Rumor mill: Bob Dick to resign


This is still at the rumor stage, but it's the sort of rumor that, if true, needs to be passed along so that people can make some preparations, and if it's false, there's no harm done. And the rumor comes to me from very reliable sources who assure me this is really going to happen.

The rumor is that Bob Dick will resign from the County Commission sometime this year, which would trigger a special election. He had already said publicly that he did not plan to run for another term in 2006.

Depending on the effective date of resignation, the special election may be held as part of the normal election cycle. This was the case in 2002, when Commissioner John Selph resigned in March and the process of replacing him involved the usual primary, runoff, and general elections, held along with the scheduled state elections. It would be better from a voter's perspective and a taxpayer's perspective if we could avoid a special election in this year already full of elections.

Continuing with the rumor: State Senator Jerry Smith, who is being forced out of office this year by term limits, has been tapped by Bob Dick to replace him on the commission. Smith already has ties to county government -- his wife, Sally Howe Smith, is an elected official, Tulsa County Court Clerk. Smith has not been seriously challenged for re-election in many years and has a war chest ready for a County Commission race.

I said earlier that it's reasonable to pass along a rumor so that people can make preparations. If Bob Dick is stepping aside, we need to make sure that his replacement is someone who will be responsive to the citizens, someone who will reform county government and scrutinize the cozy network that currently runs the place. How Vision 2025 overages will be spent should be a major campaign issue. Will the new commissioner push to grow county government, or will he seek to return the county to its proper minor role? Will his appointments to the TMAPC, Fair Board, and Board of Adjustment be neighborhood-friendly or servants of special interests? Think about people you know in District 3 who might make a good County Commissioner, and drop me a line at blog at batesline dot com if you come up with some good ideas. The time is now to begin to organize a campaign and raise money.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 21, 2004 12:32 PM.

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