McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

August 27, 2012

Council to consider military cross figures issue

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — The McAlester City Council is set to consider a resolution regarding the city’s recent removal of small silhouetted figures, mounted atop street signs, depicting members of the military kneeling in silent prayer.

Citizens have passed petitions objecting to the removal and are asking city councilors to reverse a previous decision by City Manager Pete Stasiak, which resulted in the silhouetted figures being removed in the first place.

A group of local and area residents are expected to be at McAlester City Hall Tuesday for the city council’s regular  6 p.m. council meeting to see what the council decides on the matter.

Set for discussion is an agenda item calling for action on  a resolution to possibly reverse the figures’ removal, from a request put forward by the Gaines Creek Association of Free Will Baptists. The group is among those opposing removal of the figures with the crosses.

In other action, on a matter tabled from the council’s previous regular meeting two weeks ago, the council is to consider and act upon a proposed agreement with Marketing Alliance for professional and creative services to develop a city of McAlester logo and marketing plan for an estimated price of $18,500.

Also on the Tuesday night meeting agenda:

• Discussion of the 2012 Community Development Block Grant, placed on the agenda by Stasiak and Danny Baldwin, who is executive director of the Kiamichi Economic Development District of Oklahoma.

• Consider and act changing the rental fee for Bren Air Inc. from 5 percent of gross fuel sales to a flat rate of $.10/gallon of fuel pumped at the McAlester Regional Airport.

• Consider and act upon a partnership request from Tanaye Harvanek, of the McAlester Area Chamber of Commerce, for use of the Southeast Expo Center for a Veterans Job Fair scheduled for Sept. 19, by having the city partner with the Chamber in the amount of $315.

• Presentation and update on upcoming events and the Southeast Expo Center, and on tourism.