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Archive for: November 2012

Piedmont police officers apply to join police union

By Matt Montgomery

Officers from the Piedmont Police Department have applied to join the Oklahoma Fraternal Order of Police in an effort to gain union representation.

Piedmont Police Chief Alex Oblein said there will be a secret-ballot election held soon among the officers, but a date hasn’t been chosen.

According to the Oklahoma Employees Relations Board, the police department has the right to call an election to seek certification. However, the city has 20 days to provide the board with a list of the officers that would be eligible to vote.

Oblein said the officers have a right to join the FOP if they want, and he said Piedmont is the first police department he has worked at in 13 years that didn’t have some sort of union representation.

“It’s nothing new to me,” Oblein said. “I guess the issues will be, there may or may not be pay, but that could be negotiated, work pools, shift assignments, that kind of stuff.”

Oblein said he hasn’t had much feedback from his staff, because he said he was gone to Ada for certification when he heard about it. He said he got an email from one of his officers letting him know that they wanted to sign the petition.

“I’ll take the officers’ word on it. We haven’t had any labor issues that I’m aware of since I’ve been here,” he said. “There has been some history in the past, some contentious moments between old chiefs and staff. Since I’ve been here, we’ve had a really good working relationship with everybody. Any issues I’ve had, we’ve dealt with in a fair manner and put them in the past.”

The City of Piedmont will consult with its attorney, Michael Segler, but the Oklahoma Employees Relations Board will work with the police department to schedule the secret-ballot election.

City Council hears from bond advisor

By Matt Montgomery

The Piedmont City Council held their first of four bond advisory workshops at 6:30 p.m. last Thursday from Bond Advisor Rick Smith.

Smith, who has worked on and off with the City of Piedmont since 1993, works for Municipal Finance Services, and was hired on by the city to give advice and explain the city’s proposed General Obligation Bond that they anticipate turning over to the residents for a vote in early April 2013.

Last Thursday evening, Smith explained to the Piedmont City Council some general information about General Obligation Bonds, the city’s net assessment valuation and other details related to the proposed bond issue.

Smith said the meeting last Thursday was an informational meeting for the Piedmont City Council to make them aware of how the bond process works and no decisions were made by the Council. Read more →

Piedmont schools receive A’s and B’s

By Matt Montgomery

Piedmont Public Schools finally released to the public the scores they received from the State Department of Education last Thursday, and Piedmont scored all A’s and B’s.

Piedmont Schools Superintendent James White said he was very pleased with the scores the district received. However, he said in an email statement that there’s still room for improvement.

“Although we are proud of our students and teachers and pleased with our results, we also realize there is room for improvement,” White said. “Please be assured, our entire staff is committed to providing the best possible education to our students.”

Piedmont High School and Northwood Elementary both received A’s and according to White’s statement, only 9 percent of schools statewide scored an A. Also, only 48 percent of Oklahoma schools received a B letter grade. Read more →

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