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Tulsa County Commissioner District 2

Commissioners are elected to four-year terms. Among the Board's responsibilities are the powers to make orders and authorizations, to inspect and approve county programs and facilities, to supervise the financial affairs of the county, to investigate the performance of county officials and to designate, construct and maintain a county highway system.

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  • Candidate picture

    Karen Keith
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Josh Turley
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

What in your background qualifies you to be a County Commissioner?

Do you believe the Tulsa City Council and County Commissioners should work together? Why or Why not?

What one part of county government would receive more attention if you were elected?

What element of the county’s government is most effective, and why?

Campaign Address Karenkeith.org
Campaign Phone (918) 855-7659
Professional Experience -Serving as Commissioner since 2008 -Worked at Tulsa Metro Chamber - Visitors Bureau -Served on Mayor LaFortune's team working on passage of Vision and Implementation of Vision after passage -Worked 26 years in Broadcasting. -Owned a small business "Silver Label"
Education BA from OSU in Journalism and Broadcasting Muskogee High School
Volunteer Service Rotary Club of Tulsa (Served 100th President) Oklahoma Historical Society (Executive Committee, OKPOP and Will Rogers Memorial Foundation) Brookside Business Association Work related: Chair of the Downtown Coordinating Council Chair of INCOG also serving on the National Association of Regional Councils VISITTULSA Board Route 66 Commission Member Jail Trust Authority Fair Grounds Trust Authority
I've have been doing this job that I love for the past 12 years. Getting the doors open to a new state of the art Family Center for Juvenile Justice and working to get the Tulsa/West Tulsa Levee system repaired are top of my list of accomplishments. Last November the Courts and our Juveniles moved into a remarkable new facility and the Engineering and Design is underway for the levee as our Federal Delegation works to get the funds for the rebuild. While working for Mayor LaFortune I was on the team that helped get passage of Vision2025 that has transformed our downtown. I also formed and worked with the committee in the search for the Arena Architect that resulted in an iconic facility. My years in broadcasting have helped me communicate with constituents and build a staff here at Tulsa County that is dedicated and responsive to the public. That background has also helped me promote and work for passage of public investment bonds for Vision and the Juvenile Justice Facility.
It is my pleasure to work with our City of Tulsa Councilors as well as the Mayor. The Route 66 Commission, River Development and neighborhood issues for starters give us common ground. I have worked for passage of city issues because they are important to the County as a whole. Our current slate of Councilors are dedicated, smart, passionate and involved. I have the highest regard for these relationships. In this job it is important to build relationships with the Mayors and councils in all of the communities we serve. Again, those are valued and respected relationships essential to good government. Serving as Chair of INCOG has given me the ability to forge relationships with Regional leadership so we can all work together on issues that impact all of us. When Mayor Bynum was a Councilor I got him engaged on the levee issues and that led to a huge investment by the city to help us get matching funds for the federal dollars. The Mayors support on this is unwavering.
County government is efficient and effective and we have not traditionally told our story. Tulsa County has dramatically improved transparency during my term of office... I don't take credit for all that effort but I am proud that all agendas, budgets, meetings etc. are all easily accessible at TulsaCounty.org. It is imperative that we continue to work with INCOG and the Regional Chamber to elevate our workforce to meet the needs of the region. Working together as a region lifts all boats. Coordinated efforts through "ONEVOICE" is helping us get legislative needs met both at the state and federal levels. That essential work must continue.

We have ongoing efforts to increase our diversity among our county workforce.
Tulsa County is easy to work with. Silo's have been mostly eliminated and we work together well as a team on all issues. The Counties distribution of the Federal Cares Act fund is a great example. With short time-lines and under pressure of the pandemic a committee was formed and has worked diligently to disperse the funds to agencies, small business and non profits negatively impacted during these unprecedented times. When work on the new administration building is completed this fall the public will have much easier access to their county government. It is has been a long time goal of mine to give the public defender equal accommodations at the courthouse. With the BOCC, Treasurer, County Clerk etc. moving across the streets we can finally consolidate all the functions of the Courts in one complex. This also eliminates the need for rentals for offices like the Public Defender and allows us to sell off other buildings that will not be part of this new facility.
Campaign Phone (918) 852-5674
Professional Experience 20+ years with Tulsa County as a Risk Manager. 20+ years as small business owner.
Education Bachelors of Arts Master of Arts - Organizational Management Doctorate of Management
Volunteer Service A variety of nonprofit assistance to include clean up of Katy Trail, Cystic Fibrosis associations, and pretty much anywhere I feel a calling to assist.
Twitter @TurleyCommiss
My history with Tulsa County as a Risk Manager provides me with a unique view of Tulsa problems. Risk Managers review operational issues and litigation. We identify the root causes and then develop long term strategies to mitigate, avoid, or abolish the risk. Many of these problems are managed internally through standards and policy. But at the root cause, they show a need for more communication with citizens. This is why all of my campaign material has my cell phone number. It’s time to put the Government back in the hands of the people. It is time for big ideas, better collaboration, and open government. The people don’t need representation, instead they need a government who is quick to respond, open, and honest. These can only come from a candidate who knows Tulsa County and has the advanced education of a Doctorate in Business, experience in the systems, and is willing to put in the hard work for change. It’s time for a “Think Right” policy that puts the citizen needs first.
Yes, it is very important for the Tulsa City Council and the County Commissioners to work together. A County Commissioners job isn’t just roads and bridges. There are a variety of boards and commissions that comprise the entire system. This system is designed to move Tulsa County forward, develop private housing and private business opportunities. When these fail or the County Commissioners office fails to engage all of its citizens, specifically those outside of the Tulsa City area, then we have a continual decline of residences and jobs. As County Commissioner, I will ensure that the County Commissioners Office is engaged with not only the Tulsa City Council but the other Cities as well. These Councils and Commissions need to realize the benefits of a shared knowledge system between them. When knowledge is shared, partnerships are developed. When partnerships are developed we can better utilize the tax dollars we a so fortunate to receive.
Technology. Technology is here and we must utilize technology to our best ability. We are behind. Government is classically behind on a wide variety of things but technology is our week point. As an example, Tulsa County purchased a program called MUNIS. We use less than 5% of this systems ability. We pay a lot your tax dollars each year but yet we failed to successfully fully implement it. We must create a common goal, breakdown the barriers caused by each elected official, and implement technology projects that help the Citizen and Tulsa County employees to be the government the citizens want us to be. It’s not about any one area getting more attention, it’s about maximizing our effectiveness at serving the citizen. If you would like an easy example of how we make technology complicated for the citizen just go look at Tulsa County Open Data Initiative. This initiative was started at the same time brought these issues in light in 2015.
Right now it’s our levee system Commissioner Todd Kilpatrick. He is the one who is really fighting for our levee fix. Mr. Kilpatrick took a mound of old dirt, clay pipes, and 1950’s pumps and made it as safe as he could. Mr. Kilpatrick then began the process of pushing for our levee rebuild. He and his team saved Tulsa County during last year’s flood. These actions, multiple days and nights’ on-scene and making decisions with “common sense” are what made his area of government most effective. Let’s face it without people like this in our government we would have had a major catastrophe. But these great actions by a great team of employees should have never had to happen. The County Commissioners who fund this area have neglected it for years. Any normal business has plans for long term re-builds and improvements. Why didn’t this happen? Because we the citizens failed to elect those who are forward thinking. It's time for a forward thinker. -Dr. Josh Turley for Commissioner.