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Commissioners hand off redistricting to partisan staff at Okla Legislature – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 2021-06-07 14:16:38 –

Oklahoma City (Free press) — The Oklahoma County Commission (BoCC) voted on Monday to take responsibility for the county’s district restructuring to Republican-controlled Oklahoma State Parliament officials.

Currently, Oklahoma County has three districts, each represented by a county commissioner elected from voters in each district.

On other issues, the Board amended some contracts with private lawyers to represent their interests in some litigation issues and controversial school resource officers in some local schools. Voted to approve.

Government by columnist Marty Piercy

Partisan reorganization

Partisanship won in Monday’s constituency restructuring debate, reminiscent of much of what has happened in the last two years at BoCC.

Second District Commissioner Kevin Calvey has proposed a resolution allowing Oklahoma House of Representatives and / or Oklahoma Senator to complete the constituency reorganization of the Oklahoma County Commissioner District.

Calbee’s claim was that the state had the software and experience for this mission, saving county resources.

Carrie Blumart, District Commissioner, one of the only two Democrats in the county commissioner, expressed concern. Another Democrat is DA David Prater.

Blumert first asked if the resolution was considered formal and legal by the District Attorney’s Office. Calvie claimed he didn’t know.

Calvey’s Chief of Staff states that all counties except Oklahoma and Tulsa have traditionally used this method of classification. Calbee went on to say that the county would cooperate with other counties, even if it was illegal.

Blumert also asked if the item was in front of the Policy and Governance Committee, a committee consisting of the chief deputies of each Secretary. Traditionally, the committee discusses and investigates key policy decisions.

Blumert’s counterpart Calvey and District 2 Commissioner Maughan each said this was not a policy decision. Blumert argued that this decision would affect Oklahoma County’s governance over the next decade. Morgan replied that it was the same every 10 years since he was promoted to the state.

Blumert’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Joe Blough, added to the conversation that BoCC had previously established a fair way to reorganize the district. In addition, he said the county has software technology and is, in fact, the most experienced person in district restructuring.

In response to Blumert’s protest, Calvey simply moved the item.

Blumert then attempted to amend the resolution. She requested that all meetings and records of staff performing constituency change tasks be subject to public records and public congress law. She further sought to divide the unincorporated road miles evenly and keep the school district within the township.

Calvey has moved to Blumert’s proposed amendment table. Blumert asked, “Are they all?” Calbee did not explain how to eliminate bureaucracy by leaving the county’s work to government agencies outside the county, but asserted that they were meaningless and added a layer of bureaucracy.

Blumert’s amendment was submitted in a two-to-one vote. Two Republicans of the Commission then voted to put the county re-district system in the hands of the Republican-dominated group, despite only Democratic opposition.

Blue mart object

Blumert issued a statement shortly after the meeting on Monday.

“I have a lot of concerns about this decision,” Blumart’s statement partially read. “… Parliament and its staff are not subject to public congress or public record law. The county government has these It is subject to the law. ”

“If the county committee implements this process, all discussions, documents, and records on these boundaries will be open to the public,” Blumart wrote. “It is common to move this process to parliament. Once again, the residents of Oklahoma County have lost their voice. “

Any form of constituency restructuring will be voted on by the BoCC by the end of the year.

Proceedings in dispute

The county has been the subject of many proceedings in dispute. In response, the BoCC amended several contracts for individual lawyers on Monday.

The first amended contract was with Pierce, Couch, Hendrickson, Baysinger, and Green LLP. This agreement will be extended until the end of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021. Commissioners and others BoCC recently settled the proceedings out of court for $ 1.25 million. The one-year contract for attorney services is $ 215,000.Free press Previously reported About this proceeding

The second amendment was a contract with the same company, a Chrisman v. BoCC-style proceeding, representing $ 150,000.Free press first Reported this case In 2020.

The proceedings resulted from the death of Charlton Chrisman while in custody at Oklahoma County Detention Center on April 19, 2017. Prison level under Sheriff Wiesel, including information on proceedings involving former prison care providers.

The third contract, represented by the same company in proceedings such as Willis v. BoCC, cost $ 175,000.

The petition for the proceedings alleges that Michael Willis, who was arrested on August 18, 2017, was severely beaten by prison officials after his arrest. The petition further claims that Willis was left lying down and bloody on the floor of his cell, where he was found dead a few hours later due to an injury.

Sheriff’s request

Sheriff Tommy Johnson III, head of most other departments in the county, has submitted a list of contract renewals for board approval. Among them were some requests to have a School Resource Officer (SRO) in the local school.

Summit Middle School, Eastern County Technology Center, Oklahoma Christian School, Inc., and Christ the King have all signed a memorandum of understanding agreement with BoCC today on behalf of the sheriff’s office approved by the Board.

The SRO has become a controversial topic among supporters of criminal legislative reform, but all three county commissioners voted to approve each MOU.


During the executive session of the meeting on Monday, a private attorney was unable to consult, so the board did not adjourn and instead chose to adjourn the BoCC meeting for two days.

The County Commission will continue the meeting on Wednesday, June 9, at 9:00 am.

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Last updated: June 7, 2021, 13:27 Brett Dickerson-Editor

Commissioners hand off redistricting to partisan staff at Okla Legislature Source link Commissioners hand off redistricting to partisan staff at Okla Legislature

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