OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, was the author of an interim study held at the Capitol today that focused on clearly defining the role of various levels of government from the state to the county and the municipal level.
State Rep. Justin Humphrey, R-Lane, facilitated the study as Rep. West was recovering from back surgery. Cleveland County Commissioner Rod Cleveland also helped guide the study.
“COVID-19 has shown us the vital role government plays in our everyday lives, and I wanted to highlight the role county government plays from elections to county courts as well as economic development,” West said. “Our counties provide many essential services that often go unnoticed. Hopefully this study has been beneficial to my fellow members and will be a useful resource in the unique partnership between county and state governments.”
Humphrey said he was glad to be able to host this study for Rep. West.
“I’m excited about bringing these very important topics to the public’s attention,” Humphrey said. “It’s crucial that we ensure fairness, equality and funding between rural counties and city governments.”
Cleveland thanked Reps. West and Humphrey for holding the interim study and Rep. Brad Boles, R-Marlow, who chairs the House County & Municipal Government Committee, which heard the study.
“There were county commissioners from a small populated rural county, a medium populated county, and large populated counties speaking on the vast responsibilities and duties spelled out in statutes other than putting gravel on county roads,” Cleveland said. “The professionalism of county commissioners of Oklahoma was on display at the interim study. County Commissioners presented several ideas for legislation that would move Oklahoma forward and bring more efficiencies in governing of county government. “
Additional presenters at the study included State Auditor Cindy Byrd and Grant County Commissioner Cindy Bobbitt giving an overview of the roles of county government; Terry Simonson, director of government affairs for Tulsa County, who spoke with Commissioner Cleveland on the county government relationship with cities and municipalities; Canadian County Commissioner Marc Hader and Muskogee County Commissioner Ken Doke speaking on the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and county roads; Cleveland County Commissioner Darry Stacy discussing CARES Act funding for health departments, disasters, emergency management and 911. Bobbitt and other panelists then discussed agriculture, broadband and other boards and legislative issues as it relates to county, local, state and national governments.