Guymon Residents Upset With Cemetery Clean Up
KSCB News - July 18, 2016 5:35 pm
Many Guymon residents whose loved ones are buried at Elmhurt Cemetery are devastated following a major cleanup done by a city worker.
Personal mementos, such as angels, trinkets, benches and other grave decorations were removed from several graves.
Residents quickly took to social media showing their anger and devastation.
The City has since apologized. City Manager Kimberly Meek said a cleanup of that extent was not a city directive.
“First, I would like to give my sincere apology for the removal of personal mementos and decorations from plots in Elmhurst Cemetery. I recognize the sentimental attachment that these items hold for loved ones,” City Manager Kimberly Meek said. “I have visited with some of the family members today, and I assured them this was not a City directive, and further removal of items has been brought to a halt.”
The City had issued a public notice in the local newspaper, that a cleanup was going to be done. In the notice, it stated that flowers needed to be removed so mowing could be done.
“While removal of floral items for mowing is standard, additional items were removed from cemetery plots based on the rules and regulations established by the Board of Cemetery Trustees,” Meek said.
Meek also said that because of the way items were removed from the gravesites, the responsible employee was sent home, pending disciplinary action.
“However, due to the manner in which removal was executed the employee responsible has been sent home pending further disciplinary action,” Meek said.
The City of Guymon said residents are asked to claim their non-floral items at the cemetery. Those items are being allowed to be returned to their plots. Items not found can be reported to City Hall at 424 North Main or by calling 580-338-3396.