MAUGHAN ANNOUNCES MAYORAL RUN
Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan said today he would be a candidate in 2018 for Mayor of Oklahoma City.
Maughan’s announcement came after Mayor Mick Cornett announced he would not be a candidate for re-election. Maughan said he called Cornett to thank him for his years of service to the city.
“Mick Cornett has been an effective and eloquent advocate for Oklahoma City throughout his time in office,” Maughan said. “We have worked together on many occasions as locally elected officials to help make our community a better place. I thank him for his service.”
Maughan was first elected as District Two County Commissioner in 2008. He won re-election in 2012 with 75 percent of the vote and won a third term last November when he was the only incumbent county official to draw no opponent. A graduate of U. S. Grant High School and Oklahoma City Community College, if elected he would be the first mayor from south Oklahoma City in its history.
“My first and primary pledge, if I am elected mayor, is to represent all of the people, north and south,” Maughan said. “Happily there is less of the north-south divide in our city than at some times in the past, but I think it is time to bury that forever and assure that we are all working together to help Oklahoma City grow and prosper.”
Maughan said streets and infrastructure and public safety would be his top priorities as mayor.
“If there is any downside to the incredible renaissance our city has undergone in the past two decades, it is that we have outgrown the capacity of our police and fire departments to efficiently serve the public safety needs of our citizens,” he said. “Chief Bill Citty has made it clear that we need at least 200 more police officers to just bring us up to a national minimum average, and I take him at his word. The same holds true for the Fire Department. Our new attractions and parks are wonderful, but not if you cannot walk through them safely. Augmenting our public safety agencies should be the first priority of the next administration at City Hall.”
He said his years as county commissioner have taught him to manage road and bridge construction, a second key priority for the city in the years ahead.
Maughan has won national recognition for the SHINE alternative sentencing program he implemented in 2010. That and its companion program for young people, SHINE for Students, focus on volunteerism and community activism as key to building a healthier community.
“We have worked closely with the city on issues like graffiti removal through SHINE, and I intend to further strengthen that relationship as mayor,” he said. “This is a city of eager and caring and sharing people, as we’ve proved many times. That spirit is our secret ingredient and it makes sense for local government to harness it.”
Maughan said he would continue to serve as county commissioner, where he is currently chairman of the Oklahoma County Board of Commissioners.
Maughan won a reputation as a reformer soon after he took office as county commissioner. He fired a number of county employees who were caught using county equipment for personal use on county time, then fought efforts to raise the pay of elected officials when ordinary county employees were being ignored. More recently he called for the suspension of Sheriff John Whetsel after a critical audit of his spending practices resulted in a grand jury probe.
Oklahoma County commissioner calls for creation of trust to oversee sheriff's office.
Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan today called for the
creation of a non-political trust to oversee future operations of the
Oklahoma County Jail and the Sheriff’s Office.
“Like thousands of other Oklahoma County taxpayers, I have
been appalled by the financial mess that surrounds the Sheriff’s Office,”
Maughan said. “The most recent report by State Auditor Gary Jones which
showed more than $3 million in missing and unaccountable equipment
followed the previous revelations of mismanagement surrounding the non-payment of an additional $3.3 million in medical costs. No matter who is elected as our next sheriff, it is time to put some permanent safeguards in place to prevent this kind of scandal in the future.”
Maughan said he has long supported an independent trust to oversee jail operations. He said his new proposal would create an appointed trust of from five to seven members who would oversee and scrutinize all operations of the Sheriff’s Office.
Maughan was joined in his reform proposal by three other elected county officials – Court Clerk Rick Warren, County Clerk David Hooten and County Assessor Leonard Sullivan.
“The Sheriff’s Office receives the largest general fund appropriation in county government, yet all we hear from the current acting sheriff, Undersheriff Taylor, is how underfunded and broke they are,” Maughan said. “How can you take that seriously from an agency that can’t even account for 18 automobiles?”
Maughan said county commissioners have frequently voted to authorize the disposal of surplus or damaged property by the Sheriff’s Office, as they do for all county agencies.
“This audit shows that those requests were inaccurate at best,” he said. “The only recourse I can see to prevent this kind of mess from occurring again is to put adults who are advocates for the taxpayers in a position of authority over this agency.”
Maughan has been outspoken on issues related to the sheriff’s budget and spending practices since it was first learned that former Sheriff John Whetsel had failed to spend budgeted funds on jail medical services, running up a $3.3 million unpaid bill that has since resulted in a lawsuit against the Board of County Commissioners.
Last fall he twice moved to suspend Whetsel, but failed to win the support of the other two county commissioners.
Maughan focuses on safety in mayoral bid
by William Crum Published: February 28, 2017 12:00 AM CDT Updated: February 28, 2017 12:00 AM CDT
Brian Maughan says he would focus the attention of the mayor's office on building the ranks of police and firefighters, and on fixing streets before they deteriorate beyond repair.
Maughan, Oklahoma County's District 2 commissioner, announced last week that he would run for mayor of Oklahoma City in 2018, seeking to succeed Mick Cornett.
The next mayor needs to focus "on the things that matter most," Maughan said Monday.
He asserted public safety agencies have fallen behind as Oklahoma City has grown.
"You can't not proportionally increase your public safety force" to keep up with population growth, Maughan said.
"They are truly our heroes, and they've been working hard to hold down the fort, so to speak, but they need some relief."
Cornett, the longest-serving mayor in Oklahoma City history, announced last week he would not seek a fifth term in 2018.
State Sen. David Holt, Cornett's former chief of staff and a resident of the Quail Creek neighborhood, announced Sunday he would be a candidate for mayor.
Maughan, 40, was elected county commissioner as a Republican in 2008. He was re-elected in 2012 and won his third term last year, running unopposed. Maughan is a 1995 graduate of U.S. Grant High School, where he was student council president his senior year.
He earned associate degrees in broadcasting and public relations in 1999 from Oklahoma City Community College.
Maughan then went to work for Oklahoma County as a public information officer and economic development director for
then-District 2 Commissioner Jack Cornett.
He worked in public affairs for AT&T from 2004 to 2008. In between, he co-founded Marketing Dimensions. He described the firm's focus as issue advocacy and campaigns. Mick Cornett was a client for his first mayoral campaign in 2004, Maughan said.
As county commissioner, Maughan started S.H.I.N.E., an alternative sentencing program intended in part to reduce overcrowding at the Oklahoma County jail.
Offenders are diverted to community service tasks such as mowing, picking up trash and scrubbing graffiti. The option of community service can help offenders remain in their own homes and with their families, Maughan said.
An offshoot offers volunteer community service opportunities to students.
If elected mayor, Maughan said, he would seek to have alternative sentencing options offered through the city's municipal court.
Reinforcing public safety and maintaining infrastructure — roads, drainage — are priorities that cannot be neglected, Maughan said.
Deteriorating neighborhood streets contribute to blight and crime, while investments boost neighbors' morale and attract economic development, he said. "We have to keep our eyes on the prize," he said.
As chairman of the Oklahoma County Board of Commissioners, Maughan has a seat on the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber board of directors. His other posts include seats on the Community Sentencing and Drug Court boards. Maughan is a past president of Sister Cities OKC and the South Oklahoma City Rotary Club. He is a resident of the Rancho Village neighborhood in south Oklahoma City, where he grew up, and attends Southern Hills Baptist Church.
The mayor's office is a nonpartisan post, paying $24,000 per year. Oklahoma City's mayor is a member of the nine-member city council and presides at meetings.