Tuesday, December 12, 2017

City Manager Resigns, with Pay Package

After a lengthy executive session, Sallisaw City Commissioners offered City Manager Clayton Lucas a deal on his contract, and he submitted his resignation effective 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The city commissioners went into executive session shortly after the meeting was called to order at 6 p.m. and did not return to the open meeting until about 8 p.m. Several individuals were called into the executive session to discuss Lucas' employment including Assistant City Manager Keith Skelton who is also the financial officer, Dianna Davis, and Lucas himself.

The four city commissioners voted unanimously to offer Lucas the contract buy out which he accepted in exchange for his resignation. The contract provides that he be paid on Friday, which will include his salary through Dec. 26 and accrued vacation pay. On or before Jan. 10 he will be paid a lump sum for his salary from Dec. 27 through May 15, along with the cost of his family insurance through May.

City officials said city commissioners will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Monday to name an acting city manager.

Calls to Lucas and his attorney, Frank Sullivan III, were not returned.

Other Business

The commissioners approved a resolution that assigned a sales tax to pay off a $4 million refinancing loan for Sequoyah Memorial Hospital. Julie Ward, hospital CEO, told the commissioners that Blue Cross Blue Shield was continuing to pay the hospital insurance payments. The insurance company and hospital had disagreed on sufficient payments in the past.

But Ward said the hospital has continuing financial problems.

She said the hospital is “hanging on by a toenail,” but the loan and a contract with Cherokee Health Partners will help the hospital survive.

The commissioners also approved a settlement, for a civil suit filed by Mike Carpenter, for a total of $85,000, which included $44,988.48 to Armstrong & Vaught PLC of Tulsa and $40,011.52 to Carpenter.

They approved the $95,569 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. The grant will be used to pay the salary of a police officer for three years. The city will pay the fourth year’s salary, as required by the grant.

They also approved a contract with the FOP for police officers, and the meeting dates for the coming year, except for Jan. 8. Ward 4 Commissioner Daryl Legg said OU will be playing for the national football championship on Jan. 8 and he made the motion to hold January’s meeting on Jan. 9. The motion was approved.

Lucas told the commissioners that the city is cleaning out the fence row on the south side of Interstate 40. He said that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is responsible for I40, except for that portion which is in city limits. That portion of I40 is in city limits, he said.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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