District 1 Commissioner Randall Jones on Monday urged his fellow Osage County commissioners and other county officials to provide him with responses and input necessary to hone and refine proposed new policies and procedures for the operation of the county Fairgrounds.
Jones said he had been frequenting the courthouse in Pawhuska the past three weeks to give other county officials and employees a chance to raise questions with him, and no one had asked any questions. Then, when the issue came up on the agenda Monday, there were questions.
Jones was especially pointed regarding the lack of written contracts for Fairgrounds events.
“There’s nothing written down. It’s the wild west,” he said. Jones clarified he wasn’t attempting to cast blame on anyone, but he wanted to see procedures put in place that would protect the county.
“We’ve been fortunate up until this time,” he said.
County Clerk Shelia Bellamy said during the discussion that she would like some matters clarified, particularly where a “Fairgrounds office” would be located.
Kandy Jump, assistant to the commissioners, also wanted to know where the Fairgrounds office would be, and she asked how scheduling of events would be handled under the new policies and procedures. Jump pointed out that events have been scheduled at the Fairgrounds already into 2020.
There were additionally questions about what role, if any, the Oklahoma State University agricultural extension office would play in context of the new policies and procedures. Jones had one impression of the views of now-retired county extension director Donna Robbins.
Branden Handke, who has become the interim director following Robbins’ retirement, had a differing view of Robbins’ opinion about the extension service’s potential role. Jump also had a recollection of Robbins’ opinion that differed with Jones’ recollection.
District 3 Commissioner Darren McKinney observed there appeared to be a communication problem.
At the close of the discussion, the commissioners tabled consideration of new Fairgrounds policies and procedures until next Monday.