Roscoe wins!


The final results are in, and Roscoe Turner won handily over David Patrick to reclaim his old seat on the Tulsa City Council.

This creates a pro-taxpayer, pro-ordinary-Tulsan majority on the City Council, a coalition that brings together east, north, west, and southwest Tulsa and crosses party and racial boundaries. I don't have the actual vote totals -- I'm in upstate NY and there aren't any numbers available on the web -- but this result will boost our coalition's vote totals to near 60%, a landslide by any measure.

The question is whether these five councilors will be able to stick together and act as a majority, setting the agenda for the next two years, or whether the remnant of the "Class of '02" -- the four remaining Councilors who were recruited to serve the interests of the downtown elites -- will leverage their strong cohesion and be able to wield an effective majority by prying loose one of the other five from issue to issue, keeping the good guys on the defensive.

Mind you, that "Class of '02" is not a monolithic group: Bill Christiansen and Susan Neal have supported homeowners' interests on a number of issues, and Christiansen's initiatives on cost containment and efficiency at City Hall have been positive. They voted against F&M's rezoning at 71st & Harvard, and they did not take campaign money from F&M board members, unlike the other four members of their coalition.

Then you've got the "Gang of Four" -- they took thousands of dollars in campaign funds from F&M Bank board members, and they voted to silence homeowners when that issue came before the Council last fall. Two of the Gang have now been defeated. The remaining two extremists are now in charge of the City Council -- Randy Sullivan as Chairman and Tom Baker as Vice Chairman. As I've written, this shouldn't be, tradition notwithstanding. Randy Sullivan has made it clear he will not be an impartial moderator, and instead he is working to ensure that only his allies become presiding committee chairmen, a violation of the tradition of sharing committee chairmanships among several members. This move will give the "Class of '02" full control over the Council's agenda. Sullivan was given an inch, and he is taking a mile.

The war has been won, but the occupation is going to be a challenge.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 7, 2004 12:10 AM.

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