Alva City Council appoints two as interim managers
May 13, 2022
Rumors have been circulating on social media following a special meeting of the Alva City Council held on Tuesday, May 10, at 5 p.m. The claim is being made that Mayor Kelly Parker has been appointed as the Interim City Business Manager. There’s also a copy of an alleged statute about city government stating the mayor cannot serve as city manager while in office or for two years after leaving office.
It was immediately obvious that there was a problem with the social media posts. The publicly posted agenda of the special meeting shows two items for action. First is the FY20-21 annual audit report with a vote for acceptance. Second is an executive session to discuss the appointment of an Interim Operations Manager with the possibility of that appointment being voted when the council returned to open meeting. You can see the agenda at https://towncloud.io/go/alva-ok/
Two Appointed to Interim Management
Following the return to open session, the city council approved two appointments. The vote was 5-0 with Connor Martin, Daniel Winters, Gail Swallow, Randy Stelling and Greg Bowman voting in favor. Councilmembers Troy Brooks and Taylor Dowling abstained. Sadie Bier was absent.
Mayor Kelly Parker was appointed as the operations manager for personnel and government communications (both with city government and outside governments). Alva Fire Chief Bryan Miller was appointed as the operations manager to oversee day-to-day operations and to be responsible for city departments.
To compensate the two men for these added duties, each was approved for an additional monthly stipend of $750. In addition, each of them was given a spending limit. As head of a department, Miller already a fire department spending limit.
Memo to City Staff
On Thursday morning, Mayor Parker sent the following memo to city staff:
“To all staff:
“Effective immediately, the City Council has approved management staff and duties to assist the City of Alva in its plans to transition operations in light of Business Manager Angelica Brady’s resignation.
Mrs. Brady remains employed by the City of Alva through the end of May, but will have planned time off that may make it difficult to reach her for timely conversations, decisions and actions. In the event you are unable to reach Mrs. Brady, please observe the following instructions.
“Frontline staff should continue to take all their management issues to their direct supervisors. If there are issues you have addressed with your supervisor that your manager is not addressing, please take them to either Fire Chief Bryan Miller or Mayor Kelly Parker according to the circumstances as follows.
“Day-to-day operations and departmental project issues are to first be addressed by the department head. Chief Miller will be available to address issues that cannot be addressed or are not being addressed by the department head.
“Personnel issues, i.e. employee grievances, disciplinary action, hiring, firing, etc. should be addressed with Mayor Parker. Additionally, Mayor Parker will address any board or committee meeting issues as well as Council Member concerns.
“Chief Miller will maintain his regular office hours as well as night/weekend emergency availability. Mayor Parker will begin holding office hours at City Hall until about 9:30 or 10 a.m. and also have availability by phone/text when not at City Hall.
“Management expects that all issues will continue to be addressed and handled at the department level whenever possible. We are fortunate to have strong leadership at the department level and expect those leaders will be able to manage their departments and operations accordingly.
“City Council intends to hire a business manager as soon as the right candidate becomes available. While we are not trying to expedite Mrs. Brady’s departure, we are trying to ensure that all of our operations and activities continue without hitting the pause button.
“Angelica has been a tremendous asset to our city and we are going to miss her. She would not want anything to be diminished in her absence and if we all work together, we can ensure our ongoing success.
“Thank you all for everything you do for the City of Alva.”
Do city statutes prohibit mayor’s appointment?
The City of Alva operates under the aldermanic form of government. According to the Oklahoma Statutes (Title 11, Chapter 1, Article IX – Aldermanic Form of Government), the mayor’s duties as president of the council are described in Section 9-104: The mayor shall preside at meetings of the council, and shall certify to the correct enrollment of all ordinances and resolutions passed by it. The mayor is not considered a member of the council for quorum or voting purposes; except that he may vote on questions under consideration by the council only when the council is equally divided.
Section 9-150 continues with the Mayor’s duties as Chief Executive Officer:
The mayor shall be chief executive officer of the administrative branch of the government of the city. The mayor shall be recognized as the head of the city government for all ceremonial purposes and by the Governor for purposes of military law. The mayor shall:
1. appoint, subject to confirmation by the city council, a city attorney and all heads or directors of administrative departments including members of boards and commissions and shall appoint all other administrative officers and employees of the city; and
2. sign the commissions and appointments of all officers, elected or appointed; and
3. remove or suspend city officers or employees against whom charges of incompetency, neglect, or violation of duty are made, until such time as the council shall take action on the charges; and
4. supervise and control all administrative departments, agencies, officers, and employees, act promptly on a charge of neglect or violation of duty of any officer or employee, and require any officer to account for and report to the council in writing on any subject pertaining to the duties, powers, or functions of the officer when the mayor deems necessary; and
5. prepare a budget annually and submit it to the council. The mayor shall be responsible for the administration of the budget after it goes into effect; and
6. keep the council advised of the financial condition and future needs of the city. The mayor shall submit to the council a report after the end of the fiscal year on the finances and administrative activities of the city for the preceding year; and
7. make recommendations to the council of measures for the well-being of the city; and
8. enforce the city ordinances; and
9. grant pardons for violation of city ordinances, including the remission of fines and costs, subject to the approval of the council. Said approval may only be given at a meeting of the council after the reasons and order of remission or pardon have been entered on the journal; and
10. have such other powers, duties, and functions as may be prescribed by law or by ordinance.
What steps are being taken to find a city business manager?
During the Alva Airport Commission meeting Monday, Mayor Parker reported the Oklahoma Municipal League narrowed the small number of applicants down to two candidates who seemed to have the required qualifications. However, one of those candidates accepted another position. The other candidate will be interviewed.
Why didn’t this newspaper send a reporter to the Tuesday meeting?
This newspaper was unable to send a reporter to the special meeting. Tuesday evening meetings are problematic because the entire afternoon into nighttime is devoted to putting out the Newsgram publication. The 5 p.m. meeting fell into crunch time when pages were being finished to start the preprint processing. Everything was running late, and no one could be spared for news coverage.
The next regular meeting of the Alva City Council is Monday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. The special meeting was called mainly because auditor Chris Angel was not available to discuss the annual audit on May 16, according to Mayor Parker’s explanation during the airport commission meeting.