Fred Perry to resign

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Tulsa County District 3 Commissioner Fred Perry announced today that he will resign effective July 8, 2013, about 18 months before the expiration of his second term as a commissioner. (Read the press release at TheOkie.com.) The announcement comes three months after Perry, age 72, underwent a heart procedure; Perry cited "health reasons" as the motivation for stepping down.

Perry's political career will end as it began, with a mid-term resignation. In January 1994, Perry won a three-way, all-GOP special election to fill the House District 69 created by the resignation of David Smith. Perry was term-limited in the legislature in 2006, when he ran for the County Commission District 3 after incumbent Bob Dick announced his decision not to seek re-election. Perry advanced to a runoff in a crowded Republican primary, then defeated Tulsa City Councilor Bill Christiansen in the runoff to win the election, as no Democrat filed for the office.

Perry, who was elected to the County Commission with the support of grassroots conservative volunteers, disappointed many of his backers by voting to advance the 2007 county sales tax for river projects and the 2012 Vision2 county sales tax. Both measures were turned down by voters.

Fred Perry and I have often been at odds during his time as County Commissioner, particularly concerning the sales tax propositions he supported and disputes between the county and the City of Tulsa (e.g. annexation of the Fairgrounds and the jail agreement). To his credit, he never hesitated to make his case in writing, whether in the comments here at BatesLine or in the pages of Urban Tulsa Weekly.

During his time in office, a number of improvements have been made to the Tulsa County website. Early in his term, as chairman of the county commission, Perry arranged to distribute ex officio board memberships among all the commissioners, rather than putting the full burden on the person holding the chairmanship, which by tradition rotates annually among the three commissioners.

In his resignation press release, Perry has proposed that the special election to replace him could be held at the same time as Tulsa's mayoral election, with the special primary at the same time as the city's primary on June 11 and the general election at the same time as the city runoff (if needed) on August 13. The special county commission primary could have an impact on the non-partisan mayor's race, driving up Republican turnout in south Tulsa, Bill Christiansen's home turf.

(The latest set of city election dates is so new -- it was approved in June 2012 -- it has yet to be incorporated into the online version of the Tulsa City Charter. Here is the markup version, showing the changes approved in June 2012.)

Here's wishing Fred Perry a long, healthy, and happy retirement.

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1 Comments

David Van Author Profile Page said:

Fred was a good friend to the cause of education choice. Just recently, he intervened to protest The Bixby High School athletic director from kicking all non-OSSAA sports teams out of the Metro Tulsa Tennis Tournament.
The tournament was created & run by the Tulsa Area Tennis Assoc., but just recently Bixby High offered to take over the management of the state's most prominent invitational tennis tournament. The first thing Bixby High did was kick out Tulsa NOAH Homeschool(independent) and Holland Hall(Southwest Prep Conference).
The problem for Fred Perry was that the Tulsa Metro Tournament uses LaFortune Tennis Center(Tulsa County Parks) for the biggest part of the event. Fred expressed "deep concerns that while homeschoolers and private schoolers also pay county taxes for the major resource needed for the event, and NOAH & Holland Hall have a good history in the tournament, yet they are arbitrarily being excluded".
Recently, NOAH had edged out Bixby in winning the Girls Div. II title, in 2007. Holland Hall is always one of the strongest Div. I contenders.
The Bixby superintendent then intervened and ordered his athletic director to reverse course and re-invite NOAH & Holland Hall.
Fred became a hero of many teen athletes for his advocacy of greater choice in education.
Good athletes never duck & hide from formidable competition on a level playing field.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 11, 2013 10:08 PM.

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