By State Rep. Rick West
I mentioned in a previous column that I met recently with Transportation Secretary Tim Gatz, addressing some concerns about area roads. I’m working on a date to have the secretary come down and meet with all interested parties, but in the meantime I got a detailed response from him to many of my questions.
Regarding the graffiti on the bypass at the bridge to Cavanal Hill, the secretary said he is happy to work with the city manager and any community leader that wants to participate in painting over the graffiti. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation would issue a permit and assist with any traffic control if necessary. We’re hoping to get this work done by April 8 before the Cavanal Killer run that is set for May.
The commissioner also addressed the surface condition of the frontage roads on U.S. 271 in Pocola. The frontage road between the ramps is on the ODOT system, the rest is on the county system. The secretary said there are absolutely some partnership opportunities for surface improvements. District 2 has offered labor and equipment, and ODOT would be happy to participate in a meeting to develop an effort to address the issues. As far as the erosion around the granite entry sign, that will be up to District 2.
The secretary addressed many other concerns as well, but they’re too numerous to mention in this one column. I will say the secretary is a great guy and seems very interested in helping us.
At the Capitol, we’ve started the committee process again with the House hearing Senate Bills. I am presenting Senate Bill 560 by Sen. Nathan Dahm in the House Judiciary-Criminal Committee. The bill provides that a person lawfully in a vehicle, who makes a reasonable effort to escape from a crowd unlawfully blocking the road and surrounding the vehicle shall not be subject to criminal or civil prosecution.
I also am running Senate Bill 1015, which allows an intergovernmental self-insurance pool to keep confidential records received from risk pool participants that can otherwise be obtained by those participants.
My House Joint Resolution 1003, which would have put the issue of legislative pay increases in the hands of voters instead of an appointed committee, did not get heard in the House this year. No joint resolutions were considered in the House. I will run this again next year, and I’ve been promised it will get heard.
Remember to listen to me on KPRV Radio each Thursday morning during the legislative session. And if I can help you with anything, feel free to call my Capitol office at (405) 557-7413 or email me at .
- Rick West represents District 3 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which includes part of LeFlore County