Verdigris, back under a strong mayor leadership met Thursday evening. It was the town’s first full agenda, town meeting since trustees voted not to renew the employment contract of Town Manager Joe Robinson.

The meeting was rescheduled from the usual third Thursday due to hardships affecting trustees and staff.

Trustee Dick McGuire said the decision not to renew the town manager’s contract was based on budget needs and a concern that there would be a loss of revenue due to the economic downturn.

He said the town would focus on developing the fledgling police department under Police Chief Barry Lamb.

According McGuire, no formal action needed to take place based on the change in management style.

“Under OSS Title 11, Chapter 1 Article XII, Statutory Town Board of Trustees Form of Government, there is no requirement for a Town Manager. Total responsibility for the town government is within the trustees,” McGuire told the Progress.

City Attorney Larry Steidley defined the situation in more detail.

“There has never been a ‘change of government’ in Verdigris,” said Steidley. “Verdigris is, and always has been, a Town Board of Trustees form of government. There is an ordinance setting up the office of Town Administrator, but it is the Trustees decision as to whether or not this position is filled, or not.

“At one time, Verdigris conducted elections under the ‘Town Meeting Act’; however, Verdigris now has the County Election Board conduct its elections.

“Again, there should be no confusion as to the form of government in Verdigris, and a town administrator is not required in order for Verdigris to operate.”

Lamb’s contract for FY 2009-2010 was approved last month. An executive session to consider that contract was on the agenda again this month, but was bypassed due to the absence of Steidley who is reportedly on vacation.

Trustees voted to hire Brian Kellogg of Kellogg Engineering, Inc. to perform a hydrology study to investigate flooding Vintage I housing division.

Also approved was the purchase of refurbished Panasonic Tough Book computers for police patrol units.

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