New Oklahoma County jail ballot proposal is delayed

Voting on $350 million jail proposal will happen later this year, said Ray Vaughn, chairman of the Oklahoma County commissioners. Vaughn said the vote wouldn't meld well with school and municipal elections.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD Zcampfield@opubco.com Modified: January 2, 2013 at 9:29 pm •  Published: January 3, 2013
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A plan to put a $350 million jail proposal before Oklahoma County voters this spring has been delayed.

County commissioners did not vote Wednesday on a ballot proposal as was previously suggested by the board's chairman, Ray Vaughn.

Vaughn said he agreed to put off the jail initiative for later this year because of municipal and school board elections already scheduled for March.

“I don't want to insinuate we want an election entirely to ourselves, necessarily, but the school board and city council elections being the same time frame, we would perhaps hurt their turnout or maybe they would hurt our turnout,” he said. “I don't think the issues would meld very well.”

Vaughn and the county's engineer, Stacey Trumbo, said in November that plans for a ballot proposal were in the works for a 10-year, half-cent sales tax that would support land acquisition and construction of a new jail and juvenile detention center.

A consulting company has been working since March to design the proposed jail, identify a location and to develop the financing package that will be presented to voters.

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I don't want to insinuate we want an election entirely to ourselves, necessarily, but the school board and city council elections being the same time frame, we would perhaps hurt their turnout or maybe they would hurt our turnout.”

Ray Vaughn,
Oklahoma County commissioner

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