Tahlequah City Council, at a special meeting on September 3, discussed issues related to the appointment of new members to the Tahlequah Hospital Authority, as well as the Winter Snowflake Festival and incentives possible for city employees who are vaccinated.
Mayor Sue Catron has said she would like to nominate Bob Girdner to replace Judy Williams on the THA. Bobby McAlpine would be named to replace Susan Chapman Plumb, and Dr John Galdamez would replace Dr Charles Gosnell.
“There is a 2010 amendment that provided for the hospital administrators, but this 2010 amendment is not valid, so the 1986 amendment is still in play,” Catron said. ” I asked [Northeastern Health System CEO Brian Woodliff] ask that we present names.
When asked for details of who the mayor wanted to appoint, Catron said she didn’t want to talk about it because the public couldn’t interact with the board as the meeting was closed at the public debate.
“We started to have these [council workshops] so the general public can come in and see the two-on-two conversation we are having [half of the council meeting with the mayor]Ward 3 Councilor Stephen Highers said. “In a two-on-two, we would have had a more in-depth discussion of this element.”
Highers added that the mayor had put some items on the agenda that she knew were controversial.
“We have these items on the agenda to discuss Tuesday evening [at the City Council meeting]. When we’ve had our two-on-two before and when we’ve had these meetings here, [there has been] the need for additional information, ”said Catron.
The mayor said councilors know the three people she would like to appoint to the hospital authority.
“What you really want to know is how did we get to this point,” Catron said.
Highers said more information on the three potential candidates would be helpful as he does not know them personally.
“Well, there are a number of people who are currently Trustees that I don’t know personally, so we don’t know all of those who are there. But you have several days here to go back and talk to other people, and figure out if you have something that concerns you, ”Catron said.
In other areas, Ward 4 Councilor Trae Ratliff, who is also president of the Tahlequah Sports League, gave the council an update on the Snowflake Winter Festival.
Ratliff said TSL had received a second offer for a chiller and the cost for 60 days would be close to $ 28,000. An insurance quote for 60 days was less than Ratliff had expected.
“We have a few deal breakups, one of which will clearly be COVID-19 and what the numbers look like,” Ratliff said.
The second dilemma would be the condition of the coils, since they have been under the surface of the ice for seven years.
“I think the challenge is not knowing how to get in until the first week of November, when we unroll those reels. If they make clicks and crackles and bursts, we will have a challenge in front of us, ”he said.
Catron told councilors she was interested in seeking a financial incentive for city employees who are or will be vaccinated by a certain date.
“Usually, if you are fully vaccinated, you receive an amount, and if you are fully vaccinated within 60 days, you are also eligible,” Catron said.
The mayor said she was unsure whether the move was forcing people or encouraging them to get vaccinated.
“Having our employees away for an extended period, with really difficult cases, hits our departments hard,” she said.
Ratliff asked if such an incentive was budgeted for, and Catron indicated that if they were interested in offering such an incentive, city administrator Alan Chapman will consider a proposal.
A memorandum of understanding between the city and the Fraternal Order of the Police Lodge is slated for a decision after police department officers returned to 12-hour shifts due to COVID.
“[Police Chief Nate King] set up a COVID schedule and it is currently in effect. This will officially put a memorandum of understanding between the FOP and the city and will last until January 1, ”Chapman said.
The special Tahlequah City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chamber.