Perry resigning county post
BY KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
2/12/13 at 7:10 AM
Tulsa County Commissioner Fred Perry announced Monday that he is resigning effective July 8, citing health issues.
Perry, 72, said he had a heart procedure last fall.
"Actually, my family wanted me to resign Jan. 1 of this year," Perry said. "But I had a number of things I wanted to get done, and also I wanted to make sure there was an orderly process for the election of my replacement."
Perry, a Republican, represents District 3. He is a former state legislator who was elected to the County Commission in 2006 and was re-elected in 2010. His current term expires at the end of 2014.
Perry said he plans to send a letter of resignation to the Governor's Office within the next few days.
When a county elected official's seat is vacated, the governor has 30 days to call a special election to fill the position.
Perry said he will recommend that Gov. Mary Fallin schedule the primary election for June 11 - the same day as the city of Tulsa's mayoral primary.
The general election would then be held Aug. 13, the date set for the primary runoff in the mayor's race.
Perry stressed that those dates would be his recommendation but that it is Fallin's decision to make.
"This will keep the expenses down because the city of Tulsa polls will be open, anyway," Perry said.
Perry said another reason he selected the July 8 resignation date is that it would leave his seat vacant for only four weeks.
Should a general election be required, Perry said, he likely would designate Tulsa County commissioners' chief deputy, Mark Liotta, to serve as his replacement from July 8 to Aug. 13.
The filing dates for candidates in the mayoral election are April 8-10.
For those same filing dates to be used for the county commissioners' race, the Tulsa County Election Board would have to receive notice from Fallin by March 27, county Election Board officials said Monday.
Perry's announcement - made during the county commissioners' regularly scheduled weekly meeting - came as a surprise to even his fellow commissioners.
"I had no idea ...," said Commissioner Karen Keith. "He has been such a mentor to me in this position, just in the way he has handled this position."
Commissioner John Smaligo, who served with Perry in the state Legislature, called him a man of integrity.
"I will always respect him for his hard work and dedication to serving his community," Smaligo said in a text message from Washington, D.C., where he is attending a conference. "I wish him the best in his much deserved retirement."
Perry said after the meeting that he was proud of the work he has done to make county government more transparent, the city-county "collaboration committee" he co-chaired with Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett, and the effort he championed to improve and add to LaFortune Park's tennis facility.
In the end, the decision came down to his desire to have more time to spend with his family and pursue other interests, Perry said.
"There are just some things I would like to do on this Earth that I can't do while I'm working," he said.
Tulsa County Commissioner Fred Perry plans to send his letter of resignation to the Governor's Office within the next few days. Gov. Mary Fallin is charged with setting a special election date.
Perry said he would recommend that the special election primary and general election dates coincide with the city of Tulsa's mayoral primary and primary runoff dates.
The mayoral primary is scheduled for June 11. The mayoral primary runoff - if needed - is set for Aug. 13.
If no one from one party files for Perry's seat and a candidate from the other party gets more than 50 percent of the votes cast in that party's primary, that candidate would replace Perry.
The filing dates for the mayoral election are April 8-10.
TWO MAY ENTER
Two former state legislators are considering running to replace District 3 County Commissioner Fred Perry, they said Monday.
Former District 76 Rep. John Wright said he will make his decision by the end of the week. Wright served 12 years in the Legislature before being term-limited in 2010.
Wright was hired by County Assessor Ken Yazel in November 2010.
"I am talking with my wife and am hearing from some folks who say I should give it a concern," Wright said.
Former Rep. Ron Peters said he is "seriously considering" running and would make his decision within a week.
He represented District 70 from 2000 to 2012 before being term-limited. He is co-owner of RelationsInc., a public relations firm.
Former City Councilor Bill Christiansen, who is running for mayor, said he will not seek Perry's seat.
"My love is for the city of Tulsa," Christiansen said.
Perry defeated Christiansen in the 2006 Republican primary runoff to become county commissioner.
Wright and Peters are also Republicans.
Kevin Canfield 918-581-8313
Fred Perry: Citing health issues, he plans to leave the District 3 office July 8, hoping for an orderly transition.
John Wright: The former state legislator said he's talking and listening.
Ron Peters: Also a former legislator, he said he'll make his decision within a week.