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The Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners met in their regular weekly session Wednesday where they renewed contracts, questioned the sheriff, and honored a long-term employee who was retiring.

The agenda for this week’s meeting included a resolution honoring the service of long-time District 1 Executive Administrative Assistant Gerri “Mother” Franklin. Franklin served under Willa Johnson for many years. Johnson attended today’s meeting and her presence lent a Family Reunion atmosphere to the proceedings. Many county employees came to the gallery and could not help but stop to hug and chat with Johnson and Franklin.

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The invocation, which is definitely a prayer that happens before every meeting of this body, was delivered by the Reverend Doctor Reed of Fairview Baptist Church.

Most of the meeting was business as usual, with only a couple of small interesting moments.

The following items were heard:

  • The consent docket had no items to set aside, and so was passed as one item.
  • District 1 had an item for renewing the contract for funding and operation of the Juvenile Detention Center. Item was deferred for after Executive Session.
  • Commissioner Blumert explained to the Board that she was hosting a town hall at Northcare at on July 29 at 6 p.m. at Northcare to go over her proposal for Mental Health spending in MAPS 4. She moved that her team would be allowed to post flyers promoting the townhall around the Courthouse Annex. This passed.
  • Commissioner Blumert read a resolution honoring Gerri “Mother” Franklin for her years of public service. The resolution was unanimously approved and Franklin addressed the Board and gallery. It was very sweet.
  • District 1’s final item was the second renewal of a Lease/Purchase contract for a piece of equipment called a Half Lane Cold Planer. It must be big because it’s $9649.44/month. It was approved.
  • District 2’s only item was to declare intent to relocate a portion of Triple X Road. Said relocation will pass into Choctaw City Limits, making maintenance of that portion Choctaw’s responsibility. FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers will each have to approve of the relocation.
  • County Clerk requested to receive a routine Abstractor’s Bond from Oklahoma City Abstract & Title Company in the amount of $100,000 beginning 7/15/19 and ending 7/15/20. Approved by the Board.
  • The County Election Board requested the renewal of two contracts for office equipment. First for a Burrster Cut Sheet Cutter with trimmers and conveyor from Whitaker Brothers Business Machines. Second for a standard maintenance contract with Southwest Solutions for a Megastar Card File Model No. 125-2211X. Both passed, ensuring that the Democratic Process in Oklahoma County will remain no more or less endangered than it was yesterday.
  • Engineering brought an item for consideration to allow the repair and update of some HVAC equipment in the 9th floor of the Courthouse. It was approved.
  • Planning Commission requested the approval of appointing Ronda Walzer to the Board of Adjustment. Unanimously approved.
  • The Sheriff requested approval of a Memorandum of Understanding renewal between the Sheriff and Star Spencer High School for one School Resource Officer. This passed with Maughan voting “No.”
  • Sheriff also requested contract renewal for boarding municipal prisoners of Edmond and Luther at a daily rate of $44.61 per prisoner. These were approved.
  • Social Services asked for a lease renewal for Tulsa Job Corps, an agreement to provide utility Assistance through the Salvation Army, to renew the agreement to pay EMBARK in part for bus service on Route 019, and a lease and business operations for services from Career Technology Education. All were approved unanimously.
  • The BoCC recessed to Executive Session. 
  • When the Board returned Commissioner Calvey moved that the Board commission a professional assessment of the daily rate for incarceration at the Juvenile Detention Center. This passed.
  • Commissioner Blumert then moved that the renewal of the contract between the County and the Juvenile Detention Facility be approved. This motion died for want of a Second.
  • The Board adjourned and reconvened as the Public Buildings Authority and all items on that body’s agenda passed unanimously, after which the PBA adjourned.

School Resource Officers

One of the very few notable moments during the meeting was when district 2 Commissioner Brian Maughan voted No on approval of a School Resource Officer. After the meeting I asked Maughan if he could explain. He said he votes no on Sheriff’s Department requests for assigning those details to deputies not because he is in any way against public safety at schools, but because the Sheriff’s Department routinely declares that the County Jail is understaffed. If the central duty of the Department is understaffed, Maughan explained, then the Department shouldn’t be detailing 21 deputies to schools around the county.

Maughan stated that some of those deputies are detailed to private schools and that creates conflict for public resources.

Juvenile Detention

Renewal of the County’s contract with the Juvenile Detention Center was deferred for consideration after Executive Session. When the Board returned from that session having discussed privileged information with Counsel, Commissioner Clavey moved that a professional assessment be made of the daily rate of the cost of incarceration at the Juvenile Detention Center. This item passed unanimously.

At that point Commissioner Blumert returned to the deferred item and moved that the contract with the Juvenile Detention Center be renewed. That motion died for want of a second. There is a pending “investigation, claim or action” against the State of Oklahoma and the Office of Juvenile Affairs relating to the costs of operation of the Oklahoma County Juvenile Detention Center. It’s all vaguely intriguing to me, but only time will reveal the details to the public.

Last Updated July 28, 2019, 8:11 AM by Brett Dickerson – Editor