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Northeast Oklahoma leaders meet to discuss how to improve their cities

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Roughly 70 participants from across northeast Oklahoma met at Miami's Coleman Theatre to brush up on their jobs as civil servants.

Mary Ann Karns visits with members of the Oklahoma Municipal League from 40 different northeast Oklahoma communities to hopefully teach them some new tricks.

"Other cities come up with new ideas that can be modified, or adopted into your city to make your own city better function, by coming to events like this you can find out those things and go back and help your community run better," says Mary Ann Karns, a Shawnee city attorney.

Topics change at OML conference several times a year where reps from city managers to public works learn how to take lessens for other communities.

"We do a lot with right-aways and easements with our electric crews, and we cut trees back, and electric lines, so this will be very good for those guys who are out here to learn about that, so we can stay up to date on all that," says Tyler Cline, Assistant Public Works Director.

"Citizens are very concerned about transparency and government, so the Meeting Act and Public Record Act is something very visible to the citizens," says Diane Pedicord of the Oklahoma Municipal League.

The OML hosts several conferences every year to help city leaders stay up to date.  This was the first time one was held in Miami.  While around 40 communities attended in Friday's event, 400 cities participate in OML and Karns says the ability to rub elbows with fellow municipalities is also a plus.

"Networking is everything, being able to pick up the phone and call somebody in Claremore or Wyandotte, or somewhere and go 'oh my gosh, here's what's happened, has this ever happened to you, do you have any advice?'" says Karns.

Karns says at the end of the day the conference serves as a place for municipalities to better service the public.

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