Tulsa, OK – Over five hundred (500) municipal officials from across the state attended the 2019 Oklahoma Municipal League (OML) annual conference and exposition in Tulsa, OK, September 17-19. This year’s event marked the 105th gathering and was the largest in OML history.
The conference theme, Be Extraordinary, highlighted an opening day golf scramble tournament, pre-conference workshop, Legendary Leadership, over fifty (50) educational break-out sessions, opening session, featuring special guest speaker, LCDR (SEAL) John J. Parma, receptions, annual meeting, and awards banquets.
“We have had a great annual conference this year. This event is the one time a year when our communities and municipal staffs 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, who helped to make the event possible,” Mike Fina, OML Executive Director said.
Each year during the conference, individuals and communities are honored and recognized for exceptional achievements. This year’s award winners include:
Mayor of the Year – communities over 5,000: Matt White, El Reno
Mayor of the Year – communities under 5,000: Ray Poland, Jones
Women of the Year – communities under 5,000: Scherrie Pidcock, Luther
Women of the Year – communities over 5,000: Patty Dixon, Sand Springs
Gerald Wilkins City Manager of the Year recipient: Dave Slezickey, City Manager of Kingfisher
Don Rider Award – Honors the states Most Outstanding Municipal official: Kim Peterson, Vice-Mayor, Guymon
Top Innovation Program: Okmulgee Neighborhood Revitalization Program
NLC John G. Stutz 25-year League Service Award: Jamie Smith, OML Membership Services Representative and Legislative Specialist
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 based, Folds of Honor. Through a wine, beer and gift card pull, they were able to donate over five thousand dollars to assist in providing college scholarships to children of fallen heroes.
During the annual business meeting, the following individuals were either elected or re-elected to the OML Board of Directors: Choctaw Mayor, Randy Ross was re-elected to another one-year term as the Board of Directors President; Ardmore City Manager J.D. Spohn, was re-elected to another one-year term as the Vice-President to the Board of Directors; West Siloam Springs Mayor, Elaine Carr was re-elected to represent District 1; Wilburton Mayor, Stephen Brinlee was elected to represent District 3; McCloud City Manager, Buck Day was elected to represent District 5; Weatherford Mayor, Mike Brown was elected to represent District 10; and, Mooreland Vice-Mayor, Todd Finley was re-elected to represent Towns West.
A special highlight during the conference was the presentation of five officials representing a wide range of experience and expertise as inductees into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame for City and Town Officials.
The 2019 inductees include:
Pam Polk, City Manager, Collinsville
Dan Galloway, Retired City Manager, Stillwater and El Reno
Gary Pruett, Retired General Manager, Municipal Utility Board, Pryor
Jeff Shockley, former Mayor, Poteau
Michael Vanderburg, City Attorney, Ponca City
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 65 – 69th members.
The 2020 OML Conference and Exposition is slated to be held in Oklahoma City in September.
Recipients of the Certified Municipal Official certification for 2019 were awarded to the following people:
(Pictured left to right in the photo above)
Bob Haley, Wagoner
David Williams, Ponca City
Tamara Vickrey, Yukon
Heather Brothers, El Reno
Katie Gore, El Reno
Matt Sandridge, El Reno
Steve Snow, Calumet
Cody Smith, Heavner