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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A view on strong-mayor form of government

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Max Holloway,




In response to the proposition to change Muskogee's form of city government from a professional local government manager to an elected position, I am reminded of an incident about which I was told many years ago. It happened in "small town Arkansas."


The town was replacing its water tower, and the professional decision makers had recommended taking bids that the professionals believed should range from $10,000 to $15,000. However, the local mayor and his buddy on the council suggested that was much too expensive and it could be done for much less. The team the mayor had in mind to do the job just so happened to be in the audience and explained to the council that he and his brother-in-law could take down the tower for $5,000. 


After some discussion and much disagreement with the professionals, the mayor succeeded into intimidating his council members into awarding the contract to hometown's "Buster's Business."


On the big day, half the town turned out to see the big water tower take-down. Buster got his buddy to use his big blow torch to start cutting one leg while he started torching the other leg. They had their 1-ton tow truck with its long winch connected to the other side near the top at the walkway that circled the tank. When Buster could tell that the two torch cuttings were just at the right moment, he would signal to the driver to start pulling. The chain on the winch was long enough that when the tank came tumbling down, the truck and driver would be in the clear. 


The problems: one, the tank was full of water, two, the torchers were working on the wrong legs. As the tow truck kicked into gear and started to move, the tower tumbled — in the wrong direction. The little one-ton truck was jerked up on its hind legs and the tank fell — right on top of City Hall.








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