More than roads and bridges

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June 17, 2011

While many of a county commissioner’s duties involve maintenance of roads and  bridges, there are also administrative tasks to tend to. This update provides  some insight into those activities.

Take last Wednesday, for instance…

At 6:45 a.m., I arrived at the District 1 shop and met with the road crew to outline projects for the day. Two employees left for a welding class in Fairview, Oklahoma. Others were hauling multiple loads of dirt and rip rap to complete a FEMA project.

After checking email and making phone calls, it was time for the 8:15 a.m. meeting of the Logan County Trust Authority.

This entity, composed of the three commissioners, meets monthly at the  courthouse annex to approve expenditures related to the Drug Court and  Election Board.

We also review receipt of payments for rent collected on county-owned property  used by Oklahoma Workforce and the Central Oklahoma Community Action Agency.

At the annex I picked up the mail to discover a hand-written note from  residents of Highland Hills who were grateful for rock recently applied to  their road. I passed it on to staff who would post it at the shop for the road  crew to enjoy as well.

The regular 9:00 a.m. mid-month meeting of the Board of Commissioners was next.  The county is nearing the conclusion of the fiscal year, so the agenda was  particularly long.

By Oklahoma statute, county contracts and lease agreements must be renewed  annually, so these comprised a good deal of the four-page agenda. It is also the time of year when we open bids for rock hauling, tires and  election ballots. By about 10:30, all 34 items on the agenda had been
addressed.

Back at the shop the phone continued to ring. A reporter from News Channel 9  called to request an interview about fireworks and the burn ban. A half-hour  later I stood in the parking lot with the sun in my eyes explaining that  county residents are allowed to use fireworks because there is no burn ban on
and that we can only enact one when the criteria to do so has been met.

Inside the shop, calls continued.

There were questions to answer about tornado damage, a 1000 gallon fuel  delivery, vehicle repairs, a bridge project, an upcoming audit, a worker’s  comp issue, zoning requirements, how to locate a property owner, the need to  hire a replacement for an employee moving to another job, when to pick up a  vehicle, and a variety of other matters.

The simplest to deal with was the person who called the wrong number.  Pleasantly missing from most of the calls were complaints. It had been a good  day, and that thank you note was a very nice part of it.

Mark Sharpton is the Logan County Commissioner of District 1.

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