Oklahoma City, OK – Nearly five hundred (500) municipal officials from across the state attended the 2018 Oklahoma Municipal League (OML) annual conference and exposition in Oklahoma City, September 11-13. This year’s event marked the 104th gathering and was the largest attended in OML history.
The conference theme, Let’s Roll, highlighted an opening day golf scramble tournament, pre-conference grant writing workshop, over fifty (50) educational break-out sessions, opening session, appearances by both the GOP and Democrat gubernatorial candidates, Kevin Stitt and Drew Edmondson, receptions, annual meeting, and awards banquets.
“The annual conference is the one time a year where our communities and municipal staff come together from across Oklahoma for three days to learn about important topics impacting their communities, to network with other municipal leaders and to enjoy all the festivities of the event. We want to thank not only all who attended but, our partners and sponsors, as well,” Mike Fina, OML Executive Director said.
Each year during the conference, individuals are honored and recognized for exceptional achievements. This year’s award winners include:
Mayor of the Year – communities over 5,000: Bill Shewey, Mayor of Enid
Mayor of the Year – communities under 5,000: Daniel Tarkington, Mayor of Checotah
Gerald Wilkins City Manager of the Year recipient: Janice Cain, City Manager, Altus
Don Rider Award – Honor’s States Most Outstanding Municipal official: Sand Springs Mayor, Mike Burdge
Top Innovation Program: City of El Reno
Also, during the conference, OML, the Ok Municipal Retirement Fund (OkMRF) group, and the OK Municipal Assurance Group (OMAG) held fundraisers to benefit the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank. Through a wine, beer and gift card pull and raffles, they were able to donate $3050 to assist in feeding Oklahoma families.
During the annual business meeting, Kimberly Meek, City Manager of Duncan was elected to the OML Board of Directors, representing District 9.
A very special highlight during the conference was the presentation of four officials representing a wide range of experience and expertise as inductees into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame for City and Town Officials.
The 2018 inductees include:
George Fina, former Piedmont Councilman and Mayor, and former Oklahoma City Firefighter
Mary Rupp, former Stillwater Deputy City Manager and former Perry City Manager
Craig Stephenson, City Manager, Ponca City
David Weatherford, City Attorney, City of Coweta, Town of Mannford, City of Sand Springs, and City of Mounds
Founded in 1999, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame for City and Town Officials Foundation recognizes individuals for outstanding achievements or contributions to city and town governments. To be selected, an honoree must make significant contributions to Oklahoma local government, through their positive spirit of public service, and unquestioned ethics.
The Oklahoma Hall of Fame began in 2001 and the new inductees become the 61st – 64th members.
The 2019 OML Conference and Exposition is slated to be held in Tulsa.