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December 15, 2017

Abrupt Adjournment


Interesting night at the Luther Town Board. Anticipating a crowd, the meeting moved out of the tiny town hall auditorium on Main Street  to the Community Center down the street. More than 100 citizens had plenty of room to sit, some signed the roster to speak publicly and eventually, very close to the meeting start time of 7 pm, board packets were made available to study. Of particular interest was the unveiling of a town budget (that was effective LAST July), and also an item from Trustee Ron Henry regarding “the safety of Town Trustee’s (sic) and proper police conduct at Town Meetings.”

He likely was referring to THIS (watch the last minute).  Tonight was the first meeting since THIS ALSO HAPPENED at the October meeting when Trustee Lea Ann Jackson asserted into New Business a coup to remove Birlene Langley as mayor.

Tuesday night, the minutes of that meeting were on the agenda for approval and contained the following: “Jackson made a motion that Birlene Langley be removed as Mayor. Henry seconded.
Yea: Henry, (Cecilia) Taft, Jackson
Nay: (Carolyn) Lawson
Abstain: Langley

Taft made a motion that the matter of Mayor be put on the next agenda. Henry second (sic).
Yea: Henry, Taft, Jackson, Langley
Abstain: Lawson”

However, another agenda item preceded the approval of minutes. Carolyn Lawson presided over the item regarding the appointment of a Town Attorney. After some discussion about cost and availability and the health of the current attorney, the board voted to OUST the current attorney. Henry, Stewart and Jackson voted to fire the current attorney. Langley and Lawson voted to keep the current arrangement.

Jackson, who presided over the meeting, then declared that without a town attorney, the Town of Luther Regular Meeting could not continue. Guess how the vote went for adjournment? Henry, Stewart and Jackson voted to adjourn. Langley and Lawson voted NO. You can see the video of that here: townboardnov15

After the meeting, Langley was clearly troubled and questioned the actions. By the way, she still believes she is mayor. (More about the actual role of “mayor” in the town in another post). Those who came to speak on her behalf were incredulous. Someone in the crowd yelled “thanks for wasting our time.”

As the crowd dispersed, the Luther Register visited with Jackson who is the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer for the Oklahoma Bankers Association, and asked her if the action was orchestrated.

“I knew that without an attorney with the divisiveness of the board, especially recently, it would not be a good decision to have a meeting without a town attorney.”

As for the next step, Jackson said she’d like to call a SPECIAL meeting of the Luther Town Board on November 16, 2015. The agenda will be set up much the same: convene, declare a quorum and then take up the attorney issue again. If one is retained, the meeting would proceed.

Until then.

Thanks to NE OK County Storm Chaser for the videos of the October 2015 meeting: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC38YGP9WnWxOsBPye74_QPg

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