Editor:

I was appalled after the Monday night vote to name a councilman for Ward 3 and I didn’t know how I would ever squeeze a lot of equally valid points into one letter. When Tuesday’s paper came out, it helped me focus on the thing that is most important.

Steve Fairfield was quoted as saying in Tuesday’s paper, “I think the biggest challenge city government faces is to regain the trust of the community. I think we can regain the trust of the community by listening to the citizens of McAlester and making good, sound judgments to better this city.”

This is not about Steve Fairfield, it is about whether we will see him live up to such words better than others have done. It is unbelievable that such a vote would be made just a few hours after the paper came out with the one and only list of the applicants, giving no opportunity for input from the citizens of Ward 3.

I had e-mailed four councilmen and the mayor on Dec. 3 urging a delay in the vote, because of the applicants not yet having been made known so that citizens of Ward 3 could have time to give input. Talking with the mayor on Tuesday about the council’s action, he acknowledged there were others that had also urged him to delay the vote. How many, I do not know, but I do know that picking a councilman behind closed doors is not the kind of open government that people thought Mayor Lewis would give us.

I would think such action would not pass muster under the open meeting law. I understand government bodies can go into executive session to discuss personnel issues, but the picking of a public office holder is far different from dealing with issues about an employee.

Good luck Steve. If you really believe what you said, I hope your commitment is extremely contagious.

Lloyd Wold

McAlester

Editor’s note: This letter has been reprinted due to an editing error when it initially ran.

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