It’s time this matter comes to a close. Attend the meeting August 18th to tell the Comissioners it is time to pay up and end the case!
Today, July 31st., Judge John Kane from Nowata announced his decision. He ruled in favor of Diamond Head, and against the Commissioners.
Most county fire departments had reprentatives in attendance.
Judge Kane ruled for the plaintiffs, and against the county! This means the county must pay back ALL the rural departments ALL the money unlawfully withheld from them since Feburary 2013!
Darrell Moore did a good job as attorney for Diamond Head. 😎?
PLEASE JOIN ME at the County Commissioners Meeting next Monday, August 4th at 9:30 am to urge the Commissioners to not appeal. It’s time to bring this bad action by Alva and Darrell to a close. Ryan Ball never supported the change, and I feel that new Commissioner Kevin Whiteside will do the right thing! 😎?
If you have any questions, give me a call at 918-373-4055.
Sign in my front yard. 😎?
Today, July 28th is the first day of the Mayes County Jury Term. About 150 jurrors were called for jury duty, and told Don’t be late!
Incumbent Court Clerk Tammy Qualls was 45 minutes late! Court clerks usually relish this time to meet and talk to jurrors, but not Tammy. Wonder how many of them will vote for her?
Rita Harrison is the ONLY choice to vote for in the runoff election in late August.
We also support Ryan Ball for County Commissioner in that election.
See my earlier post for other election information. We also support Shawn Taylor for Associate District Judge in the November elections. Shawn has a Facebook page “Elect Shawn Taylor”. Visit his page.
Finally, on the right hand side, of the post you will see a “Follow” box. Click on it, enter your email address, and you will get an email every time something new appears on the blog. Have a safe summer. 😎?
Rita Harrison, should be everyones choice for Court Clerk!
RYAN BALL, District 3 County Commissioner.
Shawn Taylor, Associate District Judge. Vote in November. 😎?
I just logged in at 9:00 pm on Friday, June 27, and the Statistics on the right column indicated this blog had 9,999 visitorssince it was started in February. I think that is outstanding. LIKE this post if you agree.
The Primary elections are over, and we won some, and lost some. We are very disappointed that Erin Oquin was eliminated as a Republican candidate for District Attorney. On the other hand, we are pleased that the will of the voters eliminated Janice Steidley as your next District Attorney. Matt Ballard is a very nice guy. He doesn’t have much experience with Criminal Law, but we assume he will keep the good career prosecutors now on staff in the office. He can be an administrator in the beginning, and let those with experience handle the big cases. The DA’s office does require a good administrator. Matt was the overwhelming victor in Rogers County, which of course had the most votes in the 3 county area. His father being Tulsa Superintendent of Schools didn’t hurt either. We wish him well, and assume that Robert Post, the Democrat candidate won’t waste his money campaigning against Matt.
County Commissioner. Well, the voters have spoken. Leon Stipes was eliminated, and there is a Runoff Election between Ryan Ball and Randy Pierce. We continue with our support for Ryan, since he is doing a very good job, much better than the other two County Commissioners. Kevin Whiteside will take office in January, replacing Alva “Spoil It All” Martin. We expect good things from Kevin, and hope he will not be unduly influenced by Alva.
Court Clerk. The voters have spoken again, and Tamara Qualls, the incumbent has been properly fired! Rita Harrison had 48% of the total vote, and almost made it without a Runoff. Joni Gates is not our choice in this race, she simply has “too much baggage”! Rita is by far the best choice. Take a look at her very extensive experience. She is currently a Deputy Court Clerk with many years of service, on a “Leave of Absence” during the campaign.
Associate District Judge. This is a “Non Partisan Election” and we won’t vote until November. Shawn Taylor the incumbent is still our choice. He is doing a very good job, and all of the attorneys and individuals appearing before him seem to respect him, and consider him to be fair, impartial, and reasonable in his judicial decisions. Tammy Ward is a very nice person, and a good attorney. We really like her, but we see no reason to vote for her to replace Shawn.
Well, that’s it for now. We encourage you to POST YOUR COMMENTS ON THE CANDIDATES! Remember to vote in the Runoff.
Well, Tuesday is Election Day, for the Primary. Early voting Monday at the Courthouse. The Runoff Election day is August 26th.
Check back on my post on the candidates for full information.
My selections for candidates are the following:
District Attorney – Erin Oquin is by far the best choice. Janice Steidley deserves to be fired. See the post on candidates for the full scoop on her incompetence. Matt Ballard has no criminal law experience.
Court Clerk – Rita Harrison is the best choice. Incumbent Tammy Qualls only shows up for work about half of the time. Joni Gates has a bad history.
County Commissioner – Ryan Ball is doing a very good job. There is no reason to replace him. He has more hours of training than almost every Commissioner in the state. 😎
State Superintendent of Schools – Dr. John Cox, from Grove is the choice of most of the teachers around here. Ms. Hoffmeister is another good choice. Irwin seems to be a bit too radical. Janet Baressi deserves to be fired! Statewide NO educators support her.
Second District Congressional – We think that Mark Wayne Mullins is doing a good job. He is getting a bum rap on continuing his plumbing business. We enjoy listening to him on KRMG radio Saturday mornings.
REMEMBER TO VOTE!
Well, it’s Election Time in Mayes County
NOW is the time to start discussing these issues. If you and your friends [and enemies] post their thoughts about candidates here, you can say things that will never make it to the Daily Times, or The Paper. Share this with your friends. Be sure to click “Follow” at the top of the page, and you will get an email notification when new matters are posted.
The Primary Election is scheduled for Tuesday, June 24th. Early voting at the courthouse the preceeding Friday, Saturday, and Monday. BE SURE TO VOTE! 😄😎
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THE CANDIDATES
Alva Martin is not up for election this year. Anyone interested in filing next year? Hope so, he rules the Commission with an iron hand (or Iron Fist?). He killed the public comment agenda request, and threatened to have the Sheriff remove me from the meeting when I was trying to apologize. Remember the Tulsa World Article?
Kevin Whiteside has filed and is unopposed in District 1. We understand that Kevin also drove an Adair School Bus, while still employed by District 1, and was loved by the kids, and obviously had “nerves of steel”. Some rumors around that he had a bad temper, but haven’t found anyone who has seen this. He is currently employed as a District 1 Road Foreman, and doing a good job. We just hope that Alva will not try to control his decisions as a Commissioner. We think Kevin will make a good one. If you need to contact him, his cell number is 918-373-4054, which incidentally has a last digit just one number less than mine. You Sudoku fans, figure out my cell number!
Ryan Ball, incumbent, has drawn two opponents. We think Ryan has done a pretty good job as a Commissioner, although he has a couple of warts. He DID oppose Darrell and Alva on the MESTA Mess, and the “Fixit Six” exercising good judgment here. But in the “Wart” classification, we understand Ryan has only completed a very, very small portion of the County Commissioner Training which is required by law for every new Commissioner. How about it Ryan, are you going to “git’er done” as my friend Larry the Cable Guy says? Larry do you read my blog? Also some rumors about Ryan and some split purchases, and unlawful dredging. He better watch this stuff, or someone is going to come after you!
Leon Stites, some call a perineal candidate. He is husband of my good friend Tammy Stites, longtime secretary in the Pryor District Attorney’s office. If you have ever had a “hot check”, and I am sure none of my readers ever have, you have met Tammy at the front desk in the DA’s office. Please don’t hold that against him. Grin again!
Randy Pierce, from Locust Grove. Sorry Randy, but I am not acquainted with you, but would love to meet you. Just wonder WHY would anyone want this thankless job as a commissioner. Did Ryan do something to hack you off? Let’s try to get together. I usually have coffee at Carl’s Junior after Monday Commissioner’s meetings.
Well, that’s the lineup for County Commissioner races. Comment here with what you think about the candidates.
Court Clerk Candidates
Tammy Qualls, is the current Court Clerk, and is doing a lousy job, according to folks who visit the courthouse. . She was First Deputy Clerk when Lori Parsons retired. Tammy did a good job while I was on the bench was always the “go to” person when I had a problem. The job as a Court Clerk is a very hard one. There are tons of paperwork, and reports, and having to deal with people who are sometimes unhappy to be there. I hear she is only on the job about half the time, has a sour attitude, and doesn’t help her employees with their problems.
A very good long time employee is ready to quit.
Rita Harrison, another long time deputy has also filed. I think this may have come as a surprise to many of the courthouse folks, but I may be wrong. She would make a good Court Clerk, and has a lot of experience. Rita has my support, and my vote. I hope she has yours!
Joni Gates, has also filed. I have no idea how she is going to do in this election. I don’t remember if Joni was ever a deputy court clerk or not. I just saw her around the courthouse a lot. She and husband Jerry were in my court a lot of times on different matters, but of course some of those were when she worked for Pryor Attorney, Cherie Meislahn.
UPDATE June 24, 2014: A friend sent me a message on Facebook, inquiring as to whether Joni was eligible to hold office by reason of activities of her husband Jerry Gates, a former Pryor Firefighter, should disqualify her, and requested I use her history of full names in this post. Here is what she said:
“I have a question about who is eligible to run for offices in Mayes County and I wasn’t real sure who to ask, so I will start with you, if I may. I saw that Joni Jordan Erwin Hauenstein Gates was proceeding to run for County Court Clerk. With her husband being caught stealing fishing tackle from Wal Mart, while employed at the Pryor Fire Department, wouldn’t that be an issue for her holding a County office seat? Also, he was charged with urinating in an ex-girlfriends gas tank on her vehicle. I assumed that an elected official would have a fairly clean slate with the law, including their spouse. Am I wrong in assuming this? I am not involved with either of the Gates, but I know that those 2 items, on Mr. Gates, were in the local The Daily Times in the past. Thank you for your time and consideration.”
Associate District Judge
Quite an unexpected surprise here, Tammy Ward, City Attorney at Locust Grove has filed against incumbent Associate District Judge Shawn Taylor. Don’t know if anyone around the courthouse or bar association saw this one coming.
Shawn Taylor, the incumbent, has been on the bench quite a while now. He succeeded Terry McBride, when Terry was appointed a District Judge following Jim Goodpaster’s resignation to enter private practice. I know you all miss Jim as much as I do! Shaun’s wife Michelle is counselor at the Adair Schools, and holds a Doctorate degree. They have two small children. From all that I have heard, and observed during my time on the bench, Shawn has served well, honestly, and made good fair judicial decisions, and is well liked by those who appear before him. He has our support, and $money$, and we hope he has yours!
I was Shawn’s first campaign contributor. He now has an address for his campaign, and contributions. Send your checks to: Campaign to Re Elect Taylor, PO Bo 925, Pryor, OK 74362-0924.
Tammy Ward, attorney from Locust Grove was a late filer in the race. Don’t believe anyone saw her as running for this office. Tammy is City Attorney for Locust Grove, and is a pretty good attorney. Sorry Tammy, but we see no reason to replace Shawn. We hear through the grapevine (you know how informed the grapevine is around here), that she was wanting to run for some county office, and ran for Judge since she had signs in her garage left over from a previous campaign in another county.
We also understand that she has a new job working for a tech school, and is quitting as Locust Grove City Attorney, and withdrawing from other legal representations. Since running for office may have been a matter of money, with the new job, she may not campaign much. I guess as in all things, time will tell.
It looks like this race is going to heat up, with 4 candidates. Three have filed as Republicans, (Does that tell you something about the changing demographics of our area), and one as a Democrat. Let’s get rid of (not literally) the Democrat first.
Robert Post, of Catoosa was a late filer, filing as the only Democrat in the race. Robert is the husband of retiring District Judge Dynda Post. They now live in Catoosa. Robert does most of his practice in the area of Worker’s Compensation law, and works a lot for tv lawyer David Garrett the last I know. He doesn’t have any real experience in criminal law that I can recall. Word is he may be in the race to give Janet Steidley a job if she loses in the primary or runoff. I don’t expect to see much from him in the way of campaigning.
Erin Oquin, from Inola has been campaigning since last fall. She has served a number of years as a Special District Judge in our Judicial District (Mayes, Rogers, and Craig Counties), and has a lot of support from members of the bar, and law enforcement. Erin is a good person, was a good judge, and will make an excellent District Attorney. I will go on record here as supporting her, and hope you will too! Send your campaign contributions to: Oquin for District Attorney, PO Box 1414, Inola, OK 74036.
Matt Ballard, from Claremore has also been in the race quite a while, but not as long as Erin. Matt is currently a Claremore attorney, and by all reports does a pretty good job at lawyering. He came knocking on my door campaigning a few weeks ago. Nice to see any “door knocker”, since I know they are serious about winning. Matt also has the experience to be a good DA, but I think he doesn’t have the name recognition in Craig and Mayes counties as Erin does. My vote is still with Erin.
Janice Steidley, least, and I certainly hope last, is the current DA. Since her election, Janice has literally turned the 3 offices upside down! She really put the screws to my friend, and longtime DA Chuck Ramsey, and terminated him for no cause, other than being a male, after many years of dedicated and outstanding service! Really turned out as a blessing for Chuck though, he is doing quite well in his practice with John Crockett, on main street, in downtown Pryor. An Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper told me last week two very important things about Janice, and her running of her office. First, she now requires any officer to have an appointment before coming in to see an Assistant about a case! How ridiculous can you get in requiring our officers who put their lives on the line for us every day to make an appointment! Enough reason to fire her now. Second, also understand she is sitting on cases and not filing them. I can attest this is true. I am a victim, I hate to admit, and the DA has had a one inch thick report on her desk since early February, and will not even give me a courtesy of returning my phone calls, or answering my email about filing the case! Then there’s the Grand Jury scandal matter. Multi-County Grand Jury is now meeting, and discussing Janice along with 2 Rogers County Commissioners, who are in deep stuff now. Indictments now either down, or coming down. Rogers County is always in some kind of turmoil, it seems to be in their blood over there.
Update April 26, 2014: Last Monday Janice telephoned me, and told me that the criminal matter in which I was a victim had been referred to the Attorney General, and her office had disqualified. I know of no reason she should disqualify, other than the kind remarks I have said about her above! I telephoned the AG’s office, and talked to a vey nice gentleman there. He advised me that they had not received the info from Steidley. He told me that he was very familiar with Janice. I asked about the Multi-County Grand Jury, and was told that they were in recess now, but still hearing witnesses on their investigation of Janice. He called me back Friday, and told me the report had arrived, and he was taking it home to read over the weekend. Guess we will hear from him next week.
Update June 2014. The Attorney General’s office advised me that they had referred the case to Washington County (Bartlesville) DA’s office for review and filing. Hope to hear from them soon.
It’s time to Fire Janice Steidley NOW!
As one of my old favorite cartoon characters, Bugs Bunny says, “That’s all Folks”, at least for now. I’ve been thinking of calling Darrell “Bugs” because of all the Looney Tunes stuff he does, and Alva “Road Runner” because of the way he always bugs out of meetings without giving anyone the chance to talk to him. What do you think? Post your thoughts.
Primary Election date: Tuesday (of course) June 24
Numbers of Mayes County Registered voters by party, as of January 15, 2014
I will cover Second Congressional District Candidates when I figure out who they are.
Remember to Post, Tell Your Friends, and Follow this blog. Thanks for taking the time to read this post.
Judge Gary J Dean
As the Memorial Day weekend is ending, a wanted to share this wonderful Vietnam POW story with you. I hope you enjoy some of these stories I post when local things are reasonably quiet.
PLEASE “Like” this post if you do like it, so that I will know your response.
It’s been a bit quiet with the County Commissioners, and local elections. Thought I would share with you this outstanding video of marksmanship. If you enjoy it, hit the “Like” botton. ??
MESTA Board votes to Separate Systems from the 911 Center
Tuesday, May 13th the MESTA Board of Directors voted unanimously to Separate their Computer Systems from the County Commissioner operated 911 Center.
The vote came after a 3 hour Executive Session. The Board attorneys, James Orbison, and Kris Koepsel of the Riggs Abney law firm in Tulsa were present. Their firm has a great deal of experience in representing ambulance authorities, representing the Tulsa EMS authority, and several others. Also appearing before the Board in Executive Session were several MESTA employees. Director Rick Langkamp was in a Tulsa hospital recovering from back surgery on Monday.
Following the closed session, two motions were made as a result of information received in the Executive Session:
1. That MESTA separate its computer operations from the County Commissioner operated 911 Center.
2. That MESTA seek bids on the equipment necessary for the change over.
Both motions were passed unanimously by the 7 members present. It looks like the “Fixit Six” may be coming around. The 3 members present all voted in favor of the motion. Three other members left before the Executive Session was over, having “other commitments”. Sherman Weaver was one who left early. He has missed the past three meetings, we understand because of worrying about the OSBI investigation of the “Fixit Six”.
We understand that the unanimous vote was because under the current set up, the 911 employees have access to the confidential medical records generated by an ambulance call. These records are highly confidential under HIPPA regulations. Under the present setup, the 911 Center and MESTA share the same computer system. Employees of the 911 Center could access the medical records, resulting in very heavy fines to MESTA.
The MESTA employees speaking to the Board are reported to have said that a “Hostile Work Environment” exists under the present situation. Ms. Pennywhatever is said to be making rules for her dispatchers, when she knows nothing about dispatching. She is the boss, and has NO EXPERIENCE in dispatching, which is a very difficult job. This may result in a later action to physically move the MESTA dispatchers out of the County operated center.
We have heard that MESTA has lost one dispatcher, and another is looking for another job because of the conditions which exist in the 911 Center.
We have heard by the Grapevine (and you know how good it is around here) that a few of the reported many dispatching errors made by the new dispatchers are as follows:
1. Dispatching the Salina FD to an accident on the Cherokee Turnpike, when it was actually on Old Highway 33, just a short distance from the Chimney Rock Fire Department.
2. Dispatching Langley and Salina Fire Departments to South of Langley, when the fire was North of Langley.
3. The Kemp family, either “Pee Wee” or James, I don’t know which, of Pryor Stone, living at Lakeland Addition, had a fire alarm trip. The County 911 Dispatcher sent the Pryor Fire Department to a location West of Pryor. The Salina FD wasn’t dispatched (or arrived on the scene) until about 12 minutes after the alarm. Luckily it was a false alarm from a defective smoke detector. Otherwise you and the other taxpayers of Mayes County could have been for the dispatch error! This is because Alva and Darrell didn’t follow legal advise and set up a Public Trust for the 911 Center operations. They wanted the control, and not to have a Board involved!
There is one other area of major concern involving the inappropriate actions of Commissioner Alva Martin. A while back he came to the 911 Center “Raising Hell” according to reports. He threatened to fire all of the and take over operations of the Center himself, according to reports. According to the MESTA attorneys, this has created a “Hostile Work Environment” for the employees worried about their jobs. I have been told that none of the MESTA employees will work if the Commissioners dissolve the MESTA trust as they have threatened. This is the reason I was denied a copy of the “Incident Report” prepared following Alva’s visit. I might add, this is a valid reason to deny me a copy of the report.
While we are speaking of the digressions of Commissioner Martin, I have heard (but not verified) that he recently threatened to appoint himself to the MESTA Board, in order to “Straighten Out the Mess.”! Don’t know if it is true or not, but would be interesting to watch!
The MESTA Board will meet in a Special Session next
Tuesday, May 21st at 5:00 pm
. The purpose will be to work on bid proposals for the system change over, and to hear more from employees on the 911 Center problems. Some of the employees desiring to address the Board could not be present since they were out on an ambulance run.
Well, that’s my report. Neither Terry Alyward, of The Paper, or Cydney Baron of The Times were present for the meeting. Perhaps they will report from this posting. As always, members of the public are invited to MESTA Board Meetings. Hope to see you there, and at Commissioners Meetings. This is a revised post from what was posted earlier. I misunderstood the motion, believing it was to separate the dispatchers, not the equipment. I sincerely regret this error.
County Commissioner Contact Information
I have had several people ask me how to contact the County Commissioners. Below is what I have.
Alva Martin: Cell 918-637-7491; Barn Phone 918-785-2449; Barn Fax 918-785-4271; Email email@example.com
Darrell Yoder: Cell 918-693-3475, Residence 918-476-8426; Work Fax 918-476-4018; Email DarrellYoder2@yahoo.com
Ryan Ball: Cell: 918-638-9519: Barn 918-434-5743; Barn Fax 918-434-6743; Campaign Cell 918-691-5090; Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dana Thompson, Executive Assistant to the County: Office 918-825-0639; Fax 918-825-3811; Email email@example.com
Brittany True-Howard, County Clerk: Office 918-825-2426; Office fax 918-825-3803; Email firstname.lastname@example.org
COUNTY WEBSITE: www.mayes.okcounties.org
This is the Official County Website with a lot of useful information. You can get the Agendas for the Commission Meetings by going to the left side of the home screen, click Public Meetings, and a list of Agenda, Proceedings (which are notes on what the commissioners did at meetings) and other public meetings will be posted. Dana Thompson does a good job at getting this information on the web. She usually has the Commissioners Agenda posted by about 4:30 Thursday afternoon before the Monday meeting.
You can retrieve Minutes of Commission Meetings by going to the search box on the upper right corner of the home page. There enter “Minutes” followed by the Year or Date you wish to retrieve. Both the Minutes and Agendas will download as PDF files.