CC)—The Enid Mayor and Board of Commissioners will meet this evening in both Special Session and Regular Meeting. The commission is scheduled to meet in Special Session at 5:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. They will then convene in an Executive Session to discuss ongoing negotiations with the Board of Trustees of the Criminal Justice Authority of Garfield County regarding jail administration and a new jail agreement; as well as discuss economic development proposals concerning a movie theater, a department store and under-utilized retail space in Enid. Commissioner will then reconvene into Special Session to take any necessary action.
The commission is scheduled to then meet in Regular Meeting at 6:30 p.m. to address a number of items including introducing Alex Hamilton as the new Community Development Director, review proposed changes to two ordinances, and consider to meet in Executive Session to discuss a pending claim concerning the construction of the Kaw Lake Pipeline, and to discuss the charter implications concerning the recent policies adopted by the Enid and Garfield County Library Board.
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CJ)--The Oklahoma State Department of Health last month found the Garfield County jail to be not in substantial compliance with established standards due to the overcrowding of housing units. On Jan. 10, OSDH inspected the Garfield County Detention Facility, finding that it was “not in substantial compliance with established standards due to the overcrowding of housing units,” according to a GCDF press release. OSDH is required by state law to inspect all city and county detention facilities at least once each year to ensure standards are being met in areas including admission and release procedures, sanitary conditions, clothing and living area, medical care, emergency exits and more. The release states the shortcoming was the only deficiency found in 2023 and has been in every inspection since at least 2010. If not corrected within 60 days, the release states this deficiency authorizes the Oklahoma Commissioner of Health to file a formal complaint with the attorney general and/or the district attorney. Jail Administrator Ben Crooks said, “It is important to understand that these standards are in place to ensure the safety and security of staff and inmates, as well as to protect the taxpayers of Garfield County. A 10-year history of overcrowding does not demonstrate an effort to meet those standards, and that is what concerns me the most.” Crooks said on Monday that there were 222 inmates at GCDF, exceeding its operational capacity of 193. Nearly one year ago, county commissioners gave GCDF the OK to refine expansion plans and financial expenses for a tax resolution that later appeared before and was defeated by county voters in August of 2022. Crooks said a new proposal had been approved by the Garfield County Criminal Justice Authority, but it will have to go before county commissioners for approval before a proposition appears on an election ballot. The proposal should appear before county commissioners later this month.
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CF)--Area residents interested in public offices in the towns of Waukomis, North Enid, Kremlin, Lahoma and Covington can file declarations of candidacy until 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8. The general election for those town seats is April 4. Offices up for election are three trustees and a clerk position in Covington; three trustees and a town clerk position in Lahoma; three trustees and a clerk/treasurer position in Waukomis; and three trustees and a clerk position in North Enid. Forms can be downloaded from the state election board website, oklahoma.gov/elections, or by contacting the Garfield County Election Board office at (580) 237-6016 or 903 Failing.
NU)--The Night to Unite (formerly Night to Shine) prom for people with special needs is scheduled for Feb. 10 at Oakwood Christian Church, but could use more volunteers. Currently, there are 150 kings and queens, as participants are called, registered to take part in the festivities. “We currently have enough buddies, but we can always use help with decorations and cleanup,” said Dalen McVay, Night to Unite board member. Each king or queen has a buddy to escort and accompany them on their special night. The buddy helps them on all phases of the prom experience, including going with them into hair and makeup and to get their corsage or boutonniere. Each king and queen walks down the red carpet. They choose to dance or do karaoke, then take pictures with various superhero characters, and even go on a limo ride. For more information, go to www.nightuniteenid.com or call Oakwood Christian Church at (580) 233-1225.
CF)— Enid voters will have to make decisions on mayor and two city commission ward seats this month. David Mason and Jayme Wright Latta will face off for mayor to replace George Pankonin, who decided not to run for another term. In Ward 1, incumbent commissioner Jerry Allen will face challenger Judd Blevins. In Ward 2, incumbent Derwin Norwood will face two challengers, Doug Boyle and Kyle Hockmeyer. In Ward 5, incumbent Rob Stallings filed but did not draw an opponent, so he will serve another four-year term. The election will be February 14.