Tahlequah Daily Press

Letters to editor

March 21, 2014

What’s being done about Corn?

TAHLEQUAH — Editor, Daily Press:

This is an open letter to our city council and mayor.

I live in Tahlequah. I love our city, and am happy to call it home. I have a concern I want to share with you. The Tahlequah Daily Press recently printed some disturbing and questionable stories concerning our street department. I have them summarized here:

1. The street commissioner violated state law when he produced a purchase order after work had been completed on the bike lane arrow paint job.

2. The street commissioner violated state law in Title 61 when he awarded contracts in excess of $50,000 to one contractor on one project. Then, he attempted to hide this by dividing the purchase orders up into smaller amounts.

3. The street commissioner violated state law and received a citation from the Department of Environmental Quality for open burning of brush in the street department’s yard.

4. The street commissioner went over the budget by nearly $195,000, 226 percent, on the North Cedar project, which was originally budgeted as $155,000.

5. The street commissioner acted inappropriately with the vendor of the wood chipper, and has allowed his crews to abuse taxpayer-owned equipment.

6. Lastly, the street commissioner has shown a serious lack of professionalism in nearly every aspect of his duties.

These are issues that have only recently come to light. I hope this is new behavior, but fear it is not. I also fear that a more detailed look into the street department’s policies and actions in the past will open the city to embarrassment, and worse, litigation.

I know this seems intense, and even blunt. But I struggle to find an explanation for this behavior. Even more, I struggle to find an explanation for city officials’ lack of action.

Did you know about any of these instances? What have you done to rectify this situation? At what point does your inaction make you complicit in the commissioner’s actions?

I am concerned the street commissioner is making our city vulnerable to litigation. I am concerned he is not effectively or efficiently using our tax money. I am concerned he is not performing his duties in a manner worthy of our city. I eagerly await your response.

Josh Hutchins

Tahlequah

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