Oklahoma County Commissioners Dissolve Budget Management Office

Article excerpt

Oklahoma County commissioners this week dissolved the last remnant of a two-year experiment in county government without a budget board.

The dissolution of the Office of Budget Management passed Wednesday on a 3-0 vote. Commissioner Brent Rinehart just two years earlier had voted with then-Commissioner Stan Inman against Jim Roth to disband the 25-year-old board and establish a budget management office in order to assume more oversight of the $60 million budgeting process.

"It should save us about $100,000 in salary and benefits. The return of the budget board itself saves us about $150,000 in interest we don't have to expend," said District 3 representative Ray Vaughn, who was chosen in last year's general election to take Inman's seat. "I think this is a very positive reform. - I'm optimistic."

The board itself also has been re-established, effective June 30, comprised of the county's eight elected officials: the three commissioners, plus the treasurer, assessor, sheriff, clerk and court clerk.

The current commissioners have also taken a step to assuage some of the concerns behind the change two years ago: They have established a budget evaluation team comprised of the budget board's chief deputies. …