HFFZ on water board reappointments


I received this via e-mail from Homeowners for Fair Zoning, requesting Tulsans to express their opposition to the reappointment of two controversial water board members, which will be on the agenda at Thursday night Tulsa City Council meeting. It includes a good overview of the reasons for rejecting the reappointments:


Councilor Sam Roop (e-mail dist5@tulsacouncil.org) is set to reverse a lot of effort of the Reform Alliance of Five City Councilors who, with his support, have declined to confirm the Mayor's reappointment of Jim Cameron and Lou Reynolds to the Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority (TMUA). For background on this issue read BatesLine: Picking at a scab. Although Councilor Roop has announced his intention to reverse his position and confirm these nominees, you are requested to e-mail him your thoughts under the subject caption of "Please do not confirm appointments of Cameron and Reynolds." The confirmation vote will likely be at the 6:00 p.m. Tulsa City Council Meeting on November 18th.

The TMUA is Tulsa's water board. Through bonded indebtedness, the citizens of Tulsa pay for the infrastructure (pumping stations, water lines, sewer lines, water treatment facilities, etc.) which provide our water system, including water to surrounding communities like Broken Arrow, Jenks and Owasso. The Mayor is demanding that two current board members, Mr. Cameron and Mr. Reynolds, be reappointed to TMUA. Aside from potential conflicts of interest, there are several good reasons not to confirm the reappointment of these longtime board members.

Anyone who has been in their appointed positions as long as these two men have has stopped examining the basis for their decisions and policies. As indicated by their discussion before the City Council, if confirmed, they will continue to support a water board policy of extending water service to those areas, inside or outside of Tulsa, which can demonstrate an immediate need for the facilities and at the same rates paid by citizens of Tulsa. Decisions for future extensions of the water system will not be principally based on developing areas within Tulsa. To these nominees, the idea of extending lines within North, East and West Tulsa to interest and draw business development is considered overly speculative. Furthermore, they consider linking loss of sales tax for the suburbs to increased water rates as beyond their purview. They do not view the water
board as a potential revenue generating source for the City.

When some members of the City Council, led by Councilors Mautino and Medlock, tried to question whether it would be practical to charge a higher rate for water service to communities outside Tulsa to offset the loss in sales tax revenue which Tulsa suffers when those communities develop and lower Tulsa's sales tax base, TMUA staff delayed furnishing information and a massive turnout of those who stood to benefit financially by not having the water rates and location of pipeline extensions examined was used to try to intimidate these councilors.

Since Jim Cameron and Lou Reynolds lead and for all practical purposes set the policy of TMUA, their reappointment will also confirm these policies and prevent a highly desirable examination of what Tulsa's future water policy should be. For Tulsa's sake, it's time to examine water policy. Let Councilor Roop know what you think!

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 9, 2004 8:15 PM.

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