City extends museum’s use agreement 2 more weeks, membership meeting looms


By John Dobberstein, Editor

The saga between the City Council and Broken Arrow Historical Society will continue for at least 2 more weeks, as councilors voted Tuesday to extend the Society’s use agreement for the city-owned building they are using until Sept. 23.

Earlier this year, the council approached the Museum Broken Arrow board of directors about having an elected official of their choosing to serve on the board with voting rights. Museum officials have staunchly objected to the request for a variety of reasons.

City Manager Michael Spurgeon said a meeting was held with the museum board’s incoming president, vice president and secretary 3 weeks ago. Spurgeon said he was informed that the museum board had made a decision on the request “but it wasn’t consistent with what we requested.

“I asked them to reconsider, and I shared with them if there were no changes I would recommend changes to the user agreement.”

Spurgeon said he found out coincidentally through email that a general Museum Broken Arrow membership meeting is planned for Wednesday night to update members on talks with the city. Shortly after that, he said, the board is expected to vote whether to approve one of the two members of the City Council who submitted applications to serve on the board.

Spurgeon said he hopes to hear from the museum president or incoming president Wednesday night or early Thursday about the decision.

If the vote is in favor of approving a city councilor to serve on the board Spurgeon said he can finalize the use agreement and present it to city councilors on Sept. 20.

If the decision isn’t in favor of the city’s request, Spurgeon said he will still come forward with a use agreement “with my recommendations on what should be in it.” Spurgeon said the draft agreement is completed except for two paragraphs that hinge on what decision is made by the museum. He did not elaborate on what that is. 

“My position is very clear and hopeful they will consider what I presented. If not, I will ask city to take a different approach to our partnership,” he said.

The Broken Arrow Historical Society and Museum Broken Arrow is housed at 400 S. Main St. The use agreement was originally set to expire on June 20, but the City Council has been granting extensions while the city and museum board have been negotiating the updated terms and conditions of the agreement.

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