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OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — The Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) held a special meeting on Thursday morning and approved an expenditure for the Sheriff’s Office to have their own new website separate from the county website.

Also discussed were some unknowns of how to replace outgoing Planning Director Tyler Gammons who had been in that position for many years.

Marty Peercy reports Local government

Sheriff’s Website

At the BoCC’s previous meeting on Monday, Free Press reported that Sheriff Tommie Johnson, III asked the Board to approve two items related to the creation of a new website to represent the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO).

At Monday’s meeting the Sheriff said that, while the OCSO is represented on the County’s website, he believed it would be appropriate to have a stand-alone website for his office, maintained by his office. In the discussion on Monday, Johnson said that the County’s IT department, MIS, would not be creating or maintaining this website, and that it would be wholly separate.

On Thursday, the Sheriff explained further that having their own website would allow them to push out information in real time. For example, in the case of an emergency or a manhunt, the website could provide updates and warnings to the public.

Sheriff Tommie Johnson during a BoCC meeting Nov, 2021. (BRETT DICKERSON/Okla City Free Press)

Johnson was not clear about whether the rapid updates would require more expense in the future to the marketing company for the rush changes to the website.

Johnson said that residents will still be able to use the website to look up warrants and the like.

The Commissioners quickly approved the expenditure of funds not to exceed $20,160 to Brooks Jeffrey Marketing, Inc. to build the responsive website.

The second item related to the website was to ask for $4,136.45 to the same company for “website hosting, CMS subscription, and secure certificate.”

Johnson, in contrast to Monday’s comments and this ask for website hosting, inexplicably said the website would be hosted through the County’s server.

A representative of MIS said that he was not aware that their server would be hosting the website.

The Commissioners then voted unanimously to approve the expenditure on separate website hosting.

Planning Director

Tyler Gammon, Planning Director for the County, recently announced that he would be retiring in late June.

On Thursday, there was an item from Human Resources styled thus:

“Discussion and possible action regarding the Director of Planning position and reporting status to the County Engineer.”

That discussion was largely based on the fact that Gammon has been with the County so long, nobody is clear on who hires that position and who the position is supposed to report to.

District 1 Chief Deputy Joe Blough explained that there needs to be an examination of the applicable statute in order to understand how to move forward. The District Attorney’s office will need to weigh in for clarification.

Blough said that his reading of the statute seems that the County Engineer is for enforcement of planning directives, not actually a “supervisory” position to the Planning Director. He added that it is possible that the Planning Commission could appoint the new Director.

Blough stated that he has been with the county for 17 years and that Gammon was there long before he was.

With no clear answers to the process yet, the item was deferred to June 6.

The next scheduled meeting of the BoCC is on June 6 at 9:00 a.m.

Last Updated May 19, 2022, 11:56 AM by Brett Dickerson – Editor