Norman Daily Independent. (Norman, Okla.), Vol. 1, No. 39, Ed. 1 Wednesday, February 17, 1909 Page: 1 of 6
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^NORMAN, OKLAHOMA, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 1909.
SOMETHING ROTTEN, IN DENMARK."
At CounciI Meeting Last Night; Whole Paving Proposition Takes A Tumble-Re -
°J. ' lej7 °f.A11 Proceeding So Far Had and Work Will All be begun Over Again-
Some Interesting Things Came Up In Regard To Contracts and Specifications- '
More Oratory From Sources Never Before Known.
COUNCIL GETS RIGHT ON MATTER AND NOW ALL WILL GO WELL.
Acti™ Made Possible By Cleveland-Trinidad People Offering To Withdraw From The Contest; New Specificatians,
ew Resolutions, New Bids Is Now The Program; Boulevard Taken Into The City and Is Now a City Thorofare.
As was predicted in yesterday's Independent there was a hot
old time at last night's council meeting. Oratory flowed from
sources never known before, and not a single man gave utterance
to anything that was not sincere. The people who turned out were
determined that the paving proposition be settled in a manner that
would do justice to all, and the council was patient in listening to
suggestions from every source. After a session lasting until after
midnight a conclusion was reached that seems to be in a fair way
of satisfying everybody and yet at the same time doing no one in
particular, not even the city, any injustice. In fact the city and
every citizen will now be satisfied in every particular if such is
within the power of the council.
The first thing that came up for consideration was the M. A.
Earle & Co., engineering contract, which was made by the city
council early in December. According to this contract M. A. Earle
& Co. are to be allowed 4 per cent on the gross amount paid for
paving for establishing grades, and making all the necessary ar-
rangements for the paving, and to superintend the paving until it
u CfiTvetCC* and accePte(1- In the paving contract itself Judge B
K Wolf, city attorney, contended that an additional 4 per cent
came up. This Mr. Earle, who was present and represented him-
self in the controversy, denied. A "rag chewing" time followed
the result of which was an offer on the part of Mr. Earle to amend
his contract so as to satisfy both the city attorney and the council
inasmuch as the council had alredy entered into the contract, and
Mr. Earle could hold them to it if he so choose, this was very liber-
al offer and ended the matter. The contract will probably be
amended before the paving contract is made so as to be satisfactory
•to everybody, and so as to admit of no ugly insinuations of graft.
So much for M. A. Earle & Company's contract. There are
some other things which the public needs to know about in regard
to the operations of this company. These things will be handled
later on in this article.
When the real paving contract came up for consideration there
were protests galore. Dr. Bobo, who has opposed hasty action on
the part of the city all the while, begged the council to turn the
whole deal down, get right, and commence all over again. His
position met with hearty support from the people "in the galleries,"
and others followed him with the same appeal. Judge Wolf had
already shown that the contract that had been drawn was weak in
several particulars. He had furthermore rendered an opinion that
the proceedings leading up to the accepting of the bids were illegal
and irregular, his stand being that the plans and specifications were
not specific enough, were not printed and sent out a long enough
time before the bids were opened, and that therefore not sufficient
competition was permitted, that the reconsideration of the bids
was irregular, and several other things not to his liking as an at-
At this juncture the Boulevard question came up, with Profes-
sors Buchanan and VanVleet, and S. P. Render as spokesmen.
Oratory again flowed freely for a while, during which time all three
of these gentlement took occasion to vehemently deny the insinua-
tions that have been made that the Boulevard people wanted pav-
ing but also wanted some one else to pay for it. The Muskogee
Avenue property owners were also out with a protest against pav-
ing that street unless the Boulevard was paved, and numerous noti-
fications were made of forthcoming protests if the council persist-
J*oin^ on with the paving unless the Boulevard question was
settled and the right of the city to pave that thorofare established.
l he theme then drifted back to the paving contract itself. And
here some very interesting disclosures were made, during which
time personalities were frequently indulged in. Mr Earle tried
hard to explain why the printing of the plans and specifications
were ate in being printed. Also Mr. Nolan, the representative of
the Cleveland-Trinidad Paving Company, tried to square his com-
pany with the city. The discussion which followed showed that
whoever drew the contract with the paving company for the city
to sign, was either incompetent or was trying to pull the wool over
the city s eyes with the result that somebody would be "dug." It
appears that the Cleveland-Trinidad Company has a disposition to
do right by the city, but the city ought to have a contract that
would make them do right whether they wanted to or not. But
just how Mr. M. A. Earle will square himself with the public in
drawing such a flimsy contract, (and if he or his representatives
didnt draw it, who did?), is a question hard to answer. In fact
that outfit s proceedings and operations all along look very much
like there "is something rotten in Denmark." If they have such a
reputation at stake as they would have the people to think, why in
the name of Justice didn't they conduct themselves in preparing
our paving specifications in such a form that same would reflect
with credit upon their work here. And why didn't they, when thev
prepared the contract, prepare one that would safeguard the city's
interest? We repeat, their conduct, as reflected by contract, in
this whole matter is not like Ceasar's wife—"above suspicion."
Mayor Millar suggested two ways out of the difficulty The
whole question simmered down to whether or not the proceedings
leading up to the accepting of the bids were legal or illegal. With
this question settled he suggested that the council would be in a
position to act If it had been legal then the council could go
ahead and modify the contract to safeguard the city's interests,
but if it had been illegal, then all there was to do was to commence
all over again. This was the position taken by Dr. Bobo early in
the meeting. Mayor Millar suggested that the city attorney be
sent to Guthrie and have a conference with the attorney general
or that the city present the matter to the attorneys of the bonding
companies which will buy the bonds from the paving company
Here another controversy arose. S. P. Render asked for permis-
sion to ask Mr. Nolan, the Cleveland-Trinidad company's repre-
sentative, whether if the the attorney general declared the proceed-
ings illegal he would accept the ruling. This was a bomb, so it
seemed, to Mr. Nolan and he avaded a direct answer. Presently
however, he arose and made the following proposition to the coun-
If the city council will return our check and revoke the award
of the contract to us, we will relieve the city of all further liabili-
ties in this matter."
Dr Bobo hastened to move that the proposition be acepted
and in less time than it takes to tell it the paving deal was all off
Dr Bobo then moved that the city clear the records of all the pro-
ceedings hed so far in regard to paving and begin the work all over
again, including the adoption of resolutions.
,. A proposition from the University Board of Regents to have
the Boulevard taken into the city and declared a public thorofare
was then taken up and accepted. A plat was ordered drawn of
fthe ground and the same placed on record at the Registrar of
Deeds office. This eliminated the objection that the Boulevard was
not city property and that the city therefore had no right to pave
.it, so that by the time the proceedings for paving are again made
no such trouble will come up to hinder the work.
(Continued on page eight.)
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Danner, V. E. Norman Daily Independent. (Norman, Okla.), Vol. 1, No. 39, Ed. 1 Wednesday, February 17, 1909, newspaper, February 17, 1909; (https://gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc106721/m1/1/: accessed July 24, 2021), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, https://gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.