By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
Tulsa County residents are headed to the polls Tuesday morning.
On the ballot is a special election for the unexpired term of former Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz who was indicted in September on charges of refusal to perform official duty in regards to an officer-involved shooting. Glanz is accused of failing to release an internal investigative report to media, as well as another willful violation of law regarding taking a monthly stipend for travel within the county, despite using a county vehicle and county-supplied fuel.
Running for the unexpired term are Democrat Rex Berry, a 26-year veteran of the City of Tulsa Police Department, and Republican Vic Regalado, a 10-year veteran of the Tulsa SWAT team and lead homicide detective in 81 homicides. Berry was the lone Democrat to file for the candidacy, while Regalado won a landslide primary election last month, winning 40% of the vote in a crowded nine-candidate election. Whoever wins this election will only get seven months in office before the full-term election in November.
Also on the ballot is a County Question regarding Vision Tulsa, a 0.5% tax package. The tax would not be an increase on current rates, but rather, an extension of the Vision 2025 initiative that passed in 2003. Vision 2025 led to more than $650 million in economic development that has been used in projects in all 10 cities of Tulsa County. The flagship of the initiative is the BOK Center which has arguably been the crucial centerpiece in an ongoing Tulsa culture development that supporters are calling a "Tulsa Renaissance."
Specific to Sand Springs is the Keystone Corridor development plan that allowed the City of Sand Springs to purchase the old Early Childhood Education Center in 2007. The school district used these new funds to build a new state-of-the-art facility at 81st West Avenue and Park Road. The previous building was a century old and was formerly the segregation-era Booker T Washington high school for black Sandites. The old building was demolished as part of the clearing of the 30-acre "River West Development" site, which now includes an IHOP, Starbucks, and Holiday Inn Express.
The new initiative has many ambitious goals, including hiring more police officers and firefighters, street maintenance, a Gilcrease Museum renovation, improvements to the Tulsa Zoo, housing incentives for teachers at Tulsa Public Schools, Union, and Jenks, Route 66 beautification, and renovations for the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.