The Stilwell City Council met in special session Monday, May 15, to discuss items regarding the new budget to take effect in July. The Council also approved an appointment to the local development authority board and filled a newly created staff position.

Mayor Jean Ann Wright presented the members of the Council copies of a letter submitted to her by Stilwell Area Development Authority (SADA) board member Ronnie Trentham requesting that he not be reappointed for to his board position which concludes on June 1. Wright noted that Trentham had not resigned from the position, intending to complete his current term. He asked not to be considered for re-appointment to the seat.

Wright nominated Shelly Pumpkin McClain to fill the seat as of June 1. She said McClain was a life-long resident of the Stilwell area and serves currently the Cherokee Nation as Director of Procurement.

Ward 4 Councilman Jim Spray said vacancies had been filled by selection of the Authority’s members in the past. He asked if the Mayor’s appointment was according to proper procedure.

“According to the City Charter, the Mayor makes the appointment with the approval of the council,” Wright said. 

In the past, new appointments had been made in the two months prior to the June 1 start date for the Authority Board term, she said.

Wright also said she had submitted the appointment of a new board member to SADA in time for their May board meeting and was told the agenda item had been removed by Chairman Bill Garrett. 

Ward 2 Council member Barrett Harris had some questions about the process, which were answered by City Attorney Jeff Jones. The process to nominate a new member is outlined in the City’s Charter, Jones said.

McClain’s appointment was approved by the Council with four “ayes” and one “nay.” The no vote was cast by Spray.

During a lengthy executive session, the Council briefly interviewed three candidates for the new Director of Public Relations and Media position. Returning to open session, the governing body approved offering the position to Troy Littledeer with the salary to be determined at the June 5 meeting as part of the budget discussions. City Clerk/Treasurer Larry Nettles said the proposed salary had been in the range of $45,000


The Council again heard from two companies presenting health insurance plans for City employees. Benefits Select and Premier Consulting made proposals to the Council for 2023-2024 health care coverages. The two companies had made similar presentations at the May 1 meeting. The Council tabled a decision on the matter, scheduling another special meeting on Monday, May 22 to consider the proposals to

be included in next year’s budget.

The Council set June as the enrollment month for employee health insurance. An agreement with Crawford and Associates was renewed to allow that firm to compile the financial statement for the current year audit preparation.

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