Kay County Justice Facilities Authority

Friday, February 9, 2007

Newkirk, Oklahoma

 

 

The Trustees of the Kay County Justice Facilities Authority met in their first special session at 1:30 p.m., Friday, February 9, 2007, in the Jury Room on the third floor of the Kay County Courthouse in Newkirk, Oklahoma.  Notice of the meeting was posted for public information on February 7, 2007, at the Courthouse front door, Commissioners Court, and basement handicapped entrance of the Kay County Courthouse in Newkirk, Oklahoma.

 

Temporary Chair Dee Schieber called the meeting to order (1:32 p.m.).  Those present were as follows:  Trustees – Dee Schieber, Everette Van Hoesen, Norris Frederick, Anthony Street, Wes Young, Jim Stieber, Carl Giddens, Bruce Robinson, Darrel Grossardt; District Attorney Mark Gibson; First Assistant District Attorney Will Clark; Attorneys – David Cummings, Brent Clark; Wayne White, Newkirk Herald; Ponca City News; Tammy Reese, County Clerk/Secretary (see sign-in sheet).

 

Introductions of Trustees were made with each trustee identifying their name and location.

 

Oath of Office was performed by District Judge D. W. Boyd with each trustee reciting after the Judge they will obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma.  Each trustee then signed the Oath of Office.  Judge Boyd offered his participation when and if needed and commented that he is very interested in this Board and thanked the trustees for their willingness to serve on this board.  He also said he looked forward to working with each of them.

 

Execution of Trust Indenture and discussion regarding indenture, rights, powers and authorities was made by Attorney David Cummings.  Mr. Cummings introduced Attorney Brent Clark and explained his position.  He then noted that the Kay County Justice Facilities Authority and appointment of Trustees was created last Friday.   Cummings said the “Beneficiary” is Kay County, State of Oklahoma, acting by and through its Board of County Commissioners.

 

Cummings added that the Trust Indenture formed nine trustees with authority to administer, develop, construct, remodel, make alternations, etc. in such manner considered a proper and lawful function of the public trust.  Noting that money to fund these projects would either be funded by the Board of County Commissioners or asking the people of Kay County by passing a sales tax vote.

 

Motion was made by Norris Frederick and seconded by Anthony Street nominating Bruce Robinson as Chairman.  Motion carried.

 

Motion was made by Norris Frederick and seconded by Dee Schieber nominating Carl Giddens as Vice-Chairman.  Motion carried.

 

Tammy Reese, Kay County Clerk shall serve as Secretary-Treasurer of the Authority.  Reese may select someone in her office to serve as an Assistant Secretary-Treasurer in her absence.

 

David Cummings presented each trustee a set of By-laws. 

 

Motion was made by Darrel Grossardt and seconded by Dee Schieber to take the by-laws home to study and review before adopting.  Motion carried.

 

Brent Clark, a Bond Lawyer, stated he has worked with jail efficiencies and with jail inspection experts.  Mr. Clark said out of the nine jails he has worked on in Oklahoma all elections for improvements have passed.  Mr. Clark said, “People will support,” “we begin today our work.”  We need to build consensus and everyone put forth their best efforts and courage.  The State Jail Inspector has the power to close jails.  The trust authority must behave appropriately, assess current jail, visit new jails and observe their construction, etc., meet with other professionals and come up with a plan we all can agree on.  Clark said we need outside revenue, a sales tax, hopefully.  He said a bond or major decision will be reviewed by the Board of County Commissioners.

 

Brent Clark mentioned statutes on conflicts of interest – stating an electrician or a contractor should not serve on this board.

 

Mr. Cummings said we would educate as we go and although the trustees are not elected by the public they would still come under the same statutes as a public official - everyone being entitled to know what is going on, resembling government agencies, concerning public bidding, etc.

 

District Attorney Mark Gibson spoke with the group regarding the Open Meeting/Open Records Act.  Gibson began by saying, “we are in a crisis;” “we greatly appreciate your willingness to serve and you are needed greatly.”  We want you to have the best information you can to move forward and need to do so as soon as possible.  Gibson spoke about the process and time frame it took Noble County to build a new jail and said “we don’t have that kind of time.”  Gibson said he can not stress enough how urgent this is.  He encouraged the trustees to call himself or Will Clark, First Assistant District Attorney, anytime day or night, saying this need is not just in Kay County but all over the state.

 

Mr. Gibson spoke of change in Legislation and how it has affected county jails.  He also spoke of the overcrowding problem and the fact we have more and more crimes with those felonies being handled at county level instead of prison.

 

Gibson addressed the basics of the Open Meeting Act by highlighting the following few:

a)      What you can and can not talk about

b)      Majority – any four, three, or two trustees can discuss jail issues, but when you add 5th member you can not discuss (outside of an open meeting); initial violation if you do

c)      Everything you do is public, with few exceptions

d)      Executive Sessions – Gibson advised the trustees to not schedule an Executive Session without talking to him first.  Gibson said the District Attorney is the guru of the county and it must come directly from him.  He added there are very limited purposes to use Executive Sessions and again reiterated they must see District Attorney Mark Gibson first.

 

Attorney David Cummings asked Gibson to respond about the media.  Gibson said he was not prepared to advise on the media, but said trustees can speak with whoever they want.  Gibson added if trustees are not comfortable talking to media then they certainly don’t have to.  He also said the seven trustees need to talk, tell, and educate the public.

 

Trustee Norris Frederick questioned communicating via notes and e-mailing.  Gibson said any correspondence between members is an open record and needs to be kept and filed with the County Clerk; nothing is a private letter.  If you make it public record then you can’t go wrong.  Once it goes to the County Clerk, that record must be given up at request.

 

Mr. Gibson thanked the board for serving and said they need to move as soon as possible.

 

Current Status of Jail:

 

Sheriff Van Hoesen said he would like trustees to tour the Kay County Jail and other jails in Oklahoma and said he would be happy to answer any questions trustees might have.

 

Attorney David Cummings said we might update trustees on where we are at this point.

 

Commissioner Dee Schieber said because of the $95,000 fines, minor problems have been fixed, but not the overcrowding.  Schieber reported 16 doors were fixed by the Commissioners.  Schieber said State Fire Marshal wants to make sure progress is being made.

 

First Assistant District Attorney Will Clark spoke relating to the $95.000 fine.  Clark said there are two issues:  1) State Department of Health-they make routine inspections and jails must follow State regulations and the cosmetic issues-lighting, bedding, etc.  Clark said when inspected they found five areas of deficiencies and all but one of those areas was a cosmetic issue, the other was overcrowding. 

 

The current jail is a 108 bed facility, State Department of Health reported that the county needs to get the inmate population down to that number and keep it there, or rebuild or remodel.

 

Clark said the District Attorney’s office and the District Judge have worked together to reduce the number of inmates.  He said District Judge D. W. Boyd implemented a pre-trial release program that has definitely been assistance.

 

2) State Fire Marshal is the second issue and the jail must operate under their regulations.  The issues we have faced with the State Fire Marshall are the sprinkler system and the doors (locking and unlocking).  Clark added these are the two (State Department of Health/State Fire Marshal) we need to satisfy.

 

Clark stated we must comply with the administrative order with penalties of $500 per violation per day and commented that they (the State) can move to collect fines anytime they see fit.  If we don’t make any progress they will set another set of fines on the county.  “We need to make good faith to move forward.”  “We appealed the $95,000 fines.”

 

Clark said he plans on being at all the meetings as a bystander listening and as the legal advisor.

 

Other topics discussed:  1) Procedures of evaluating the county jail needs and possible solutions to address those needs.  2) Schieber said he would eventually like to see a jail administrator hired; discussed starting pay for administrator.  3) Sheriff Van Hoesen mentioned staffing problems; transporting juveniles to Hooker; Oklahoma Juvenile Affairs not wanting a juvenile detention.  4) Darrel Grossardt asked if we needed to start process with jail administrator; Attorney David Cummings said he would like an administrator to go through the process with us.

 

Motion was made by Darrel Grossardt and seconded by Carl Giddens to solicit resumes for a jail administrator and to have them sent to Tammy Reese, County Clerk.  Motion was withdrawn.

 

Motion was made by Grossardt and seconded by Giddens to meet Friday, February 16, 2007, at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom C and then go on a tour of the jail.  Motion carried.

 

Meeting adjourned at 2:50 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Approved this _____ day of __________, 2007.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                              _________________________________

                                                                              Bruce Robinson, Chairman

 

 

 

 

 

Attest:

 

 

 

________________________________________

Tammy Reese, County Clerk

County of Kay, State of Oklahoma

Secretary, Kay County Justice Facilities Authority

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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