Welcome to OnsideBuffalo - "OnSide" Buffalo Oklahoma - Buffalo Blog -of the town of Buffalo Oklahoma

Late Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson said,
"It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."

This blog is for people to share their thoughts and ideas on things of interest in this town of Buffalo Oklahoma.

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lots a Lots a Links


Creditable sources reveal that the Duckwalls building will be sold to High Plains Resource Conservation and Development (High Plains RC&D). The Town of Buffalo (T of B) will then turn around and rent back space from High Plains RC&D and move the remaining of their offices into the remodeled Duckwalls building. This will allow the Buffalo Family Health Clinic to continue its land grab and expand and occupy all of the current City Hall building. If High Plains RC&D decides to sell the Duckwalls building in the future they will sell it back to the T of B first.

Since this may be construed as “hearsay”, is their any evidence that supports this?

The old Legion building, which was last occupied by the retail business Duckwalls, is currently without a tenant. This building is listed on a recent Town of Buffalo (T of B) capital improvement plan (CIP) as one of its asset that has an overall worth that greatly exceeds a quarter of million dollars ($290k).

First of all who is High Plains RC&D? This link  shows that is a business located in the Buffalo area and its contact person is Holly Yauk.

Who is the Buffalo Family Health Clinic? Using this link  you will see that it is a venture owned and operated by the Harper County Community Hospital (HCCH). The same Holly Yauk from High Plains RC&D is also listed as the Vice chairman for the Board of Trustees of the HCCH.
Going to this link  Robin Daley is listed under physicians for the HCCH which, as mentioned before, is the owner/operator of the Buffalo Family Health Clinic (BFHC) which resides in the City Hall building. It is common knowledge that Robin Daley has office space in the BFHC.

And then we have the T of B which you can see using this link  has listed Robin Daley as a Trustee for the T of B.

How did this all develop?

From the T of B Economic Developers reports back in late September up to early November 2011 you can see mentioning of matters concerning the HCCH and High Plains RC&D.

Excerpts from October development report:
"We have two opportunities now with Duckwalls. One of those is to sell it to the hospital (we can do that without public auction) However, they would have to pay fair market value for it and they may not be in a position to do that. Our other option, which I’m working with the High Plains office on, is that High Plains purchase the property and develop a business incubator."

Excerpts from November development report:
"Regarding Duckwalls. As a remind, we have two opportunities to consider. Sell to the hospital or partner with High Plains Resource Conservation and Development. High Plains will submit a grant application in February that would enable them to keep the High Plains office here in Buffalo as well as develop and support a business incubator. As of today (Friday, Oct 28), the hospital’s position is to wait and see whether the High Plains application is successful."

With instances of the HCCH being mentioned on at least three occasions by the T of B’s E.D. regarding the city owned Duckwalls building it is plain to see that the HCCH is seeking more space. One can further conclude with city hall continuing to parcel out parts of its very own office to the BFHC the space the HCCH is seeking will be used for further expansion of the new clinic at City Hall.

At high noon on a cold Tuesday in late January of 2012 a Special Meeting was held to discuss leasing and renovation of both Duckwalls and Town Hall. This link is the posted agenda for that meeting. The agenda item regarding the Duckwalls building and Town Hall is shown in red:

Discussion & consideration of the renovation and leasing of the Duckwall’s building and of Town Hall.

Coggins, seconded by Bishop, made the motion to sell Duckwall's building to High Plains RC&D in the amount of $5000 pending the approval of their Rural Business Enterprise Grant application for business incubation and office space. The vote was Bishop, aye; Carpenter, aye; Coggins, aye; Orange, aye; and Daley, aye. Minutes for this motion were approved on the Feb 8, 2012 meeting in the concent agenda.

The agenda item clearly states that they were to discuss and consider leasing the Duckwall's building and Town Hall.  They voted to sell the Duckwalls building.  Not lease the Duckwalls building. Sell it. Not lease the Duckwalls building for $5000. Sell the Duckwalls building for $5000.
Taken from a guide to Oklahoma's Open Meeting Act
Agendas should state the purpose of the meeting and clearly describe each agenda item so that an ordinary citizen with no specialized knowledge of the board's prior action or deliberations will be able to understand from the agenda what the board will be doing at the meeting. Here is the link to that guide. 

On July 5th, 2012 the Town of Buffalo's Economic Developer, after the T of B public meeting had adjourned and the board members were rising to their feet, announced that the High Plains RC&D got the Rural Business Enterprise Grant.

So to summarize

First there exist lots of "links" to this story.
Depending on who you are, you will have to pay full market price for the Duckwalls building.
If you would have been in the right place at the right time you might have been able to buy the Duckwalls building for $5001.
If you can see the hidden agenda in the posted agenda you will have a clear understanding about what is really going on with your city government.
The Town of Buffalo likes to sell quarter million dollar chunks of assets without telling anybody about it.
Because of this embarrassing situation the board fired the water meter reader and then promptly resigned their positions as Town Trustees. Nah, that didn’t really happen.
If you are looking for a textbook case of violating the Open Meetings Act look no further.
The Town of Boynton tried to sidestep the Open Meetings Act too. Happened not long ago, here's the must read  link .
The Town of Buffalo is the perfect model of government transparency.
Incubators are used to hatch eggs.
And last but not least Greg Harper contributed to this problem.

Found on Town of Buffalo Website 7/30/2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Will The Joke Be On Us?

FYI "A work group will be assigned to gather facts and figures regarding this issue"
from the un-official minutes of the last town board meeting as published in the Harper County Journal.
With the "issue" being police protection.
Right now the Town of Buffalo/ board/ city hall is mostly focused on golf course sprinkler systems, completely remodeling and then selling(giving away) the Legion/Duckwalls building for $5000, under the guise of an economic incubator, and then in turn eventually renting space from them after they sell it so they can move city hall there to allow for more expansion of the clinic that will consume all of the current city hall building where they are now.
Where will the Town of Buffalo police department be located at after all of this? Not to mention the issues of the extra paper work that the ”at pleasure of the board(elected)” employees will have to endure if there was an actual police department.  Meanwhile the documented population of this town has increase 8.3% since the year 2000 and along with it the crime rates. And our fine board can’t even direct the City Manager to fill the vacated positions of the "on the books" police department.
Until the people connected to city hall get their collective noses pried away from the hospital/clinic scenario and golf course sprinklers there probably won’t be any effort on their part to fill the police department’s slots. Assigning a work group to gather facts and figures regarding this issue gets the monkey off of their back. I’ll let you guess what entity the two initial work group members are connected to.
The annual budget is being put together by the auditor for approval in the next several weeks. Now is the time to put the heat on the board to make sure the focus is directed where the taxpaying citizens want it to be. Who will win this go round? Clinic? Doby? Police?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Buffalo's Phantom Police Department

Just like the Buffalo PD you probably "won’t see" this story in the Harper County Journal anytime soon. It has been determined that the Town of Buffalo still has a police department. This department exists on the books at City Hall and its monthly reports are being generated and sent to the necessary state agencies as required. It is not clear if these reports are compulsory by law to be sent or not. There never has been a vote (by the town board that is) to shut down, close, or dismantle the Town of Buffalo police department. The monthly reports that are being sent on to the State only affirm that there are no active officers at this time.

The only activity by the board, in the last year or so, regarding its own police department has been to sell some computer equipment to the HCSO. The police department has reached its current state due to attrition of its officers and the police chief. Well over a year ago, and within a few months of the last police employee’s departure, the board faced opportunities on at least two occasions to address the police department’s situation. What they did do is hire a code enforcement officer who resides in another town to write up code violations while being paid $12.00 per hour. That contract was renewed in June.

In addition to this, the board met with the HCSO on several occasions concerning contracting agreements. Those meetings occurred between July and October of 2011. There was never a vote held. Due to no motions ever being made, let alone seconded, no vote was held and therefore is listed in the minutes that no action was taken by the board to contract with the HCSO. I believe the last offer was for the HCSO to cover the town for $4000(+/-) a month for each officer with a minimum of two. This would be equal to $96,000(+/-) per year cost to the Town of Buffalo for the western themed guns for hire program. (Please correct me if I am wrong on the latest amounts)

During the most recent July meeting there was a sparse, but thorough, attendance of concerned citizens addressing the board during its public comments section of the meeting. One of the most revealing issues I realized is that a majority of the board is not getting any of our concerns being voiced simply due to the fact they do not have Facebook accounts. It is not clear to me if they even have smart phones, email, or even access to a computer for that matter. So keep this in mind when you see FB comments being made or blog articles that are written or anonymous blog comments. More than likely a majority of the board is not seeing it. Because of this I am not certain they are even aware of the gravity of the town’s situation as being presented by the citizens and the HCSO. They may not even be remotely aware that there is a problem.

Having recently been challenged to "get off my ass and do something", which was "liked" by numerous people,  just may be what everybody will need to do to make the board aware of the issue of law enforcement.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What Would Sheriff Taylor Have Done?

The existence of Mayberry in our hearts and minds has been brought to light with the recent passing of Andy Griffith. The world’s favorite sheriff was always Sheriff Taylor. Everyone that grew up in a small town had a special kinship and imagination with all of the characters of Mayberry RFD. We often thought about people that we new in our community and placed them as being the various characters from the sitcom we grew up watching. We all felt like we were from Mayberry or that they could have done a show like that in our hometown and it would have turned out the same. Learning of Andy Griffith’s death almost brings out a sense of hopelessness and fear that small town America has passed away.

The recent trends of the criminal activity in and around Buffalo is rudely awakening us that part of this may be true. So has Mayberry died in our hearts? I don’t think so. I see a concern by the similar characters of our town. Heck even the folks over at Mount Pilot are chiming in to help. Various characters are becoming involved and issues are being addressed.

Often you might see an episode on the show when the obvious villains were in town. One common plot was somehow all of the characters became involved in making Mayberry safe again. Everyone worked together to figure out a way that they could get back to their normal everyday lives.

In our Mayberry episode, one of the issues is that Sheriff Taylor does not have the ability to enforce all of the laws on the books.Depending on where he is at, some laws are unavailable for him to use. The Harper County Sheriffs Office (HCSO) cannot catch those obvious villains in town without some changes being made.

For the HCSO to do its job in the most effect manner, it at times, may be necessary for the sheriff and deputies to have the ability to enforce a city ordinance. It is being presented, that an agreement must be in place that allows the HCSO to act on city ordinance. This is critical to be able to be most effective when certain occasions arise, such as a curfew violation.

This need is a county wide need and is independent of whether or not the HCSO is providing further police protection through an additional arrangement of police patrol. An agreement should be in existence with all municipal governments in the county that have ordinances. The “ability to enforce ordinances” issue is completely independent of the amount of manpower the HCSO possesses. The ordinance issue is not unique to any one specific municipal government. If the HCSO desires to be as effective that it can possibly be, in all parts of the county, it is advantageous to establish such an agreement with all the towns in the county that have ordinances.

The ability to enforce city ordinances throughout the county is independent of the towns, it is independent of whether police patrol is provided, and it is independent of the current state of manpower the department has.

What will the characters of Mayberry do?

I wonder what Sheriff Taylor would have done.

Monday, July 2, 2012



On Facebook it has been suggested to me, several times just this last weekend, to do something about the recent crime increase that we have been having in Buffalo. It seems that there are several people that “like” the suggestion that I do something about these problems. So here it goes.

One of the issues is lack of manpower to police the streets of Buffalo. It is common knowledge that the Town of Buffalo (TofB); for reasons that I do not know; has disbanded its Police Department (I think I know why but I'll keep that to myself for now).

It is left up to the Harper County Sheriffs Office (HCSO) to enforce the laws within the city limits of Buffalo. The HCSO concedes that they are spread too thin to provide the protection that Buffalo needs. They want more manpower. Currently there is an impasse between the TofB and the HCSO in reaching a solution to the lack of officers to patrol the town.

It has been suggested that Neighborhood Watches be formed to help out with the shortage of manpower. One can google that topic and find numerous strategies and helpful organizations to guide a community successfully towards a safer community. One common guideline, from different googled pages, stresses the importance of establishing a relationship between the watch groups and the local law enforcement agency which, in this case, is the HCSO. I am not aware if the HCSO has experience and training for implementing any of these watches or not. It is not clear to me if any area organizations can provide any guidance, whether it be a civic group or some sort of law enforcement association.

Let’s just imagine that everything falls into place, the people unite, the entities embrace and the watch groups are organized and implemented to actual on the ground activity. The groups are actively watching and notice unusual behavior or even worse criminal activity. The group witnesses something as simple as popping a fire cracker by a juvenile out past his curfew. It is clearly a violation of city ordinance for two possible issues. The HCSO is called and they respond. Or do they?

Even if they do, as it has been pointed out in the past, the HCSO “can not act on any city ordinance” issues. So that leaves the development, organization, recruitment efforts, and implementation of the Neighborhood Watch group in the same position that the HCSO is now, with their hands tied and the inability to do anything about crimes being committed.

So given that hands are tied because HCSO “can’t act on city ordinance violations” shouldn’t the first order of business, and one step in fast tracking towards a solution to part of the problem, be to enter into an interlocal agreement with the Town of Buffalo for the immediate time being that will allow the HCSO to enforce city ordinances?

A zero cost agreement should always be in existence no matter what the status of manpower is at the time. It should be renewed annually whether or not there is a contract for police coverage for the town by HCSO. It should be renewed annually if even a city police dept exists or not in Buffalo. 

Let’s remove those cuffs so they can be used where they are needed. It seems that currently more manpower or any Neighborhood Watch group that has its hands tied like the HCSO is of no use.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Local Crime Sprees Capture Our Attention


The recent local crimes that have been occurring in Buffalo have captured the attention of its townsfolk. Some recent postings on various Facebook(FB) walls and statuses have been generating some comments, ideas, suggestions, along with the usual blaming and bashing of one another. Nevertheless, some different possible solutions have been generated on various FB accounts. I find it very challenging to follow along with various thoughts coming from all of these different FB pages that are out there. Some people may or may not have FB friendships or privileges to see what is being discussed from the various FB outlets.

In summary what is being said is that we have a shortage of Law officers and that is directly impacting the crime increase that we are seeing locally. There is no argument there. The recent crime sprees point to this as being quite evident. The solutions to cure this dilemma are where the discussion becomes cloudy at times. Given that a shortage of manpower exists the fix would seem to lean towards more manpower. Herein the cloudiness of this topic develops.

It is being written that the Harper County Sheriffs Office (HCSO) cannot enforce any of the city ordinances that the Town of Buffalo has on its books.

Via their FB this question was asked of the HCSO “but is curfew a city ordinance issue?” of which they responded “Yes it is a City Ordinance issue. We can not act on it.”

So given that their hands are tied because they “can’t act on city ordinance violations” shouldn’t the first order of business, and one step in fast tracking towards a solution to part of the problem, be to enter into an interlocal agreement with the Town of Buffalo for the immediate time being that will allow the HCSO to enforce city ordinances?

This agreement should always be in existance no matter what the status of manpower is at the time. It should be renewed annually whether or not there is a contract for police coverage for the town by HCSO. It should be renewed annually if even a city police dept exists or not in Buffalo.

The Town of Buffalo has no police but they have ordinances that could help curb some of the vandalism that is happening within the city limits. The HCSO has manpower that has its hands tied. Lets remove those cuffs so they can be used where they are needed.