City Manager's Corner
Hello Choctaw, I cannot believe it is already February 2021! Soon we will start the municipal budget process. Please look for information on Council Workshops and budget discussion/approvals in the near future. Meetings will take place in April and May for approval of budgets in June. The budget is the most important task your city staff and council undertake each year.
As of this writing I am attending a Virtual City Manager Association of Oklahoma Conference. There are over 100 Managers from around the state in attendance. It is a great time for us to trade stories, network, mentor, get the latest trends and legal changes, and get new ideas or perspectives that might work in our city. The theme of the conference is “The Infinite Money Game”. The Key Note Speaker this year was from Simon Sinek’s staff and his talk centered around Simon’s new book, “The Infinite Game”. Very apropos for the theme of the conference. The main focus is “Just Cause”. A specific vision of the future that does not currently exist. What are you willing to sacrifice to make the vision happen? Something that will stand the test of time, like “A great place to live and work.” Sound familiar? What is the City of Choctaw’s “Just Cause”?
Your Council approved the award of the Debris pick up contract on 19 January. Staff is in coordination with FEMA at the moment to ensure prompt reimbursement of funds and the proper process to monitor the contract to ensure Full Reimbursement from the Federal Government. This process is taking a bit of time as FEMA is working virtual and through website requests only. Many cities have had to go back and amend contracts or justify contract choices and we are working to avoid such issues. We expect to have the contractor working in the next 30 days or so. The contract bid to the City was much lower than the first FEMA estimate in November. Thanks to the Citizens of Choctaw that took advantage of the alternative disposal options to dispose of their tree debris, it really made a difference. I spent hours in my own back yard burning tree limbs from my damaged trees.
The Best Western Plus Hotel will be opening in March. The owner hired a manager and he is currently training staff and readying the last minute touch up items before opening. They are all very excited about providing this service to our community, as well as the EOC Tech Center and Ball Teams that travel long distances to play at Bouse Park. Look for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony through the Chamber of Commerce advertisements.
On December 15th, your Council called for a City election for Wards 2, 4, and 6 to be held on April 6, 2021. The City Council is responsible for setting City Policy for Staff in the execution of day-to-day duties. Council members are non-partisan and focus on policy issues serving in the best interest of the citizens of Choctaw. It is about community building. What is your “Just Cause” for the City of Choctaw. The City still has vacancies on a few boards and commissions. Anyone interested can call the City Clerk at 390-8198 and ask for openings and details.
Your City Manager
--posted February 1, 2021