Now that Kevin Stitt has been governor for almost a week, some of the top priorities of his administration are starting to take focus. One of them includes spending millions of dollars to make the Oklahoma Governor’s mansion habitable.
Via News 9:
Governor Stitt is planning to move his family from Tulsa to Oklahoma City this summer, once his kids are through with school, but it’s not clear at this point just where he will move them.
That’s because the traditional residence for the state’s chief executive, the Governor’s Mansion, has fallen into disrepair.
Based on the “uneducated Derplahoma redneck” theme of her administration, I don’t think anyone really expected Mary Fallin to get her deposit back on the mansion. But how did she let the place fall into disrepair? We know how determined she was to keep the hot tub temperature at 104-degrees. How much damage did she cause?
In fact, the mansion is in need of millions of dollars in maintenance and repairs. Officials with the Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) roughly estimate that, between the mansion and other structures on the property, it will require $8 million in tax dollars to make all the needed repairs.
Holy shit! $8-million dollars? I know it isn’t cheap to deodorize ferret urine, but that seems expensive! Did Mary Fallin strip the copper wiring and convert every bathroom to a meth lab? Just how many Native American headdresses did Hipster Boo Boo hang on the walls???
News 9 has the details:
OMES is now conducting the first complete inspection of the mansion property in eight years.
The summary from the 2010 inspection included nearly two dozen high priority items “requiring immediate attention” — architectural, mechanical, and electrical in nature.
Documents obtained by News 9 show that the Fallin administration was preparing to do the work recommended in that report in 2015. Manhattan Construction had submitted a detailed proposal on the scope, timeline and cost of the work: $4.2 million.
A former Fallin spokesperson explained that, with the state facing a $600 million shortfall at the time, the decision was made to hold off on the maintenance work.
As a result, OMES officials say the problems identified in 2010 have only become worse. What’s more, they say, repairs are now needed at the other two structures on the property — the gatehouse and pavilion — leading to their recent estimate that a more realistic price tag on the needed repair work would be $8 million.
Okay, so it looks Mary isn’t directly responsible for most of the needed repairs. We actually knew that, but couldn’t resist the satirical and stereotypical deadbeat Oklahoma renter narrative.
Based on a tip, we actually filed an open records request with OMES in 2017 for all the mansion’s repair and work order requests. They sent us this spreadsheet that has every request from 2013 – 2017. We didn’t find what we were looking for in the files, but it’s long and exhaustive, and would even give Bob Villa some anxiety.
Anyway, with the mansion being in disrepair, what is the Stitt family going to do?
Both the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate say they understand the importance of the maintenance work and are willing to work with the governor to provide the needed appropriation.
In the meantime, Governor Stitt is considering other options, should the Mansion not be ready by the time he’s ready to move his family to the state capital. Harder says they are looking at possibly living in the Centennial House, a residence that belongs to the Oklahoma National Guard.
“That is on their property,” Harder said, “and has proper security, so there would not be a substantial cost to insuring the facility is secured. That is another option that we are looking into, just in case, because he really does want his family here and wants to get them here as quickly as possible.”
Move to the Centennial House? That’s weak. I have a better idea. Why don’t they just move a trailer onto the property and live out of that? Sure. It may violate Capitol Medical Center Zoning Codes, but they already have a spot reserved…