City Government

A City at Boys State operates under the home-rule charter concept and it is assumed for the purposes of Boys State that every city has its own charter.  Under the charter, the city council is free to enact city ordinances, hold municipal court, and carry on the normal activities of a city.

No actual cash fines may be levied at Boys State, and all references to fines herein are for instructional purposes only.

The duties of the city officials are as follows:


It is the duty of the Mayor to convene and preside over the meetings of the City Council.  The mayor may debate and vote.

City Council

The City Council adopts ordinances that are lawful under the Constitution of Oklahoma, the laws of the legislature and provisions of the City Charter.  It hires the City Manager, who in turn hires the other city employees.  The Council may call upon the Manager and his department heads to make reports to the Council as to the activities of their offices.  All meetings of the Council are open, and any citizen may appear before the Council to recommend ordinances or make complaints.

The City Council enacts all necessary ordinances concerning the conduct of citizens within the limits of the city.  Suggested are ordinances prohibiting smoking, rowdy or disorderly conduct, or other rules and regulations concerning activities that interfere with the convenience of the residents.  These may include ordinances dealing with health and sanitation.  Counselors will aid the city officers in their work and be ready at all times to maintain discipline.

Police Judge

He shall try all persons charged with violations of any municipal (city) ordinances.  Trials shall be conducted at such times as may be agreed upon by the Police Judge and the Senior Counselor of the city.  The defendant may appeal to the county court

City Manager

The City Manager supervises the work of all the appointed officials of the city.  It is his duty to appoint a City Treasurer, a Fire Chief, a Superintendent of Public Health, a Street Commissioner, an Athletic Commissioner, and a Director of Civil Defense.  He may take charge of all the formations of the city or he may appoint another citizen to perform this duty.  He makes reports to the city council, discharges any appointed official who does not perform duties satisfactorily, recommends ordinances to the City Council for passage and sees that all ordinances are enforced.  He appoints citizens, upon the recommendation of the Street Commissioner, to clean hallways and the areas around buildings.  Upon complaint of the Fire Chief or Superintendent of Public Health, he requires the Police Chief to arrest all violators of city ordinances, and he appoints an attorney to prosecute such violators in the Police Court.  In general, the City Manager is to be recognized as the person who sees that the city’s work is accomplished.

The following are appointed by the City Manager and approved by the City Council.

City Treasurer

The City Treasurer keeps all financial records of the City, receives and accounts for all moneys including fines, and reports to the Council.  He assists the County Assessor in seeing that each citizen completes assessment forms.

Police Chief

The Police Chief is responsible for the compliance of his citizens of the regulations of Boys State.  He has the power to arrest for violations of the laws of the state, ordinances of the city, and the regulations of Boys State.  He may hold lawfully arrested persons for trial; and enforce all penalties assessed by the Police Judge.  His primary function is to maintain the public peace and order.

Fire Chief

It is the duty of the Fire Chief to protect the City from fire damage.  He will inspect for and eliminate fire hazards.

Superintendent of Public Health

He will protect the public health from all conditions of contagious or infectious disease.  He will abate nuisances involving the public health; will make such regulations, by and with the consent of the City Manager as are required to protect the citizens of the city.  He will recommend health ordinances to the City Council.  He will be responsible for the citizens of the city making their own beds, and keeping floors and washrooms clean.

Street Commissioner

He is responsible for the upkeep and cleanliness of all streets within his jurisdiction, including hallways, stairs, lobby, porch, and sidewalks.  He will also prevent obstructions of streets and public highways.  He is authorized to appoint citizens to assist him in the performance of these duties.

Athletic and Activities Commissioner

He will head the city athletic teams and cooperate directly with the Boys State Athletic Director.  He will select (and may be one) captains for his city athletic and activities teams.  He will also see that his city teams are organized and present as scheduled for events.

Civil Defense Director

He shall develop an emergency plan for dealing with natural disasters and the threat of natural disasters.  Of particular importance is a plan for dealing with bad weather.

City Election Board

This three-member board is responsible for conducting the state and county election.  They will obtain the ballots and ballot box, oversee the voting and take the completed ballots to the counting area where they will serve the State Election Board as required.

City Clerk

This individual is responsible for keeping all the records of the city. He will also record all city ordinances passed by the Council and see that these ordinances are posted for all to examine.


The city council may establish other city offices as needed.

All city officials are subject to removal for failure to perform their duties.


County Government:

Although county offices are largely symbolic, there are a few which actually function.  The following will function under the direction of the Director of Courts: District Judge, District Attorney, Court Clerk.

County Clerk

the secretary of the Board of County Commissioners and of the County Excise and Equalization Board and in these capacities keeps the records of all the meetings of these boards.  He will work under the direction of the counselor in charge of county government at Boys State.

County Sheriff

will work with the County Attorney and cooperate with City officials in enforcement of all laws, rules and regulations.  He will assist the counselors of his county in maintaining order and discipline, and will assist with periodic bed checks.  He is the jailer for the county and district courts.  He will assist in the deportment and general bearing of citizens in general assemblies and at all other times.  He, as an official of the court, will work under the direction of the Director of Courts.

County Treasurer

will function as the officer who receives all money at Boys State, paying out such moneys as authorized by the County Commissioners.  This is a simulated position and no actual money is handled.

County Assessor

will work under the direction of the special counselor in charge of county government.

County Commissioners

are the governing board for county affairs.  They approve the budget, make appointments, authorize expenditures, etc.  At Boys State they work under the direction of the special counselor in charge of county government.

The election of county officers occurs at the same time State officers are elected.  The number of such officers, for the purpose of Boys State will not include the Surveyor or Weigher.  The duties of all county officials are described in the text.



The Executive Branch

All officials should give special attention to that part or parts of the Boys State textbook, which apply to their office.


The Governor of Boys State will have a variety of special duties, such as visiting Girls State, and talking to newspaper reporters; for this reason, he will work closely with the Boys State Director.  Other duties include appointing the Budget Officer, Adjutant General, Superintendent of Public Health and the Director of Public Safety.  Other executive offices may be filled with the permission of the Boys State Director.  The Governor and other state officials are sworn in at the Inaugural Assembly held the evening of the day after the election.  The Governor is also called upon to deliver the “State of the State” address to an assembly of all delegates formed in a joint session of the legislature.  He will have the opportunity to veto legislation and grant pardons as well as issue proclamations.

The Governor and his executive branch team will prepare a legislative agenda which they will attempt to get through the legislatures.  Lobbying the legislature by the executive branch is a very important part of this practicum.  This should include a budget which the legislature(s) can debate.

Lieutenant Governor

He shall act as Governor in case the office is vacated through death, impeachment, failure to qualify, or disability, and upon absence of the governor from Boys State.  He shall be the presiding officer of the Senate of his choice at the time of his choice.

Secretary of State

Appointed by the governor, the Secretary of State shall attest all executive orders, commissions and certificates issued by the governor.  He is the official custodian of the state seal and state archives of Boys State and keeps the records of all appointments made by the Governor.  All acts of the legislature signed by the Governor must be filed with the Secretary of State.

Attorney General

The legal advisor to all state officials and agencies.  He will give written opinions to all state officials and agencies upon request.  He will represent Boys State in all suits or legal actions to which the state is a party.  Upon request or upon orders of the Governor, he will assist the District Attorneys with the prosecution of citizens charged with violations of the laws of the state.  He will be available for consultation in connection with routine matters of discipline, which requires investigation or action by the Boys State Director.

Other Executive Offices:

State Treasurer, State Examiner and Inspector, Commissioner of Charities and Corrections, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Corporation Commissioners, Chief Mine Inspector, State Insurance Commissioner and Commissioner of Labor all have duties found in the Boys State Textbook.  They also help form the Executive Branch Team and should meet with the Governor to assist in the development of his program.

Officials Appointed by the Governor


Budget Officer
War Veterans Commission (6)
Pardon and Parole Board (5)
State Board of Pharmacy (5)
Adjutant General
State Highway Commission (8)
Director of Department of Health
State Tax Commission (3)
Commissioner of Public Safety
Director Department of Human Services
State Fire Marshall
Warden of State Reformatory
State Banking Commissioner
Warden, State Prison
Planning and Resources Board (5)
Board of Agriculture (5)
Governor’s Secretary
Judges of Court of Criminal Appeals (4)
Board of Barber Examiners (5)
Board of Medical Examiners (5)
Associate Justices Supreme Court (8)

The Legislative Branch


The following is the way in which the Oklahoma Legislature is organized.  At Boys State, in order to facilitate maximum participation on the part of each legislator, the procedure is slightly simplified.

Preliminary Caucus

Prior to the time scheduled for the Senate to convene, each party holds an organizational caucus for the purpose of selecting candidate for the offices of President Pro Tempore and party leader.  The candidates for President Pro Tempore shall circulate a call for the caucus, upon which each shall secure the names of the Senators who support him for the office.  The caucuses are called to order by a Boys State Counselor in charge and the caucus then chooses its own officers and proceeds with business.  The caucus chairman shall take nominations for President Pro Tempore and the member having the most names of Senators signed to his caucus call shall be selected as the party’s candidate.  Thereafter, each party shall elect its parliamentary leader who is known as the floor leader.  (The leader of the majority party is known as the Majority Floor Leader and the leader of the minority party is known as the Minority Floor Leader.)

First Session of the Boys State Senate

Each senate will be called to order by a counselor.  After the election, the winning candidate for Lt. Governor may preside over any of the four senates he chooses, but, generally, the President Pro Tempore will preside.

Election of Officers

The presiding officer shall receive the nominations of the two parties for the office of President Pro Tempore of the Senate.  He shall put the nominations to a vote and the one receiving the greater number of votes shall be declared elected.  In all divisions of the Senate, the president (Lt. Governor) shall cast a vote in case of a tie.

Committee on Committees

The Senate shall elect from its membership a Committee on Committees of five members who shall nominate members of the Senate for the standing committees.

Appointment of Officers

The President with the aid of the Majority and Minority Floor Leaders shall appoint the Secretary, Sergeant-at-Arms, Chaplain, Doorkeepers, Filing Clerks, and Pages.

Standing Committees

As seems proper for the general nature of the legislation, the Committee on Committees shall nominate the members of the Standing Committees for approval of the Senate, provided that on all committees the majority party shall have a majority of the membership.

Call for Caucus

The undersigned members of the (Senate or House of Representatives) of the Oklahoma Boys State Legislature, being members of the __________ political party, hereby authorize ____________ to call a caucus of the ___________ party members of the (State Senate or House of Representatives) when a majority of the __________ party members of said body have signed the call; we further pledge ourselves to vote for ________________ for (President Pro Tempore of the Senate or Speaker of the House of Representatives).


House of Representatives

Preliminary Caucuses

Prior to the time scheduled for the House of Representatives to convene, each party shall hold an organization caucus for the purpose of selecting a candidate for the Speakership of the House and to choose a Parliamentary Leader.  The house members seeking to become candidates for Speaker shall circulate individual calls for the caucus meeting and shall seek to secure the signature of Representatives-elect.  Signature upon the caucus roll of a particular candidate for the Speakership is evidence that this person intends to support the candidate for Speakership of the Caucus.

The caucus of each party shall be called to order by the counselor in charge who shall receive nominations for the officer of Chairman of the party caucus; and the member receiving the greatest number of votes shall be elected to this office.

The Chairman of the caucus shall receive nominations for the party’s candidates for Speakership; and the one receiving the greater number of votes shall be declared the party’’ candidate for the Speakership.  Usually the candidate having the greatest number of signatures upon the caucus roll is chosen.  As the Speakership carries with it the right to appoint committee members and other offices, candidates may find it necessary to promise appointment to office in order to receive a signature upon their caucus calls.

Each caucus shall select its parliamentary leader, called the Majority Floor Leader by the party having the majority of the house members and the Minority Floor Leader by the party having the minority of house members.  The minority may, and often does, select its unsuccessful candidate for the Speakership as its leader.

First Session of the House of Representatives

The House shall be called to order by the counselor in charge who shall command the Attorney General or his designee to administer the temporary oath of office to the members-elect.  After the oath, the presiding officer appoints four tellers, two from each party, to count the ballots for Speakership.

Election of the Speaker

The presiding officer shall receive nominations for Speaker of the House, shall call for balloting, and shall supervise the counting of the ballots.  The candidate receiving the greater number of votes shall be declared Speaker.  He will immediately assume charge of the session.

Appointment of Officers

The Speaker shall appoint the Chief Clerk, Sergeant-at-Arms, Chaplain, Doorkeeper, and Filing Clerk.

Standing Committees

Standing Committees shall be organized as seems proper for the general nature of the legislation.

The Judicial Branch

All judicial officers (Clerk of the Supreme Court, District Judge, Justices of the Supreme Court, and Judges of the Court of Criminal Appeals) will meet with the Director of the Law School to receive instruction as to the program of the courts operation during Boys State.  The District Court, the Supreme Court, and the Court of Criminal Appeals will function.  Location for courts will be announced.

Courts and Civil Procedure

A civil action commences when the plaintiff files a petition.  His petition must set out those facts which the plaintiff claims give rise to a right to relief which he demands.  The clerk of the court issues a summons which notifies the defendant that he has been sued.  The summons states that he must answer the petition at the time given in the summons or judgment will be rendered against him.  The sheriff of the county (in which the Court Clerk issues the summons) then serves it upon the defendant and makes a statement on a “return” which recites the manner in which the summons was served.

The defendant may then take these steps:  1) he may move to quash, that is, to object to the service on the grounds that he has not been served with summons as required by law. 2) he may move to make the petition more definite and certain in order that he  may be better informed as to those matters with which he is charged; 3) he may make other motions, 4) he may demur on the grounds which are established by statute ( a “general demurrer” raises the point that even though everything the plaintiff alleges is true, he has no legal right to the relief which he asks) or 5) he may answer the plaintiff’s petition and set up those facts upon which he is to rely as a defense.  After the defendant has answered, the case is “at issue” and ready to be set for trial.

A trial is a judicial examination, and determination, of the issues, whether of law or fact, in an action.  These issues arise from the pleadings which a fact or a conclusion of law is maintained by one party and controverted by the other.

A jury trial may be demanded in all criminal cases and also in all civil cases where one hundred dollars ($100.00) or more is involved. The prospective jury members are chosen through a process involving licensed drivers who are otherwise qualified.  Jurors are notified by registered mail and are required to come to court for instruction.  No juror is compelled to serve more than 18 days in one year.  A citizens residing in Oklahoma, having the qualifications of electors, of sound mind and discretion, of good moral character and who are not Justices or judges, Sheriffs or Deputy Sheriffs, jailers, practicing licensed attorneys, habitual drunkards or convicted felons, or district officials, ministers, physicians, mail carriers, National Guard members, newspaper men, optometrists, pharmacists, legislators, inform or disabled persons, and women with minor children are compelled to serve as jurors.

Twelve jurors are selected from the panel in felony cases and civil cases involving at least one hundred dollars.  In misdemeanor and civil cases involving less than $100.00, six jurors are selected.  They are asked questions to determine whether or not they meet the qualifications established by law for jurors in Oklahoma.  They may be asked if they are prejudiced against either party, or in any way incapable of passing fairly upon the case.  If any of these facts are developed adversely to any particular juror, he is challenged for cause.  In criminal cases, each side has a limited number of peremptory challenges for any reason which need not be stated.  For misdemeanors each side has three peremptory challenges, for most felonies each side has five, but in capital cases (felonies where the death penalty is possible) each side has nine peremptory challenges.  If a juror is excused upon challenge, additional jurors are called until the required number is accepted.  The jury is sworn to try the matter submitted to them in the case and to give a true verdict according to the law and the evidence.