The Tenaha City Council has a called meeting at 5:15 p.m. today and among the agenda items for action will be accepting balanced budget and forming of an advisory committee for economic development. In addition the council will review water and sewer rates.
We told you Councilwoman Claudine Howard had resigned her position abruptly during the March 16 meeting as she and Mayor Orinthia Johnson had a heated exchange concerning the wording of the last meeting agenda dealing with a reduction in force in the water department.
Ms. Howard said as the mayor began raising his voice that’s when she decided to resign before a vote was taken on possibly reducing the mayor’s salary effective next year. Johnson defeated Ms. Howard to begin his second term in office lat year.
Since tempers have cooled, Ms. Howard said in an interview in Our Town Times newspaper last week she has decided not to resign, saying she’s not accomplished some of the things she had hoped to get done. She added she regrets she walked out of the meeting, and apologizes to the council and city.
In that article, Ms. Howard says there are concerns because the council has not received a financial statement for approval in five months, and adds she feels as being the city’s mayor pro-tem there could be legal risk.
She commented that she feels Mayor Johnson is not performing his duties competently. Saying he would show for meetings with a CPA and auditor and walk out.
Mayor Johnson tells us he’s trying to move on past the public exchange with Ms. Howard this month, but adds, “some of her remarks about me (Johnson) leaving meetings are not true.” He said he left the meeting with the CPA because he had to rush his mother to the hospital.
Money woes have also besieged the City of Tenaha as two CDs have already been cashed in this year. Ms. Howard said she feels there's too much money going out and there's not enough accountability by city employees. Ms. Howard says the city needs to be audited.
She added the citizens of Tenaha need to be involved requiring their elected officials to do their job. “We all need to work together,” Ms. Howard said.