Luddington, Bixler sworn in as Town of Freedom trustees
April 22, 2021
The Town of Freedom Board of Trustees welcomed two new members at its regular meeting April 14: Kama Luddington and Matt Bixler.
Also present were Shad Brackin, whose seat on the board is still being contested; Trustee Concha Herrera, who finished up her term with that meeting; and Town Clerk/Treasurer Cindy Reed.
Before swearing in the new members, the board (including Herrera) approved several change orders – one to extend the date of the gas-line project due to weather setbacks, and three related to the DOT sidewalk project. These last made such changes as noting the condition of the mailboxes, which were not originally on the prints, and for widening the front tier of the county shed at the co-op.
New Members Sworn In; Reorganization Postponed
Once that business was taken care of, Luddington and Bixler read their loyalty oaths and their oaths of office. Brackin formally congratulated them.
Ordinarily, the next thing a new board would do is decide who would act as mayor, or head of the trustees. Because the contest between Brackin and Michelle Shelite has not yet been settled, Brackin will continue as mayor for now.
Cindy Reed explained the situation.
“I emailed and requested advice from the Oklahoma Municipal League on the reorganization of the board members. I haven't heard back from them yet,” she said, and suggested tabling the reorganization until she hears back. “That's my recommendation, just because I don't know what is the best thing to do right now,” she emphasized. “I don't want to do something that we shouldn't have done. I would rather wait and be told by the legal firm which way is the best way to go and then we can always do it the next meeting.”
The board voted to table the reorganization for the time being.
Reed had the new members sign signature cards so that they will be able to sign checks for the town.
She also told the board that she is transferring money from small CDs that come due to the town's savings account. “With the CDBG grant, we earmarked $60,000 to pay our portion of the rest (of the bid) that wasn't covered by the grant,” said Reed, “so we have some small CDs that don't really earn us much interest (…) so I'm cashing those in and transferring it over to the savings account, so that it becomes liquid and when we need to use it for the grant, we'll have it to pay out.”
The group discussed upcoming dates for virtual training sessions for elected officials. All such sessions are virtual again this year, noted Reed.
Kama Luddington recommended that reflective lights be put on the mailboxes in the turnout on US-50. Brackin suggested agreement, saying, “Yeah, something.” New board member Bixler suggested reflective tape. The group tossed around thoughts on what organization would be responsible for that sort of thing.
“Seems like an ongoing issue, the mailboxes,” noted Brackin. He said he would ask the DOT inspector about reflective lights or tape.