(Cushing) Cushing Commissioners voted unanimously to keep J. Stewart Arthurs as City Attorney for another 6 months but went into executive session Monday to discuss a resolution authorizing and directing the Chairman, Board of Commissioners, to execute a memorandum of understanding with Rosenstein, Fist & Ringold for legal services.  Arthurs’ current agreement was set to expire Dec. 31, 2009.  Monday’s vote will allow him to remain in the position of City Attorney until June 30, 2010.

Commissioners also voted unanimously to appoint Steve Spears as City Manager.  Spears, who has been interim City Manager since early 2008, was appointed as General Manager of the Cushing Municipal Authority in June, 2008.  At that time commissioners were unable to appoint Spears as City Manager due to restrictions in the City Charter.  Charter changes that removed such restrictions were voted on and approved by Cushing citizens in Dec. 2008. 

Cushing’s kids fared well at Monday’s meeting as commissioners voted unanimously to appropriate funds to purchase the equipment to finish the skate park and also voted to match funds donated by Roy Kemp to purchase playground equipment for Kemp Park. 

“We’ve tasked the kids to do their part – fundraising – for the skate park,” Mayor John Henckel said, “and they’ve done it.  I would like to see the budget amended and go ahead and get it done.”

Approximately $58,600 is currently available for the purchase of skatepark elements but almost $16,000 in additional funds were needed to be able complete both Phase 1 and Phase 2. 

While the additional funds are not yet in hand, they will come in over the next 18 months from AT&T cell phone tower revenue.

As for the playground equipment for Kemp Park – the City matched the donation of $7,000 made by Roy and Martha Kemp, for a total of $14,000.  A neighborhood mom, Aimee O’Neal headed up the fundraiser making a plea to Mr. Kemp and others for equipment for the park.

“I wanted to thank you for donating your park to Cushing,” O’Neal wrote in a letter to Mr. Kemp.  “But most of all I wanted to let you know that it’s my little heaven on Earth…” 

O’Neal was at Monday’s meeting to formally thank the Kemps for their donation.  A pleased Kemp said, “It just proves that sometimes it’s easy to make things happen.”

Spears said depending on weather, the equipment should be in place at Kemp Park within a couple of months – if not sooner.

Other items included the approval to participate in an interstate/interlocal purchasing cooperative that is expected to not only allow other purchase options, but should save money.  Participation is at no cost to the City.

Spears told citizens in his monthly report that dumpsters are now in place to aid in holiday clean up.  The locations are the same as last year – Hemphill Park, Memorial Park, Kemp Park and near the Cushing Senior Citizens Center.  He also urged users not to place items near the dumpsters.  “Remember the neighborhoods,” Spears said, “crews will be back to check  and make more space.  Please do not leave your things beside the dumpters to blow around.”

Aside from the decrease in tax revenues seen across the state, Cushing seems to be doing alright.