Your City, Your Liability

City of Henryetta Oklahoma

Staff Writer

Committee to Preserve The Museum

City of Henryetta Oklahoma

Why The City Should Never Allow a Private Organization to erect a permanent private structure on city property without control is the relevant question today.  The Territorial Museum is owned by the Henryetta Historical Society.  The society is a private own non-profit corporation and is not owned in any part and/or controlled by the City of Henryetta.

Mary Warden Treasurer
Mary Warden

In 1985 the mayor of Henryetta was Mayor Warden.  Today his wife, Mary Warden is the treasurer of the Historical Society and their daughter maintains the financial book keeping.  Mayor Warden gave his endorsement for the museum to be moved onto city property next to the city civic center.  Something that most people, including city leadership, did not know until recently was that the museum’s water line runs directly to city hall with no meter.  FREE WATER!

The Primary reason why the private museum should not have permanent tender without control comes down to liability.  The museum has been neglected for years and has major structure damage.  There is part of the floor that must be blocked are you can fall through the floor.  Should someone get injured due to the damage then people can reasonable assume that in litigation that attorney’s will include the city because the museum is on city property.  Should that ever happen then the citizens of Henryetta would be responsible for any monetary damage awarded.

When the museum was moved to city property the city should have entered into a contract with the historical society that gave the city control over the operations of the museum to protect the city.  Usually that protection is done in other cities where the city government appoints the majority of the museum’s board of directors.

In addition to liability and control, the city has the right to include contractual provisions that excludes the private organization from entering into political and/or other protest against the city and its officials.  Example:  American citizens have the right to protest the government.  However, you cannot protest against the federal government on federal government property.

Mike Doak, President Henryetta Historical Society
Mike Doak
Howard "Buck" Sheward
Howard Nelson “Buck” Sheward

Mike Doak, President of the Henryetta Historical Society had engaged in conduct with Howard Nelson “Buck” Sheward to fraudulently obtain a sign petition for an audit of the city.  A president of the historical society, while receiving free water, should have never been controlled by a convicted felon and be part of a campaign against the city.