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December 12, 2012

Public comments prompt outburst

CLAREMORE — Things got heated, as the Rogers County Commissioners answered tough questions Monday from the public about the transparency of the county.

The number of citizens attending the weekly meetings has greatly increased in the shadow of the ongoing investigation into issues involving Commissioners Kirt Thacker and Mike Helm by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI).
Thacker clearly became agitated by the questions posed by some members of the public.
“Stop accusing me for everything from hemorrhoids to uneven wear on your tires,” Thacker said. “The county commissioner is not responsible for every bad thing that happens. No matter what you do you’re not going to please everybody. I don’t have to please everybody; it is to get a job done in the county.” 
Assistant District Attorney David Iski made multiple attempts to keep Thacker on topic and encouraged him to limit his remarks to items that related to the agenda.
The board spent the majority of the meeting reviewing bids for services such as asphalt, rock and other commonly used products or services.
 The board stayed focused on the agenda by selecting the vendors for the next three-month period, until the public comments section stirred up a bit of controversy.
It was the actions of the board that prompted the discussion, as some of the bids were not awarded to the lowest bidder.
Myron Grubowski, a local business owner, questioned the board about multiple issues, including the bidding process, public records and the new Rogers County handbook.
“I don’t understand how some are lowest bid and others ones are closest and first available.” Grubowski said. “We are making phone calls to these vendors and there is no documentation available.”
Grubowski continued to explain that he understood that the commissioners would like the flexibility to choose a vendor.

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