Claremore Daily Progress

March 13, 2014

State of the County - Elected officials host town hall forum

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter

CHELSEA —

Several Rogers County elected officials met Tuesday night in Chelsea to address citizens during the first State of the County informal town hall meetings.
Commissioner Dan DeLozier, District Attorney Janice Steidley, Assessor Scott Marsh, Sheriff Scott Walton and Court Clerk Kim Henry participated in the one-hour question and answer session.
The event was sponsored by the Chelsea Reporter and hosted by DeLozier at his newly-completed county barn in Chelsea’s Industrial Park.
Each official had the opportunity to briefly summarize their office and the services they offer Rogers County taxpayers.
Walton placed special focus on the “Thug” Task Force and his fight against career criminals.
DeLozier said he has a role in both District 1 and throughout the county. Commissioners build roads and bridges, as well as manage a multi-million dollar budget for the entire county, according to DeLozier.
Marsh said it is his job to assess value to property, both personal and real. He said he is not the tax collector as many people commonly think. His office is tasked with making sure the appropriate values are set and approved by the state.
Property taxes — both real and personal — are used to fund schools and the general county budget, Marsh said.
Steidley gave a summary of her duties as district attorney in Rogers, Mayes and Craig counties, focusing on the alternative courts, as well as,  the expertise of her investigators.
Steidley faced criticism from two parents in the audience. They vocalized their concerns with how the DA’s office handled the prosecution of their children’s rape cases.
The DA explained the process and the tools her office needs to effectively prosecute crimes.
Henry spoke briefly about bringing her office into the technology age, by adding not only online scanning but also simple conveniences like a fax machine to help the public.
She said it is likely the office will go to an online document filing system in the next few years.
The crowd at the event presented several questions about current events, policies and the future financial health of the county retirement system.
Approximately 55 people were in attendance. A video of the event is available for viewing online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpLJPB2OY7s.