A moment of silence, some trumpet playing, and a largely mundane slate of county business items were the order of the day for the Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners.
On the anniversary of the tragedy of September 11, 2001, the Board of County Commissioners meeting began with a moment of silence followed by award-winning musician and County Clerk David B. Hooten playing taps on trumpet. The following prayer had a very patriotic tone, as well., mentioning the troops and the government.
District 3 County Commissioner Kevin Calvey brought an item to approve an agreement between Oklahoma County and Oklahoma City Public Schools for construction of a “bus road” at John Marshall Middle School, 2401 NW 115th Terrace, Oklahoma City.
The total cost of the new road will be no more than $97,500.
When completed, OKCPS will reimburse the County for materials estimated at $68,500, and will also pay $14,000 of the labor and equipment costs of the project.
How the sausage gets madeLocal government according to columnist Marty Peercy
After the meeting, Commissioner Calvey explained that the road will only be about ¼ of a mile and is specifically for the staging of buses to transport children after school and that the road will only be used by school vehicles.
At the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, there were several highly-publicized fights among students at John Marshall Middle School now in its new location where Greystone Elementary used to be.
It is anticipated that streamlining the process of getting the students to their buses rather than congregating in one place should ameliorate the fighting.
District 3 is the last of the districts to receive their Circuit Engineering District 5 Project Fund excess funds, and will use that money to buy a truck for county business.
The $37,179 will be used to purchase a new Ford F-150 Crew Cab Truck.
Calvey brought an item from the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority, aka the Jail Trust, to create a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure employees of the jail will receive uninterrupted health and retirement benefits during and after the transfer of management of the jail to the Trust.
After consulting with Aaron Etherington of the District Attorney’s office, Calvey learned that the item must be rewritten and returned for consideration at a future meeting. The Board voted unanimously to strike the item.
County Engineer Stacy Trumbo explained to the Board that Code Inspection Fees needed to be updated as there does not yet exist a fee schedule for inspection of Medical Marijuana-related businesses. He said that while tabulating the appropriate new inspection fees, they thought it would be ideal to update existing fees. Code inspection fees were last updated on May 10, 2006, which boggles my mind, after years of experiencing classic Chicago bureaucratic grifting.
The fees for code inspection are statutorily limited to covering the expenses of the inspections. The new fees for medical marijuana businesses are $100 for grow operations, $200 for dispensaries, and $250 for processing operations.
Planning Director Tyler Gammon brought a Commendation before the Board to honor David Richey. Mr. Richey has served on the County Planning Commission for over 23 years, representing District 2. He was a full-time teacher and a coach at Mid-Del Schools and maintained a homestead farm in unincorporated Oklahoma County.
Mr. Richey recently resigned his position effective September 30, 2019, for personal reasons. Mr. Richey will present this Commendation at this month’s Planning Commission Committee meeting.
Several items came on for consideration regarding the awarding of Social Service grants from the County that were approved on August 14 of this year. This was only a portion of those grantees. They are:
- CASA of Oklahoma County, $6,500
- Citizens Caring for Children, $6,000
- Daily Living Center, $9,000
- Harrah Senior Citizens, Inc., $8,000 Hope Center of Edmond, Inc., $6,000
- Oklahoma Foundation for the Disabled, $1,000
- Oklahoma Lawyers for Children, $8,000
- Pivot, $30,000
- Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, $19,000
- RSVP of Central Oklahoma, $10,000
- Sunbeam Family Services, $25,000
- YWCA Oklahoma City, $8,500
All claims were approved. I looked at the list and it was very boring, so I won’t bother you with it.
The Blanket Purchase Orders were approved, which is not what it sounds like, sadly. I looked at that list, too. No blankets whatsoever. And with Autumn approaching, it would be a good time to order the purchase of some blankets, in my opinion.
The Ceremonial Opening of the Bids included bids for, mysteriously, “Bottled Water and Hydrating Sports Drinks,” as well as Land Acquisition Services, and a paving project.
During Citizen Participation Marilyn Hodgen, a court reporter came to the podium. She said that she thought she’d have an item on the agenda, but that she would have to settle for addressing the board.
She explained that Oklahoma County, and many other counties, have a shortage of court reporters.
The court reporters’ professional association is sponsoring a 6-week class to try to spark interest in the trade among people who may be hesitant to go to school for the trade without knowing more about it.
She came to ask the Board if she could hang fliers around the courthouse and annex.
District 2 Commissioner Brian Maughan asked how long Hodgen wanted to leave the fliers up and was immediately chastised by Aaron Etherington of the DA’s office.
After Hodgen took her seat County Clerk Hooten came to the podium to remind the Commissioners that they were not allowed to respond to items not already listed on the agenda. At that point, Commissioner Maughan made eye contact with one reporter in the room who gave the Commissioner an exaggerated eye-roll.
Public Buildings Authority
The meeting of the Public Buildings Authority passed without controversy. There was no further discussion of security in the Investors Capitol Building. One must assume this is a topic that will rear its head time and again, however. Oklahoma City Free Press will stay with that story throughout.