PRYOR, OK —
OKLAHOMA CITY – Mayors from across Oklahoma met at the state Capitol Friday to debate issues facing municipalities and craft a legislative agenda for the 2014 legislative session.
The Oklahoma Congress of Mayors is a one-day event held and sponsored by the Mayors Council of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Municipal League. Mayors and vice mayors spend the morning in committee meetings before gathering for a general session in the House Chamber in the afternoon.
Sand Springs Mayor Mike Burdge served as honorary Speaker of the House for the Congress of Mayors this year. State Rep. Joe Dorman annually assists the Congress of Mayors as parliamentarian of the mock session held in the afternoon. He said the event is an excellent opportunity for lawmakers to get a statewide perspective of municipal issues.
“The Congress of Mayors is a unique event because it brings all these mayors together from around the state and helps them communicate in one voice what the Oklahoma Legislature could do to help them meet their goals and overcome their challenges,” said Dorman, D-Rush Springs.
Oklahoma Municipal League Executive Director Carolyn Stager said she believes the exposure municipal officials get from the event has encouraged them to get more involved at the state level. The current makeup of the Oklahoma House of Representative includes many former mayors, including state Reps. Lee Denney, Charles McCall, Bobby Cleveland and Dennis Johnson.
“I think it is a great networking opportunity for the mayors to come together and be able to discuss issues that their communities have in common. I was pleased to see so many mayors participating this year for the first time. I am always impressed with how they conduct themselves during the mock session. I think any one of them could serve in these seats and I would encourage more of them to run for higher office,” said Stager.
Chickasha Mayor Hank Ross praised the event.
“It is important that municipalities come together and work closely with our state legislative body on the opportunities and challenges facing our cities,” Ross said. There are limited financial resources and cities must be in consideration for those funds. Furthermore I would like to thank Representative Joe Dorman for being the legislative liaison to the Conference of Mayors for the last four years.”
“The honor of being able to represent the City of Pryor Creek at the Congress of Mayors is something I personally take pride in. The Oklahoma Municipal League supports all represented municipalities throughout the state of Oklahoma as we all come together to discuss the concerns of all mayors,” said Mayor Jimmy Tramel.