The Pryor Times

Local News

April 30, 2013

Disney descends on commissioners

The town of Disney made a big showing at Monday’s County Commissioners meeting.

People were sitting two per chair, hovering in doorways and squeezing into anywhere they could to hear the meeting.

The agenda listed Ron Coats, Pam Johnson, Bill and Linda Aycock to discuss fire department issues with the commissioners.

Commissioner Alva Martin introduced the agenda item and requested that each person limit remarks to three minutes.

“Thank you for  letting me speak,” Coats said “The commissioners previously voted two to one not to have an expansion at the Disney Fire Department. Evidently this wasn’t good enough for Mr. Ball who went down and approved two purchase orders for them.

“We’ve got fire departments misusing county money, we don’t need commissioners doing it too,” said Coats.

Coats talked about purchase orders. He explained when a purchase does not exceed $10,000, it can be paid by a single purchase order. Splitting purchase orders, he explained, which would result in paying an amount in excess of the limitations specified, is expressly prohibited.

The law states that any person convicted of violating the provisions of this subparagraph shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and such person shall forfeit their position or office.

“Mr. Ball is guilty here and I think the law should apply here. I would like to see the county commissioners address this,” said Coats.

Bill Aycock stood next to speak his mind.

“I agree with everything Mr. Coats said. And I ask, how many firefighters does Disney have that live in the required radius? What are their credentials? No one has ever answered me,” said Aycock.

“ Mr. Ball is supposed to have that information. I’m just seeking clarification on this,” he said.

“Where is it Mr. Ball?”

Commissioner Ryan Ball said Aycock could find the information at his city hall and that he only has copies.

“Well where are your copies? You don’t have them do you?” said Aycock.

“OK, that’s enough. This isn’t getting us anywhere,” Commissioner Darrell Yoder said.

A few citizens of Disney in attendance began to applaud. Martin warned them to keep it down or exit the meeting.

“These firefighters don’t live in town. I just wish someone could prove this isn’t right,” said Aycock.

Disney resident Pam Johnson spoke next.

“I have the same concerns as these two gentlemen. We’ve heard about Disney firefighter credentials but we’ve never seen them,” said Johnson. “We, as citizens, should expect our elected officials to do their jobs. I feel the split purchase orders should be investigated by the district attorney.”

Martin said he is aware split purchase orders are a problem, and against the law.

“I’ll tell you I won’t sign any purchase orders until I get with the auditor,” said Martin.

“My second concern is that fire departments are supposed to submit notice of their meetings to the city clerk, along with their minutes. They are supposed to let the public know when they are available to view,” said Johnson.

“Only three of our 13 departments have done this. Who is responsible for policing this? Citizens have a right to these. Do people need to request them, then sue for not getting them? That’s a waste of taxpayer money,” said Johnson. “I ask that you guys address Coats presented a flash drive to the commissioners.

“This is the recording of the commissioner meeting where Alva Martin explained to Ryan Ball that he is prohibited from filing split purchase orders,” said Coats.

After the meeting, Aycock said, “the law was broken and I think it should be upheld. I think he (Ball) needs to step down right now or be arrested,” said Aycock.

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