By Chris Day
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The idiom, “Time and tide wait for no man,” also applies to county government.
Payne County Commissioner Chris Reding said the learning curve has been steep. He took office on Jan. 1, replacing longtime District 2 Commissioner Gloria Hesser, who didn’t seek re-election.
“... We hit the ground running. The county government was already moving pretty fast. We, pretty much, had to jump on and get ready. Government doesn’t stop just because the people change,” Reding said.
The services county government provides continue, he said.
Reding visited the NewsPress studio Thursday for another webisode of the newspaper’s public affairs program “Conversations with ...” Following our excepts from the interview. The full webisode is available on the NewsPress web site, www.stwnewspress.com. Click on the multimedia menu bar. It’s also available on the NewsPress’ You Tube channel, www.youtube.com/stwnewspress.
Utility crossing permit applications are available online at www.paynecounty.org. What affect has this made on county government?
“We used to have a form, and then it changed and changed. The companies that used those forms had their copy and they’d make copies of it and fill it in. At the meetings, we would get three or four different forms doing the exact same thing. One of the things that we wanted to do was not only streamline the form to make it easier for them to fill out and easier for us to read but make it available online so they could go to our website, hit the button, print the form, fill it out and submit it. Everytime they print it out, it will be the latest form so they would have the best information and the easiest form each time.”
The Payne County Administration Building recently received an interior facelift. Can you explain that process?
“The county administration building, which really kind of surprised me, was actually built 12 years ago. It doesn’t seem like it has been around that long. In that time, it’s been a building that’s been used a lot. We noticed there were a lot pinholes in the walls and the corners have been sort of scuffed up. We wanted to freshen it back up. We realized it costs just as much to paint it the same color as it does to paint it different colors. We worked up a color palette the different offices could pick from and the colors also would all go together. The building would still retain a unified look even though there were different colors throughout the building. We gave every office the opportunity to change their colors if they wanted to. We, just basically, painted the building. It needed to be touched up anyway. We just went ahead and made it a very nice looking, professional building.”
How can the Payne County Administration Building and Payne County Courthouse be made more energy efficient?
“Like everything else in the last 10 to 15 years, technology has made such huge strides in just about every area. LED light bulbs are one of those things. The fluorescents save a lot over the incandescents, but the LEDs save a lot over the fluorescents. When we had a light bulb go out in the elevator, we replaced all six of those with LEDs. We went from 45 watts per bulb to 4 watts a bulb. You multiply that by six for light bulbs that are on 24 hours a day, seven days a week we ended up saving the county about 250 bucks a year just by switching light bulbs. We are for the same kind of things as light bulbs go out as things needed to be replaced we are looking at the newer technology. Not the cutting edge were it may not be fully developed, yet. LED light bulbs, at this point, are getting to the point where they are robust enough to live up to their lifetime claims.”