Claremore Daily Progress

Top Stories

November 18, 2012

New City Manager no stranger to tough decisions or conflict

CLAREMORE — Jim Thomas is very familiar with tough situations, difficult politics and union conflicts.

In the cities Thomas has worked he has faced a number of issues involving his tough policies and no nonsense approach.

Thomas comes to Claremore with a new vision for the town and a stack of glowing references.

The city council has giving overwhelming support for Thomas as well as city staff.

There is clearly an excitement surrounding the new manager.

A number of different newspapers throughout the country have put Thomas under fire in the past, because of his cost cutting decisions and tough management.

Thomas worked in Kingston, Mass.; West Warwick, RI; Old Orchard Beach, Maine; Sterling, Colo.; Whitefish Bay, Wisc. and Forest Park, Ill.

Throughout his career, Thomas has been tough and consistent with his actions.

Thomas is known for his union negotiation skills, government reorganization and consolidation of departments.

These are some areas that he has come under fire by local media and even employees that worked with Thomas.

Two separate employees filed lawsuits against the cities Thomas represented as the city manager. Pamela R. Gumina, of Sterling and Sgt. Susan Mumford, of Kingston both filed legal action against the manager for issues ranging from harassment to retaliation.

Mumford was a city employee that served as the union contract negotiations as well as a “selectmen” otherwise known as a city council member.

Thomas explains that the issue with Mumford was a simple conflict of interest and that the issue was resolved.

Critics of Thomas are quick to give another view of the issues and the Claremore Progress has been contacted by anonymous sources that have shared a different view of the story in Kingston.

Gumina, the former assistant city manager for Sterling, was terminated by Thomas bringing forth the issue.

Thomas was quoted by the “Hawk Eye” a Burlington, Iowa newspaper regarding the issue.

“It’s a rough community (Sterling),” Thomas said. “When you eliminate 11 positions, it does not make you the most popular person in the world.”

Despite the numerous news stories or anonymous phone calls both issues have been resolved in Thomas’s favor, according to court records.

Additionally, Gumina was ordered to pay the legal fees for the city of Sterling as a result of the case.

Thomas explained that due to the nature of the issues he would not even respond to the media accusations.

“I am a professional manager,” Thomas said. “I hold myself at a higher standard.”

Thomas provided full disclosure to the council regarding the past issues or battles depending on the point of view.

“My word is my bond,” Thomas said.

It is clear that Thomas has plans to bring his tough but solid leadership style to Claremore.

“Any city manager that has been in the business for as long as he has and especially the past several years has had to make tough and sometimes unpopular decisions and ruffle some feathers..We looked at his accomplishments, experience,vision for Claremore,management style opinion on economic development and planning. I  truly believe that his fresh set of eyes and management style is what Claremore needs at this time.I hope for Claremores sake that he is given a fair chance and support. I know he has the support of the council and there is always two sides to the story,”said Mayor Mickey Perry.

Text Only
Top Stories
  • Claremore sisters featured on talk show

    During their recent trip to Los Angeles, Claremore sisters Lindsey and Whitney Martin made the most of their time in the city of angels, spending time with family, visiting several beaches, restaurants and Hollywood attractions.

    July 29, 2014 1 Link

  • Elementary students learn to bid at Zebra Stripes auction

    Claremore elementary students in the Zebra Stripes summer care program participated in a student-friendly auction Friday at Roosa Elementary. The auction was presented by Daneen Shepherd, realtor/broker and auctioneer of Tulsa, who taught the children how to bid on items efficiently and effectively.

    July 29, 2014 1 Link

  • Treasurer issues tax warrants

    For the first time, tax warrants are being issued in Rogers County to collect unpaid personal property taxes.
    This week, some local business owners should expect to be served by the Rogers County Sheriff’s office.
    Personal tax warrants have been issued to three local companies, who owe a total of approximately $38,000 in past due taxes.

    July 29, 2014

  • No evidence or human remains found

    Rogers County Sheriff’s deputies and assisting agencies vacated a Tiawah property Friday, after no evidence or human remains were found in connection to the disappearance of a local resident that went missing in 1996.

    July 27, 2014

  • RCLC launches letter campaign

    The Rogers County Literacy Council, RCLC, is launching their annual letter writing campaign.
     A United Way Organization, the council is asking for community support to help promote literacy in the English language.

    July 27, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Inequality crisis shot with factual problems, hypocrisy

    President Obama, various media and political liberals say inequality, of all things, is the defining issue of our times. Yet this message is delivered by multimillionaires and a president who jets from tee time to stump speech on the taxpayer's dime.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Obama wants limits on US company mergers abroad

    Staking out a populist stand ahead of the midterm elections, President Barack Obama on Thursday demanded “economic patriotism” from U.S. corporations that use legal means to avoid U.S. taxes through overseas mergers.

    July 25, 2014

  • Local churches impact poverty

    Claremore First Christian Church, First United Methodist and the Pastoral Alliance are combining efforts to host a 16-week program, “Getting Ahead in a Just Getting by World,” based off of the national program — “bridges out of poverty.”

    July 25, 2014

  • Grand Jury recesses until August

    The multicounty grand jury charged with investigating accusations of misconduct by Rogers County officials recessed Thursday until August 19-21, saying it needed to hear from more witnesses before returning a finding in the matter.

    July 25, 2014

  • Former Sheriff’s deputy arrested

    The Rogers County Sheriff’s Office arrested ex-deputy Brian Kindle Wednesday after receiving multiple reports concerning his safety.

    July 25, 2014