Moving In

John Smaligo Jr. looked around his office.
Boxes containing books needed to be put up. Pictures needed to be hung. Notepads piled on a table waiting to be filed.
Yet, the new District One Tulsa County Commissioner smiled as he took on a seemingly daunting task of organizing his office. He didn’t mind task, but admitted he might ask his wife Lesa for some decorating tips.
It was just a few hours earlier that Smaligo took the oath of office as a commissioner. He knows he is taking on a big job, this time in county government instead of his position as representative in the Oklahoma legislature.
Big issues at the forefront include some type of river development, dealing with issues at the David L. Moss Detention Center and the Tulsa County Fairgrounds.
Add to that the representation of his District One constituents and Smaligo knows he has a full time job.
But he also feels he is up to the challenge as he approaches various tasks with the idea he represents everyone in his district and works for all citizens in Tulsa County. Key to that effort will depend upon clearly communicating with the people so they will understand why decisions were made.
‘‘Many people might disagree, but they will have the information about why decisions were made,’’ he said. ‘‘I already have met with mayors and city managers in district one on some issues and to learn their concerns.’’
Smaligo made it clear he will be an advocate for his constituents even as he works for all citizens in Tulsa County.
This is like representing people in the state legislature, he said. ‘‘I had my constituents that I answered to, but I also had to work for everyone in the state for the overall good for Oklahoma. I am responsible for helping run the entire county, not just one district.’’
Development of the Arkansas River will help everyone in Tulsa County, Smaligo continued. While the river is in District Two and District Three, proper development will benefit those living in east and north Tulsa — and beyond into northeast Oklahoma.
The new commissioner knows he will be receiving calls from constituents during the evening.
His family, wife Lesa and stepdaughter Preslea have been supportive throughout the campaign.
Smaligo and Lesa married in June during the midst of the primary election campaign. After that, it was a runoff, then the general election.
‘‘My family understands and supports me,’’ he said. Preslea is excited and was unable to eat breakfast on Wednesday, Jan. 3, because she was caught up in the excitement preparing for the swearing in ceremony.

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