Kay County Justice Facilities Authority
The Trustees of the Kay County Justice Facilities Authority
(JFA) met in regular session at ,
Chairman Bruce Robinson called the meeting to order.† Those present were as follows:† Vice Chairman Carl Giddens; Trustees Ė Darrel Grossardt; Gene Smith; Jim Stieber; Everette Van Hoesen, Kay County Sheriff; Laile Wilson, Kay County Commissioner; Wes Young, Don Jones, Jail Consultant; Attorney Jeff Raley, Christy Kennedy, Kay County Treasurer; Mary Ramey, Kay County Court Clerk, Buddy Thomas, Scott Pemberton and Stephanie Ringgold, Kay County Sheriffís Department; District Attorney Mark Gibson; Sharon Rowen, Ponca City News; Charles Abbott, Blackwell Journal Tribune; Wayne White, Newkirk Herald; Tammy Reese, Kay County Clerk/Secretary.† ††Norris Frederick arrived after the roll call was taken (). ††(See sign-in sheet).
Robinson asked if all members received a copy of the minutes
(special meeting minutes
Don Jones, Jail Consultant, said until we have an architect firm on board and the architect completes the study I can not answer the decision to renovate the existing facility or to build a new one.†
Jones presented to the JFA a Consultants Report and Course
of Action Recommendations.† Jones said Don
Garrison, State Department of Health, requested sections of this report.† The report stated what occurred in the jail
Jones listed an Action Plan to follow with dates, actions needed and the responsible party.† The action plan included:† Selection of an Architectural Firm (contract negotiations); Enter into a contract with the selected Architectural Firm (issue initial program statement to architect).
Van Hoesen said he took 11 inmates to DOC in
Robinson said the consensus would be that we look at the
Guthrie facility on
District Attorney Mark Gibson said his comments were going to start broad.
Gibson was interrupted by Chairman Robinson.† Robinson said just one word of caution.
We are not going to point any fingers because that is all past history and we donít need to hear that stuff again.
Gibson replied I am not here to talk about anyone or anything other than the fact that Mr. Smith said we donít want to be rushed into anything; of course, Mr. Smith is in a difficult position because he is new to the board.
But, in terms of what was expected by Mr. Garrison when the
commissioners initially created this board.†
We have not been rushing into anything.†
Garrison expected something to be done along time ago.† I am not pointing fingers because I am very
appreciative of what work you have been doing.†
None of us know if Mr. Garrison is going to decide tomorrow to close our
jail.† He is not going to commit to the
commissioners, the sheriff, the JFA, or to me how long is too long.† We finally had the crisis many of us have
known was pending for a long time and the next crisis will be a lot worse, if
there is one.† Financially, the fact that
we now have to ship inmates off, and the commissioners are going to address
today fixing the pod; we donít know how long that will take or how much
money.† There is no way to know how long
we will be shipping prisoners off elsewhere.†
I wanted to state as the legal advisor to the county and to the
commissioners, sheriff and everybody involved here that something has to happen
now.† That doesnít mean today or that you
canít go Saturday to
Gibson said I will tell you up front I am a huge fan of
SouthBuild (SB).† The first time I met
with them in Noble County (8-9 years ago) they have been utterly professional
and have done everything ask of them from everyone involved.† Gibson quoted from many authorized references
(mentioned names) and said anyone present could contact them and talk with them
first hand.† Gibson said Commissioners
and Sheriff from
Gibson said he also spoke with Rob Hudson, District Attorney
Gibson said I pass those specific personís opinions on at
request but for me as the District Attorney of this county and having worked
with SB in
Board members asked Gibson about a 24 hour lock down.† Gibson gave them the legal reasons why we can not do something like that, plus adding we donít have the facility or personnel.
Commissioner Schieber called the Board of County Commissioners special meeting to order.
Schieber explained his reasoning for wanting this joint meeting to discuss hiring an administrator for the jail.† Schieber said he spoke with Don Garrison and the State Departments Attorney.† Schieber said Garrison indicated if JFA would take the jail over and make improvements in the next 120 days he would postpone the levies of the fines.†
Don Jones reiterated that Garrison had basically told him the same thing.† If we will show progress and improvements he will hold things back.
Schieber said Garrison wants a telephone call tomorrow informing him of what was decided today.
Many questions and concerns arose from the JFA concerning hiring a jail administrator and who would be in charge of the jail and the jail administrator.
DA Mark Gibson addressed the legalities of some of their concerns.† First of all, the JFA would have to decide if they wanted to take over the jail in the near future and take action.† If you vote to accept responsibility and authority over the jail at that point you are the authority over the jail.† You hire, fire, set policy, etc.† The money would come from the commissioners.† A jail administrator, based upon what the commissioners decided at Mondayís meeting, they are going to authorize hiring an administrator at $40,000 a year.
The JFA questioned how doing this would solve anything.
Gibson finished the legalities by saying you, the JFA, would be responsible to hire a jail administrator and at that point the Sheriff and his personnel are no different than Ponca City Police Department and would have no connection with the jail.† They literally are completely out and the jail administrator would hire his or her employees.† From this point on the jail is run by this trust authority and whoever is hired as jail administrator.†
Trustee Gene Smith asked if this happened if the JFA would be responsible for the five Federal Lawsuits against the Sheriff.
Gibson said those are against the Sheriff and the county.† I have not yet determined the specifics of that and part of that would depend upon how it is set up by you and the commissioners.† For instance, if you had total decision making authority at that point you would carry the liability and the county would be the backer, but I can not directly answer your question yet because I donít know yet.
Many of the board members spoke up at this point with
several concerns. ††Norris Frederick said
when we (JFA) were brought on to serve on this board I was not under the
impression I would be running a jail.†
There is some experience levels, training, educational issues, and law
enforcement issues that at this point I donít intend to get into.† For the JFA to governor a jail administrator
who reports to me when I have no knowledge as to what is he reporting, I have a
real problem with that.† Do I think we
need a jail administrator?† Yes, said
Chairman Robinson said were we to assume operation of the jail we have a plan that Donald has prepared for us and would be the guidelines for us to use if we were to take over the jail administration part of the jail.† There are some guidelines and plans that could be put into place fairly quickly.† But for now Robinson said he is in total agreement with Norris and question the JFAís qualifications to take over the jail.
Commissioner Wilson addressed a question to Commissioner
Schieber said if we can just go out for resumes.†† Schieber said he would have a jail administrator on board before the JFA would even think about taking it over.† Schieber said he didnít expect the JFA to take the jail over today without having a jail administrator there to operate it.† It will take at least a month to hire an administrator.
Jail Consultant Don Jones said in all reality to set up the trust authority with the policies and procedure and operational part of the jail, including the inventory, the existing equipment that is in the jail, and figure out what was bought with which funds.† Jones said with all that in mind it could take several months.
Gibson said he would like to clarify again that a jail administrator is not being required by the jail inspector or their counsel.† Their saying that is a solution.† If you took that step he, the state inspector, would consider that as a positive, as long as people were being interviewed and hired, etc.† That is a solution to be considered but also there are others, as well.† He (state jail inspector) wants to see concrete action.† Gibson said I donít want anybody to think that he is requiring a jail administrator because that is not the case.
Both boards listened to current Jail Administrator Stephanie Ringgold.† Ringgold talked about the jail conditions and the stress she and others are under each and every day working with prisoners.† Ringgold said she has sacrificed her life for this job and stated she has gone above and beyond the call of duty.†
The JFA board asked Van Hoesen to explain the hiring and training process of his staff.
The board expressed concerns about the budgeting issues.
Grossardt said he sees the immediate needs to fall direct with the county commissioners because of the position they are in.† They are the county government. They are ultimately in charge of the county operations and, the sheriff, of course, is a player in that.†† I donít want to set this trust up to fail.† I donít have any real reservations of taking over operations of the county jail once I feel confident it can be a violable endeavor and it will work.† Until we have county money to fix the problems with the jail, I donít see us making a lot of progress.† I feel all the players and all the entities are in place to fix current problems.† Grossardt said it is all county money and if it means a mile section of roads canít get fixed this year in all three districts, so be it, you need to prioritize your money.
Leven commented and said we canít mix highway money - that is a state law.†
It was the consensus of the JFA that they are not ready at this time to take over the jail.
Commissioner Leven explained that by statutes the commissioners can not take over the jail and the only way to take over the jail is through this trust authority.
After much conversation regarding this issue Van Hoesen recommended to begin the application process for hiring a jail administrator with a salary cap of $40,000 then revisit Item 4 on Agenda and make a recommendation on an architect.† Recommendation was seconded by Grossardt.† More decision occurred.† The motion was amended by Van Hoesen recommending beginning the application process to hire a jail administrator with his or her salary not to exceed 80% of the sheriffís salary; the recommendation was seconded by Grossardt.† Motion carried.
Van Hoesen recommended making a motion to select the architect firm.
Grossardt said we need to revisit Agenda Item 4D.
Motion was made by Van Hoesen and seconded by Stieber recommending SouthBuild as the Architectural Firm.
Robinson asked for discussion before calling for a vote.
Wes Young said he didnít know if the JFA is ready to make that decision.
Some of the members questioned problems that might occur with designing issues and quick response to issues because SB is located out-of state. While other members commented we could have the same problems receiving a quick resolve with firms located in state.
Giddens said he like the fact that SB would have a man here at all times.
Don Jones replied saying if that is a construction option that you prefer you can hire an independent firm to provide construction management services.
Discussion was made concerning the general contractor, sub contractors, bidding process, bid bonding, construction management services, etc.
Jail Administrator Stephanie Ringgold asked Don Jones who he recommended as the architect firm.
Robinson asked Don Jones who he would recommend as the architect firm since he is the JFAís Jail Consultant.
Jones said through his many experiences and from what he has
seen so far and has been involved with his choice would be Architects In
Partnership (AIP) in
Robinson said he thought it was very important to listen to Don Jones advice and added he too was impressed with AIP.† They are a family firm and all they do is build jails.† The principalís son is guaranteed to be on site once a week and Robinson said that was an encouragement to him.† Robinson said he would have trouble not voting for AIP.
Brief discussion was made between members.
Motion was made by Van Hoesen and seconded by Stieber to withdraw original motion recommending SouthBuild as the architect firm.
Robinson said these issues would be revisited.
No action was taken regarding formation of committees for the Kay County Justice Facilities Authority.† Robinson asked for the item to be left on future agendas.
There being no further business, motion was made by Van Hoesen and seconded by Young to adjourn ().† Motion carried.
Approved this _____ day of __________, 2007.
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †Bruce Robinson, Chairman
Secretary, Kay County Justice Facilities Authority