The Osage County Courthouse in Pawhuska was opened in 1914. In recent years, there has been concern that the courthouse is deteriorating and some believe a new one needs to be built or the current one needs to be re-furbished. Others would like to see a courthouse annex in Skiatook.
Conversation surfaced once again at a recent Board of Osage County Commissioners meeting. District Two Commissioner Kevin Paslay said the same issues linger around the courthouse and even more have came to light recently. He let Jeff Raley speak on the subject. Raley ran a campaign lobbying for a re-furbished courthouse several years ago. Osage County voters voted against that measure.
Those figures include having an annex of some sort in Skiatook for residents in the southern part of the county to take care of basic needs. District One Commissioner Randall Jones is concerned about how many employees would have to work at the annexed office in Skiatook.
Paslay made it clear that he believes his constituents deserve an annex in Skiatook to make it easier to conduct business. He said that it is feasible and needed. Raley added that a compromise of some sort is the only way anything will ever move forward.
When the measure was voted on last, a committee was formed to see if the courthouse should be re-furbished or if it should be built downtown. After talking to residents across the county, the committee decided a re-furbished courthouse was the way to go.
Osage County District Attorney Mike Fisher, who was on that committee last time, would recommend holding town halls as they did last time. Raley added if they were to hold an election this year, the best time to do it would be June or August. He said it would be best to avoid the November election.