The Norman Transcript

January 29, 2014

Holding feet to the fire

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — State Rep. Bobby Cleveland, R-Slaughterville, is about as persistent as a country bulldog.

More than a year ago, he began raising questions about the lack of transparency at the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association. He won’t let up. We applaud his push for openness in any government or quasi-government agency.

This week, he took that challenge a step further and announced the filing of House Bill 2730, which would prohibit public school districts from participating in a school athletic association that doesn’t comply with state records and meetings laws.

Mr. Cleveland wants the OSSAA to comply with the same state laws that govern agencies, boards and commissions.

In a press release from the Capitol, Rep. Cleveland said he was turned down in a request for some vendor and bid information from the association.

Indeed, the OSSAA deals in both private and public funding. But the bulk of their revenue stream comes from school athletic events. As more high school sports venture into big-time athletic revenues, it’s even more important that the books be open for taxpayer and member review.

The OSSAA told an Oklahoma City newspaper that it is surveying its membership, making changes and members will be voting on some proposals in February. That may be too late for Mr. Cleveland. The legislative session starts Monday.

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