Swearing In Ceremony Held For Tulsa Co. Officials

Monday, January 5th 2009, 7:38 am
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A new Tulsa County Commissioner took office on Monday morning. New Commissioner Karen Keith is on the job, promising to put a priority on the county's juvenile justice system.

A crowd filled the room as a new round of county officials took the oath of office. The county sheriff, clerk and court clerk were all unopposed for re-election.

It was Democrat Karen Keith's first try at public office and she won the District Two County Commission seat. Keith took the oath and takes the place of outgoing commissioner Randi Miller.

"Lots of work to do, but it's great," said Karen Keith, Tulsa County Commissioner.

District Two covers almost all of the west side of the county, west of the river, but includes downtown and a slice of the city of Tulsa over to Mingo.

Keith says her top priority is replacing Tulsa County's aging juvenile justice bureau.

"Someone asked me the other day 'so you want to get that done by the end of four years?' No, I want to get something done a lot sooner than that. I'd like to see construction start by the end of the first year, so we've got a lot of work to do, so let's get after it," said Keith.

The commissioners serve staggered terms, so Fred Perry remains on the board. Perry handed over the chairmanship to John Smaligo, who will continue negotiations with the city over the cost of running the jail.

For the swearing in and this first meeting of the new board of commissioners, many supporters were present, but noticeably absent was Keith's predecessor in the job, Republican Randi Miller.

The county Sheriff and new commission chairman are working on the jail negotiations. Even though it's in the courts, Commissioner Smaligo says he expects a new offer from the city of Tulsa sometime this week.