criminal charges?

10. Speaking of criminal charges, the Sheriff advises he is going to refer my written complaint EITHER to the DA or the OSBI. Which is it Sheriff, and when? We hope no more delay.

11. Violation of the Open Meeting Act is taken as a serious offense ELSEWHERE. Five (5) members of the State Pardon and Parole Board were charged in violations in Oklahoma County, and have admitted their guilt. No word yet on what sentence they will be given. Carries up to a year in the County Jail and/or a fine.

12. Is Sherman Weaver worried about this? Could be, he was absent from the last MESTA Board meeting.

13. I appreciate all of your interest, and postings. We now have a Facebook page for the site too. Check it out, Like it, and post your comments there too.

14. For those interested in the Public Comment draft I have submitted to the Commissioners, I have posted it in this blog.

Thanks for your interest in better government. Let me know how I can help. Judge Dean

MESTA to be ELIMINATED, has been recovered

(Note: I have recovered this post from my Samsung Tab 3 Tablet – bless it – and am retyping it here:

Today, Wednesday, March 5 in a personal conversation with Alva Martin, I was told: “We’re consulting with the District Attorney regarding dissolving and eliminating MESTA, so the Commissioners can take over the operations, and maybe settle down this mess.” This is about a direct quote as far as I can remember it, without a recording.

I told Commissioner Martin that I thought that was a very bad idea. That I thought that MESTA was running well, was profitable, and that any problems that had existed which resulted in the replacement of respected and well qualified Bard Members should have, and could have been discussed and worked out. Martin emphasized that the takeover of the 911 dispatch function was a done deal, and they weren’t  backing off!

NOTE added May 4: Later this same morning Martin appeared at the 911 center, according to reports “Raising Hell”, threatening to fire dispatchers, dissolve MESTA, and generally engaging in improper behavior in a place where visitors are restricted from visiting. I understand that an “Incident Report” was prepared. I requested a copy from Rick Langkamp, and he was advised by the MESTA attorney it should not be released under the Open Records Act. The reason was that the Action of Alva created “A Hostile Work Environment” for employees, and this could result in legal action against the County and MESTA. Guess we will just have to wait and see what happens. \

We both agreed that the current situation was “out of hand” and needed to be diffused. We disagreed however in the methods to accomplish this. Martin seems to think that the way to tone down this dissent is to dissolve MESTA, and the problems would go away. I believe however, this is only the beginning of his problems. More later in posts which follow.

My opinion on the other hand is that the problems began with the Commissioners and others effort to take over the 911 dispatch functioning from MESTA. It wasn’t broke, and they tried to fix it. Replacement of the Fixit Six”{my term for the recently appointed Board Members who appear to have an “Agenda” and have shown by their actions that they are NOT operating in the best interests of the citizens of Mayes County), has just accelerated the discourse. Replacement of these 6 directors would do much to restore MESTA to the smooth, and efficient services and operations they have exhibited! Much more than dissolving MESTA, which will only increase discord.

What can you do? TCA!

Tell your friends! Post your thoughts to this blog for all to see;

Contact the Commissioners, contact email addresses elsewhere in this blog.

Attend the Commissioners meetings at 9:30 every Monday at the Courthouse.

Glad to be able to repost this! Those who commented before, feel free to comment again with whatever your think!