Spite: Voters dump Kirt Thacker, Thacker closes dump

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Rogers_County-Kirt_Thacker-dump.PNG

It seems that ousted Rogers County District 3 Commissioner Kirt Thacker is just gonna take his ball and go home. On Tuesday, Thacker lost the Republican primary to Ron Burrows in an election with higher than normal turnout. Burrows goes on to face a Democrat opponent in November.

A member of the Conversation Catoosa Facebook group reported that, on the day after the election, she went to the free dump that Thacker had established and found that it was closed.

Thacker's reply to the report and to comments on the report:

The majority of the voters apparently didn't like the job I've done. I see no reason to force something on the people that they don't want. Sore loser? On the contrary I am relieved and glad it's over....

I explained the reason for the closing and you are welcome to believe what you want. As far as responsibility goes, the trash program isn't a requirement of the job, that was an extra.

I hadn't followed Rogers County politics closely until a friend of ours (Treasurer-elect Jason Carini) filed for office. I listened to audio of the May 29, 2014, Catoosa candidate forum (courtesy Oklahoma Constitution reporter Theodore King), including the part of the forum devoted to the Rogers County Commission candidates. Thacker was asked if there were any plans to close the free dump. "I have no plans whatsoever to close it." He said that prior to establishing the dump, he would get a call about a large abandoned item, and he'd have to pull his crews off of their assignments to go pick it up. With the dump, those calls have decreased from three or four times per week to two calls per month. The dump is funded through grants from the Association of County Commissioners, with no local funding required.

20140529-RogersCountyForum-03-Commissioner-Dump.mp3

In his response to the same question, Burrows praised the dump and the reduction in roadside trash. He wants to expand the program by having jail trusties pick up roadside trash in the district.

If Thacker has a grant to operate the dump, doesn't he have an obligation to keep it open or else return the money?

UPDATE 1: Thacker answers the question on Facebook: "The fiscal year ends on June 30. The grant has ran it's course."

OK, but wouldn't he have already applied for a grant for the upcoming fiscal year?

UPDATE 2: On Facebook, Thacker answered that question: "Nope."

I asked, "But at the May 29 forum, you said that you had no plans whatsoever to close it. Most grants take some time to prepare, submit, and process. You hadn't started the grant application process at all?"

Thacker's reply:

Plans change. This grant is easy and fast to prepare thru the Association of County Commissioners. I am a "Lame Duck" so for the remainder of the term we will concentrate on road work. The required part of the job.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 25, 2014 5:22 PM.

Oklahoma Primary 2014 recap was the previous entry in this blog.

Genius: A short film about intelligences is the next entry in this blog.

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