Medlock relaunches website


Tulsa City Councilor Chris Medlock has relaunched his website as a way to get his perspective on City Hall controversies directly to the public, unfiltered by the media.

For example, there's this article about Mayor LaFortune's response to the reforms to the Economic Development Commission approved by the Council. An excerpt:

So here we are. We have an ordinance in place that broadens the scope and responsibilities of the EDC, so that the members, chosen by LaFortune, can now look beyond the confines of just the Hotel/Motel Tax, to begin looking at all elements of our city's economy. We have an ordinance that requires from any contracting organization (the ordinance never directly mentions the Metropolitan Tulsa Chamber of Commerce) full disclosure of how tax dollars are spent. The ordinance ensures that all areas of Tulsa will be represented, rather than two or three zip codes. We have an ordinance that deals firmly with conflicts of interest and empowers a majority the city council to remove members for cause (note: "cause" is defined in our City Charter. As such, you need better reason to remove an EDC member from the commission than you need to remove a councilor from the City Council).

While it is true that Mayor LaFortune offered the council an alternative ordinance, he did so just hours before we were set to vote on the council's version. I had met with the Mayor and his aide, Tom Warren, on the Wednesday preceding the vote. This meeting was to discuss the handful of minor changes that the Mayor had suggested in the Legislative and Public Safety committee meeting the Tuesday before. As he left the meeting, (ironically to meet with Metro Chamber Chairman Bob Poe), we were all still under the understanding that the Mayor would suggest some small changes to reflect his earlier statements. But that was a faulty assumption.

Rather than some minor tweaking, we got what amounted to a virtual rewrite. Please remember that the ordinance in the form that was ultimately passed, was the result of dozens of meetings with the feed back and compromise of dozens of stakeholders. What the Mayor presented to the council was a document better suited for an opening negotiation, not for an 11th hour alternative. What the mayor proposed couldn't have been more devoid of serious reform, if it had been written by Chairman Poe himself. ...

Last minute delays are becoming a hallmark of this administration. Appeals for "reasonableness" and "not rushing things" can often be compelling. But when they become mantras of confusion or ill preparedness, then ending the discussion and moving on becomes a rational act. What is irrational is to consistently stall in hopes of an issue merely going away, or resolving itself through other's efforts.

The mayor is certainly within his rights to veto. In fact, those of us who voted for the ordinance expected he would do so before we ever entered the council room. However, all acts convey something about the person taking the action. In this case, should the mayor veto, we will learn that he is more interested in the promises that will secure him votes for the next election, rather than keeping the promises that won him the last election.

The site is still under construction, but it should be worth regular visits. I hope Medlock will look into adding blog software to his site, which will make it simpler for him to add new content while keeping the old content available. And a wiki would be perfect for the "Players' List" he plans to add -- as a way to allow Tulsans to explore all the connections between various players in city government.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 11, 2004 2:10 AM.

Not entirely above board was the previous entry in this blog.

Homeowners for Fair Zoning website is the next entry in this blog.

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