Broken Arrow City Council approves Historical Society’s use agreement for museum building


By John Dobberstein, Editor

Without fanfare Tuesday, the Broken Arrow City Council voted to renew its user agreement with the Broken Arrow Historical Society, which operates Museum Broken Arrow in the Rose District.

The agreement runs from the date of signature through June 30, 2023, for the building at 400 S. Main St.

A rift developed this year between the city and the museum’s board of directors, after the city asked that an elected official be allowed to be a member of the board and having voting rights. 

This is done with other organizations that have user agreements for city-owned buildings. But the museum’s board balked at the request for a variety of reasons – some of which city officials did not feel were valid.

The new user agreement says the city will, “appoint one person who may attend meetings as needed of the (museum’s) board of directors. The Historical Society “shall send said appointee timely notice of all meetings” and the appointee “shall serve as liaison” between the city and Historical Society, the pact says.

At-Large City Councilor Johnnie Parks will reportedly serve on the museum’s board of directors as a citizen, although details were not mentioned at the City Council meeting Tuesday and have not been announced by the Historical Society.

The agreement will also require the Historical Society to, “present an organizational update at least one time per year at a regularly scheduled City Council meeting.” 

The city said the Historical Society must send a representative of the organization "having knowledge of operations,” such as the board president, board member or executive director, “to speak on behalf of the organization and update the City Council.”

The pact also states that “no person shall carry a firearm either concealed or unconcealed whether loaded or unloaded into the premises,” and that the city will pay for electrical and natural gas costs of the premises at a cost not to exceed $24,000.

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