Tulsa City Hall: March 2008 Archives

Isn't it nice to have a few city councilors who will speak the truth without sugarcoating it?

Only an idiot would sign the county's initial contract proposal covering municipal inmates at the Tulsa Jail, City Councilor John Eagleton said Monday.

The county has proposed that the city begin paying $54.13 per day for each municipal inmate, as well as certain medical and transportation costs.

"It's insane math," said Eagleton, a member of an informal committee that is charged with reviewing the county's proposal.

The kicker is the new definition of what constitutes a municipal inmate. In the past, a municipal inmate was one who was being held solely for city offenses. Someone who had been charged with or convicted of a state or federal crime wouldn't count against the city's numbers, even if he also had a city charge pending. Under Tulsa County's proposal, someone would count as a municipal inmate as long as a city charge was pending, even if he would have been in jail anyway for state or federal offenses.

Kevin Canfield's story in the Whirled contains a serious inaccuracy about the current jail contract between the City of Tulsa and Tulsa County, which is about to expire. He writes:

Under the terms of the current con tract, the city pays no direct fee to house its inmates at the jail.

Instead, the city leases to the county for $1 the former city jail, on the third floor of the Tulsa Police and Municipal Courts Building, and the former Adult Detention Center, 1727 Charles Page Blvd.

At the time the agreement was signed 10 years ago, the two entities agreed that the properties' annual rental value was $349,500.

In addition, the city agreed to equip and maintain, at an annual cost to the city of more than $400,000, a fully staffed evidence property room.

In fact, the City is charged for a daily rate for each municipal prisoner being held in the county jail. But what the City owes is offset by the agreed-upon value of letting Tulsa County use city-owned facilities rent-free. If the cost of housing the City inmates (according to the old contract) ever exceeded the value of the City's properties being used by Tulsa County, the City would pay the excess to Tulsa County.

Tulsa taxpayers ought to be happy that John Eagleton is looking out for the City's financial interests.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa City Hall category from March 2008.

Tulsa City Hall: February 2008 is the previous archive.

Tulsa City Hall: April 2008 is the next archive.

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