“The goal that I’m working on now that’s taking up my time is looking at our county buildings and making sure we’re growing into the county’s future efficiently,” he said. “Compared to smaller counties, we have more buildings.”
Many of the county’s buildings are 20-plus years old and must be well-maintained to keep them operating efficiently, rather than becoming money pits that would burden taxpayers.
Of the 77 counties in Oklahoma, Cleveland County is the third largest with a population of 255,755, according to 2010 Census Bureau figures. That’s less than half of Oklahoma County’s population of 718,633 or Tulsa County’s 603,403, but Cleveland County outstrips both in growth, showing a strong 22.9 percent population increase over the last decade.
The county seat is Norman, the third largest city in the state with a population of 110,925, according to 2010 Census figures. Oklahoma City is No. 1 with a population of 579,999, and Tulsa has a population of 391,906.
Cleveland County also includes Moore, the seventh largest city in the state, and parts of south Oklahoma City.
As one of the most populous counties, Cleveland County has a great demand for court programs.
“Even though we don’t get in the judges’ business, we still look at those court programs,” Cleveland said.
Commissioners must be knowledgeable in how programs use county taxpayer dollars or county facilities. Commissioners also serve on the County Budget Board along with other elected county officials. County commissioners approve, contingent on recommendations from the district attorney’s office, virtually every contract that the county enters into for every county office.