If there are backroom deals going on in city board meetings, the city council certainly can’t be bothered to find out.
That’s the impression it gave last night when a motion to allow council members to attend executive sessions of city board meetings by Ward 4 Councilor Traci McGee died without a second from any other board member.
The motion would have made council members ex officio of all city boards, which would allow them to attend executive sessions. Though state legislators have that ability, city councilors are currently barred from attending city board executive sessions.
“That’s where the real decisions are being made for the city,” McGee said. “Unelected people making decisions while the people elected to run this city can’t go in to see how those decisions are being made.”
Asked why any councilor wouldn’t want to allow councilors more access to information about how decisions affecting Muskogee are made, Councilman Ivory Vann said he failed to second the motion because he knew the vote would fail and “I didn’t want to see them shoot Traci down.”
Vann said if the motion is brought up again, he will second it, which would force councilors who vote nay to go on record as opposing transparency in government.
Evelyn Hibbs, the only other councilor who responded to messages for comment, said she would explain today why she didn’t second the motion.