Cushing City Commissioners met Thursday to discuss the renewal of two major contracts – that of City Attorney Stewart Arthurs and Cushing Municipal Authority General Manager Steve Spears.
The special meeting was called after commissioners failed to “fill in the blanks” at a meeting held earlier in the week. In what might be deemed a “premature move,” Commissioner Evert Rossiter made a motion – seconded by Commissioner Jim Hogrefe – to vote on resolutions authorizing the Chairman and Board of Commissioners to execute employment renewal agreements for Arthurs and Spears. A vote was taken, but no numbers had been determined prior to the vote. Realizing nothing had been resolved, commissioners called for another special meeting to be held Thursday.
At Thursday’s meeting, commissioners heard comments from the audience before going into executive session.
“I’m a little concerned about the salaries,” said Kerry Holderread of Cushing, as she referred to numbers printed in the local newspaper. “I want to know the City is being fiscally responsible. It seems to me that $180,000 for a city attorney is an obscene amount of money.”
“Thank you,” Hogrefe said, “We need more input from our citizens.”
After over two hours of deliberation, commissioners voted unanimously to extend a modified version of Arthurs’ contract for six months, during which time the city will accept proposals for legal representation. They also voted unanimously to continue Steve Spears’ contract agreement for another year, including a 3 percent increase given to city employees.