Why didn't we know? Why didn't anyone tell us? How do we get involved?
In the past few weeks this has been the chatter of many county residents. The subject on most minds was the proposed usage of a 95-acre Claremore-owned property.
The bustle surrounding the issue, however, left many realizing they knew little about the local government agencies tasked with making these decisions.
Among those agencies is the Rogers County Board of County Commissioners.
This three-seat board meets every Monday morning at the Rogers County Courthouse, unless, of course, Monday is a holiday in which case the meeting moves to Tuesday.
Agendas outlining the issues to be discussed and voted on in the meeting are available the Friday prior to the meeting on the county website.
In each meeting, a portion of time is set aside for public comment. Concerned citizens are given three minutes each to address the board.
The county is divided into three districts, each represented by a different elected commissioner: Dan Delozier for District 1, Steve Hendrix for District 2 and Ron Burrows for District 3. A map outlining the three districts can be found at www.rogerscounty.org.
According to ACCO (the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma) the duties of a county commissioner includes:
County commissioners exercise the administrative powers given to them by the Oklahoma Statutes and the Oklahoma Constitution. County Commissioners:
•The governing body of the courthouse
•Exercise direct control over the county highway system
•Audit the accounts of all officers handling county money
•Make general financial plans for the county including the county budget
•Audit and approve claims against the county
•Issue calls for bond elections and other special elections
•Organize and direct "911" services
•Approve the county payroll
•Approve bids for major purchases or construction projects
•Develop personnel policies for the county
•Responsible for appointments to various county boards and positions
•Supervise affairs in small communities
•Organize solid waste management districts
•Selling or purchasing public land or buildings for the county
•Responsible for improving efficiency of county government.
Commissioner Ron Burrows said for the three currently serving the county, it’s personal.
“We are committed to the success of Rogers County,” he said.
He said it’s about planning for the future while also doing the best thing for the day-to-day.
“It’s something all three of us take very seriously,” he said.
He said it’s rare their meetings draw a crowd. Typically only two or three people are in the room with them on Monday mornings.
“We started streaming it online and hoped it would help engage people,” he said, adding that the videos add a level of transparency.
Meetings are livestreamed on the Rogers County Courthouse Facebook page for those who cannot attend the meeting.
*This is part one in an ongoing series exploring city and county government.