Cushing commissioners voted unanimously to name Cushing Memorial Park streets after military conflicts as a way to honor local veterans.  Jared Whittington presented the proposal to the Commission at Monday night’s monthly meeting stating, “There is no greater memorial to the service of veterans than by providing a well kept space for the public to enjoy their freedoms.  I would like to propose that the streets within Cushing Memorial Park be named after conflicts in which members of the community have served.  The preeminent road named for the local area Oklahoma Nationa Guard Unit (45th Infantry).”

Whittington is a Second Lieutenant in the Oklahoma National Guard, Medical Service Corps and an active member of the community – including American Legion Post 108, VFW and the Masonic Lodge.

Street names proposed are: 45th Infantry Memorial Street, WWI Memorial Drive, WWII Memorial Loop, Korea Memorial Drive, Vietnam Memorial Drive, Panama, Desert Storm Drive and Iraq, Afghanistan Memorial Street.  One concern raised, however, is the length of the names. 

“Some of them might be a little difficult to fit on a sign,” said City Manager Steve Spears.   “Or on a speeding citation,” quipped City Attorney Stewart Arthurs.

Whittington said he would be happy to work with the City to figure out the best way to handle the problem.

While most agenda items were approved unanimously, including resolution no. 01-2010 which amends the 2009-2010 budget to accomodate the completion of both phase I and phase II of the skatepark – the need for resolution no. 03-2010 was questioned by commissioners Evert Rossiter and Jim Hogrefe. 

Resolution no. 03-2010 authorizes the execution of a professional services contract with Design Associates for interior design and architectural services to enhance the City Commission chambers.

“With revenue down 30 percent,” Rossiter said, “I can’t warrant, myself, the $7500 to $10,000 right now to have someone come in and tell us what we need – that doesn’t even include any of the work.  We have seniors on fixed incomes and folks just trying to pay their utility bills and buy groceries.”

“I agree with Evert,” Hogrefe chimed.  “I think we need to hold off and prioritize some things.”

Spears explained the services had already been budgeted and that the chamber had not been updated since 1968.  “They will give us an idea of what we need to do so that it can be budgeted,” he said.  “There is more to it than just them coming in to look at different things.”

In a letter from Design Associates, some services included in the proposal were: a review of architectural documents prepared to date and development of conceptual interior recommendations to include: space planning recommendations, interior lighting recommendations, audio-visual recommendations and a development of an estimated preliminary budget.

Mayor John Henckel reminded them of the numerous complaints from citizens regarding the poor sound quality of the chamber.  “We air the meetings on tv, but then people can’t hear what we’re saying,” he said.  “This is part – the first step – of the master project with the new police and fire facility.”

Commissioner Joe Manning agreed saying, “We just approved funding the skatepark – over $15,000 – but we can’t spend $10,000 so people can hear what we’re doing? – I can’t see the consistency.”

Casting the tie breaking vote as it were, Commissioner Tommy Johnson said, “I say let’s go ahead and do this phase since it’s budgeted.”

And so they did.  Resolution no. 03-2010 passed with three yes votes coming from Henckel, Manning and Johnson and two no votes from Hogrefe and Rossiter.  

Other agenda items included the appointment of several board members:  Bill Wells and Buck Blake will serve on the Cushing Regional Airport Advisory Board; Mamie McBride will serve a new three-year term on the Cushing Housing Authority Board; and Bob Felts will serve the remainder of an unexpired three year term (through Sept. 2010) on the Board of Adjustment. 

In his monthly report, Spears commended Commissioner Hogrefe for coming to the aid of seniors by negotiating a deal with Pizza Hut to furnish meals on Fridays at the Senior Citizen Center for a low cost.  Spears said that Project Heart was no longer able to serve meals on Fridays due to state cut backs, but that Hogrefe had stepped in to help.

“Don’t give me the credit,” Hogrefe said humbly.  “Thank Pizza Hut.”

Cushing Board of Commissioners meet the third Monday of each month at City Hall.

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