Claremore Daily Progress

December 23, 2012

Commissioners to review legal publications

Thacker requests review, DeLozier unaware of item

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE — Rogers County Commissioners will discuss on next Wednesday a proposal concerning the publication of commissioner’s proceedings; bids; legal ads and notices in the newspaper.

The item is included in the commissioner’s weekly agenda which will be at 9 a.m. on Dec. 26 in the commissioner’s meeting room at the Rogers County Courthouse.

“I spoke with the clerk and requested the item be added,” Commissioner Kirt Thacker said. “I really think we need to get the most bang for the buck for the people of Rogers County.”

“The idea is to find the best deal. To do that then, it must be looked at from a bidding or quote perspective according to the laws of the state of Oklahoma,” Thacker added.

“We are looking for the best price,” Thacker said.

Additionally, Thacker has requested that District Attorney Janice Steidley’s office review the publication requirements to determine what is required under the law.

These efforts are in an attempt to save taxpayer money, he said.

The state of Oklahoma requires a set rate for publication for all legal notices throughout the state, according to statute.

Former District Attorney Gene Haynes made a ruling during his term on this issue. Haynes issued a legal opinion to the commissioners stating that the rate was not negotiable.

The opinion also concluded that bidding could not be based on price.

Currently, the county is publishing its legal notices in the Claremore Daily Progress.

Other options for publication, within the county include the Oologah Lake Leader, Chelsea Reporter, Inola Independent, none of which serve as a daily newspaper for the area.

The circulation of the Claremore Daily Progress is larger than all three papers combined. According to sources within the Rogers County Clerk’s office, the item comes after ongoing discussions about the publication of legal notices by the Claremore Daily Progress.

Sources report that Assistant District Attorney David Iski, brought the matter forth to clerk staff, stating that efforts to remove the publications from the Claremore Daily Progress were underway.

Additionally, the efforts were being made as a direct result of the news coverage that the county had been receiving from the Claremore Daily Progress.

“I was not aware of the statements by David Iski and nor do I believe it,” Thacker said. “All of my dealings with David have been professional. I don’t believe he would make any effort to retaliate against any local business.”

The Claremore Daily Progress contacted the commissioners and district attorney’s office for comment.

“I was not aware the item was placed on the agenda,” Commissioner Dan DeLozier said.

Iski and Commissioner Mike Helm were unavailable for comment.