City Council Thursday is must-see TV


The agenda for Thursday night's City Council is up, and there could be fireworks aplenty.

Early in the program, the Mayor's appointees to the Vision 2025 sales tax overview committee will come before the Council. The appointees are David Paddock, Kevin Crosser, John Benjamin, Tony Ringold, Fred Ramos, Liz Hunt, and David Elsworth. David Paddock is immediate past president of Brookside Neighborhood Association. Liz Hunt is current president of Tracy Park neighborhood association. Fred Ramos is president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is a resident of Jenks.

Then there's John Benjamin, former City Councilor. Benjamin was the point man for "It's Tulsa Time" -- the 2000 attempt to raise sales taxes for a new sports arena. He's responsible for encouraging Randy Sullivan to run for council in 2002. He is a true-blue Chamber pot. His endorsement of Terry Simonson did a lot to alienate grass-roots Republicans from Terry's 2002 mayoral campaign. Having him on this committee is like the proverbial fox guarding the henhouse.

I don't know the other three at all. I am told that at the Council committee meeting, all but one of the seven indicated that they were enthusiastic supporters of all four propositions.

Then Monte Dunham is being reappointed to the City Board of Adjustment -- the Board that considers special exceptions and variances from the zoning laws. Mr. Dunham is yet another example of the dominance of development and real estate interests on boards dealing with zoning and land use planning. He's also an example of how not much seems to have changed since Mayor LaFortune was sworn in on April 1, 2002. The same people as before are in charge of the departments and sitting on various boards and commissions.

After that you've got the 41st & Harvard rezoning case -- another controversy involving the conversion of residential to commercial (a Wal-Mart neighborhood market) contrary to the Comprehensive Plan. Here's an earlier entry explaining the case. In this case, the planning commission voted 5-4 to recommend approval -- a very slim margin indeed. The neighbors who are fighting this would appreciate your presence and support Thursday night at 6 pm at City Hall. If you can't be there, drop your councilor a line at, where the X is your district number (1 through 9).

Then the Council may be voting to override a veto for the first time in history over the issue of managing the City's use of cellphones.

Be there if you can, otherwise catch it live on C-SPAN Thursday night at 6 p.m., or on Cox Cable 3 Saturday morning at 6 a.m.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 17, 2003 3:49 AM.

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