McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK


September 26, 2012

Town of Kiowa board member loses seat

McALESTER — A Town of  Kiowa board of trustee member has lost his seat on the board because of an Oklahoma state law requiring all newly elected municipal officials to attend amandatory class.

Kiowa Mayor Janelle Beaver made the announcement during Monday’s regular meeting of  Kiowa Board of Trustees at the Kiowa City Hall.
Beaver said former board of trustee member Ray Goss, who did not attend the meeting, had one year from the date he was elected in April of 2011, to attend the class.
Notifying Goss that he was no longer on the board because the town was following the law. is a good thing for the citizens of Kiowa, according to John Thomas the town’s newly appointed attorney.
“The statute was put into place for a reason,” Thomas said.
“I want our citizens of Kiowa to know that they are getting a government that respects both the intent of the law as well as the letter of the law.”
Thomas said because Goss continued to serve on the board past April, any motions he made or votes on agenda items must be looked at.
“We are now going to have to re-look at all the decisions the board made since April,” Thomas said. 
The one day class that municipal officers must attend, covers municipal budget requirements, the Oklahoma Open meeting Act, the Oklahoma Open Records Act, ethics, procedures for conducting meeting, conflict of interest and purchasing procedures, according to Carolyn Stager executive director of the  Oklahoma Municipal League. “We offer it six times a year at different locations through out the state,” Stager said.
“The law has been place since 2006,” she said. “It basically reduces liability issues for cities and towns, because without  training on  municipal laws, officials who aren’t trained can get into trouble.”
“Other boards such as school boards have had to attend trainings for years,”Stager said.“Municipalities are the last to come into the fold.”

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