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Freedom Town Board welcomes new member Randy Rhodes


New Freedom Town Board member Randy Rhodes (left) signs the Oath of Loyalty as Town Clerk Cindy Reed (right) notarizes the Oath of Office he signed moments before. Mayor Shad Brackin and Rolando Galindo watch as Rhodes completes the swearing in process.

The Town of Freedom has a new town board member: Randy Rhodes.

At the town board's regular meeting on May 15, Rhodes was sworn in, reciting first the oath of office and then the loyalty oath, in which he swore to uphold the constitution and laws of the U.S. and Oklahoma; to perform his duties to the best of his ability; and to "not knowingly receive, directly or indirectly, any money or other valuable thing for the performance or non-performance of any act or duty pertaining to my office, other than the compensation allowed by law."

Town Clerk Cindy Reed notarized Rhodes' signature on the oaths, and then handed him his certificate of election.

"Okay, cool! Congratulations, Mr. Rhodes," said Mayor Shad Brackin, and then the regular meeting got underway.

Reed and Brackin, with input from Maintenance Director Stuart Page, updated Rhodes on some of the projects the town has underway – issues involving the sewer lines, for example; replacing the gas lines in the town (which is 99 percent complete, Brackin said); and installation of new telemetry water meters – a kind of meter Brackin said they hope to get a grant to install for the gas lines next year.

Rhodes asked for an email detailing all the projects underway, and suggested he might be able to put together charts that could be used to show progress on them.

The board approved minutes and purchase orders. Discussion was held about finding a bonded electrician to possibly handle a variety of electrical issues in the town.

Maintenance Report: Park Benches Need Repair

Page reported that a number of the posts of the benches surrounding the park are rotting at the base, and asked if maintaining those benches was the town's responsibility or the Cowboy Association's responsibility. Reed recommended Page speak with "Vanessa," who would be able to provide more information about whose responsibility it is.

The Legion owns most of the park, said Brackin, "until you get over to the Cimarron Cowboys Association" area. The town has the grassy area where the water tower is, but has traditionally taken care of the mowing and general upkeep of the whole area.

"I guess the Cimarron Cowboys Association is the one who put in the benches," which have plaques on them commemorating the families who donated the money for the benches, Brackin said. "We're pretty conscientious in trying to keep them in as good a shape as we can. We pressure washed them two years ago and re-sealed them. I would like to have a comprehensive plan and re-do the whole park," he said, but because there are three different entities that have a stake in the park, it's a little complicated to work out.

Speaking to Page, Brackin said, "Just fix them up as best as you can if there's something that's dangerous." Page pointed out that 8x8 pressure-treated or cedar posts aren't cheap. Reed again recommended speaking with Vanessa first.

Page also reported on a workshop he attended about issues involved in administering a municipal utility program, including how to interact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) following flood damage. He said he'd like to learn more about managing and preventing flood-related emergencies, and the intricacies of constructing buildings or municipal infrastructure on or near a flood plain.

Other Board Business

The board approved the purchase order (and request for reimbursement) that "will zero out the REAP grant" funds, Reed said. The grant funded the installation of the new water meter telemetry system.

"Stuart, have you received all the training you need" to operate the new system, Rhodes asked Page. "No, not yet, Page responded. "It'll be hands-on training," he said.

The board passed a resolution to keep OMAG as their insurance carrier in 2019 and 2020. Reed presented the month's expenditures (see sidebar).

The board approved the destruction of POs from several previous years and other miscellaneous long outdated


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