Meeting Councilors First on Agenda

Fred Perry said the first item on his agenda would be meeting with various city counselors.
By mid afternoon Wednesday had made his first telephone call to a Tulsa City Counselor.
It was just a few hours earlier that he had been sworn in as Tulsa County District Three County Commissioner.
In opening remarks he stated that it was his goal to meet with counselors, not only from Tulsa, but also other communities in his district to open a dialogue with them and learn about problems and concerns they might have.
‘‘The more we know about each other, the more we will be able to work together and get things done,’’ he said. ‘‘I already have met with Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor, Broken Arrow Mayor Richard Carter and others. It is too soon to tell what the reaction will be to these meetings with councilors.
But getting to know the players was every effective while Perry served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
‘‘We got to know and understand each other,’’ he said. ‘‘It made a difference when we were working on various legislative issues.’’
Major issues facing Perry, Commissioners Randi Miller and John Smaligo, Jr. during 2007 will be the jail and river development.
Both are controversial.
Perry feels that people would like to see some type of river development and the commission will play a role in that effort.
The goal is to come up with some type of river plan the people will find exciting and the private sector can buy into, he said. There are exciting proposals, but he is not married to any of them at this time.
Perry thought that the key would be infrastructure improvements that would encourage other development
Two jail issues that must be addressed involve holding prisoners for the state and the health care of prisoners who are in custody.
Tulsa County — and all Oklahoma counties — is serving as satellite prisons for the state system, he said. Something must be done to ease the problem and get additional funding to offset these costs.
Additional state funding will ease the drain on Tulsa County’s budget, he said. Another problem that must be addressed is who is responsible for a prisoner’s health care.
Recently a prisoner had to be taken to Hillcrest Hospital for medical treatment and the bill for that trip alone was $85,000.
‘‘But Sheriff Stanley Glanz and Undersheriff Brian Edwards said the bill could have run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe millions,’’ he added.
‘‘I hope to work with the legislature to find some way to determine how these costs can be paid,’’ Perry said.

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