GOVERNING TEAM: Tulsa County Commissioners, from left, Fred Perry, Karen Keith and John Smaligo recently enjoyed the Tulsa Boat Sport and Travel Show at the QuikTrip Center at Expo Square. They are working hard this year with their new duties,
DANIEL C. CAMERON for GTR Newspapers
At Tulsa County, the dawning of a new year means that the Tulsa County Commissioners are busy taking on new responsibilities. Prior to 2008, the chairman of the Board of County Commissioners () served as the chairman not only of the Commission board but also for several boards and authorities.
These include the Fair Board (technically known as the Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority) which oversees the Tulsa County owned Expo Square, the Criminal Justice Authority, which includes the mayor of Tulsa and three other mayors and oversees the Sheriff’s operation of Tulsa County jail. Also, the Tulsa County Budget Board (which is made up of the eight county elected officials) and the Tulsa County Industrial Authority.
Commissioner Fred Perry thought that it would be more productive to split these responsibilities among the three commissioners. “As a former businessman of 30 years, it seemed to me that individual chairmen would have more time to be proactive, to be more analytical in solving problems and to capitalize on opportunities. So, as soon as I became chair, we changed the trust indenture of the TCPFA so the chairman of the could appoint the chair of the Fair Board.”
Commissioner John Smaligo said, “It was a great decision and initiative by Commissioner Perry and I’m glad we moved in that direction. I don’t see how chairmen in the past have had the time to handle the multiple chairmanships properly along with routine commissioner duties. We can be more effective commissioners and chairmen by sharing these responsibilities.”
In 2010, the annual rotation continues with Commissioner Karen Keith serving as chair and Budget Board chair. Commissioner Smaligo moved to chairman of the TCPFA and immediately began dealing with issues at Expo Square. Commissioner Perry will move from Fair Board (TCPFA) chair to chairman of the Criminal Justice Chairman. Commissioner Keith, who is serving her first year as chair said,” Sharing responsibilities will help us all be more effective. It will allow me to focus on the vibrant communities in District 2, Arkansas River development, the Gilcrease Expressway, and the effort to build a new juvenile justice center.”