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Oklahoma County District 1 candidates weigh in on budget board issue

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Prior to Tuesday's primary, Oklahoma Gazette asked each Oklahoma County commissioner candidate, "Do you support the reinstitution of the Oklahoma County Budget Board?"
 
The board, comprised of all county elected officials, determines the county's budget each year. It was eliminated two years and reinstated this summer.

RESPONSES
Bart Bates, Democrat (top left)
"I support the Budget Board. That allows everyone to participate in the Budget Board process rather than have the commissioners doing it all by themselves. All of the officers are elected to serve and have needs. They shouldn't have to go to the commissioners. They should be involved in the process."

Fannie Bates, Democrat (middle left)
"Yes. We need balance of power. Without the Budget Board, county commissioners have too much power."

Debbie Blackburn, Democrat (top right)
"The county Budget Board is now operating again with all county officers being a part of the budget process. I have no problem with that approach at all."

Forrest Claunch, Republican (middle right)
"Yes, the Budget Board can work effectively."

Bill Hoag, Republican (not pictured)
Hoag did not return phone calls by press time.

Willa Johnson, Democrat (bottom left)
"I strongly support the county Budget Board. I believe we make better decisions when the elected officials responsible for operating Oklahoma County government are working together to develop the budget. The Budget Board also helps ensure taxpayer dollars are spent more efficiently by forcing us to work together to prioritize the needs of the county and put the resources where they are needed the most."  

Ann Simank, Democrat (bottom right)
"I do support the reinstitution of the county Budget Board and understand it has been reinstated effective June 30, 2007. This process provides an open forum with discussion and input from each of the elected county officials and all citizens who attend. County government, including the budget process, must be open and transparent." "Scott Cooper

For the full story, pick up a copy of Oklahoma Gazette.

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