TULSA - A vote which county leaders call vital for the future of the jail and the Juvenile Justice Center has drawn a lot of attention, but not many early voters; meanwhile, a mailer sent to many in the county contains what Sheriff Stanley Glanz calls false and misleading information.
County leaders, with the exception of County Assessor Ken Yazel, have all lined up to push for a sales tax extension that would expand the jail, provide better facilities for the mentally ill, and build a new Juvenile Justice Center.
The mailer many voters received claims that a new tax isn't needed, according to Yazel.
But Glanz says he requested a written proposal from Yazel as to how he would solve the problem, and in it, Yazel admits that at some point a .067-cent permanent tax will be necessary to continue jail operations.
But the need is immediate, county officials say, both for the jail -- which is chronically overcrowded -- and for the juvenile bureau, which is crumbling and badly overcrowded.
Voters will see two sales tax initiatives, one for the jail and the other for the juvenile center.
If both measures pass, sales taxes in Tulsa would remain the same as they would effectively replace a .067-cent city sales tax set to expire.
However, it would raise the sales tax in other county communities.
In other elections, Bixby voters will choose a new city councilor in Ward 4; Sand Springs also has a Ward 4 council seat open; Tulsa Public Schools has a school board position on the ballot; and Owasso Public Schools has two bond issues totalling about $4.6 million.