There were more town board candidates at Tuesday night’s Town Board meeting than there were trustees.
Trustee Ron Henry and Andy McDaniels did not attend. But there was a quorum with Mayor Cecilia Taft, Carolyn Lawson and Birlene Langley. All three face re-election, with Taft and Lawson running against each other for a two-year term along with Jason Roach and Herbert Keith who attended the meeting.
Langley and McDaniels will also be on the April ballot with Jenni White and Paxton Cavin who attended the meeting. Candidate Trandy Langston participated in the broadcast on Facebook Live by the Luther Register.
The agendas for the Town Board and Luther Public Works Authority were both light and the whole meeting was over before the election workers had picked up from a day of running the polls at the Luther Community Center.
The Town agenda included one item, in addition to the consent agenda. The item was to take up an issue The Luther Register reported on in January. The gist of the issue is that the Town has not complied with law to provide paperwork to the Oklahoma County Clerk’s office to show the certification and bonding for the Town Treasurer.
A letter sent to Mayor Cecilia Taft on December 21, 2016, said the clerk’s office had made several attempts to contact the Town Treasurer through email, mail and telephone to get the Treasurer’s certificate. The letter also said the office was holding the sum of $26,226.87 from as far back as August, 2015. In addition, the letter asked the Treasurer to complete the document with the correct information and put it on the agenda for approval at the next Town Council meeting.
Tuesday night, Mayor Taft asked Town attorney Ray Vincent to the platform to talk about the issue. She asked the other board members if they had received the letter, and Birlene Langley said she had not received the letter.
The county letter was also sent to Henry, Langley and Carolyn Lawson.
“I wanted Ray to look over it and find out what we needed to do,” said Taft.
“It looks like a routine thing to me to fill out with the current information,” said Vincent.
Granted, there were three Town Treasurers in 2016, and the year before that saw a treasurer charged with stealing money from the town when Taft served as mayor previously. It might have been hard to keep up with the paperwork. Current Clerk/Treasurer Kim Bourns was appointed to the job last October, and drew no challenger when he filed for office last week. He is in position to serve a four-year term. The paperwork on the treasurer certification must be filed every year, enabling the county to pay the funds apportioned to the Town.
During the LPWA meeting, the one item in addition to the consent agenda involved sending “Jerrod and Lena” to a water environmental issues class for Cities and Towns. The item did not list the cost, and the trustees did not find out the details before the meeting, but approved the course for the maintenance and utility clerk employees.
After the meeting, some of the candidates became acquainted and were surprised at the brevity of the meeting.