A Bixby city councilor who lost his seat last week due to excessive absences said he wasn't notified of at least one of the meetings he missed. Dennis Loudermilk submitted a letter to the rest of the council last week acknowledging missing five of the council's nine meetings from May to August. But after looking closely at city minutes, Loudermilk said he received no notification from the city clerk about a special meeting in July. Minutes show three of the five councilors attended the July 9 meeting. Councilors have not discussed whether to appoint someone to fill the vacancy or wait until the April elections. Loudermilk said he plans to run for the office.
Firefighters at impasse
An impasse has been declared in negotiations between Bartlesville and its firefighters after the sides failed to reach an agreement over pay. Fire Capt. David Topping says the department requested a 2 percent cost-of-living increase, plus a 5 percent merit increase that was later approved for other city employees. Topping said the city pulled the 2 percent cost-of-living increase off the table when it offered the 5 percent merit increase. Topping says the fire department requested both increases because employees who earn top-scale wages are only eligible for cost-of-living increases, not merit increases. City Manager Jerry Maddux says the fire department was offered the same 5 percent merit increase accepted by the city's police officers. An arbitration hearing is set for Nov. 26.