City Hall shuffle


I have it on good authority that Mayor Bill LaFortune plans to appoint Clay Bird as his chief of staff and City Councilor Sam Roop as the City's Chief Administrative Officer.

This is an interesting move as it throws the balance of power on the Council into question, and it may represent an attempt to break the Reform Alliance majority by other means, as the recall effort seems to be faltering. Depending on how soon the appointment takes place, the new City Councilor will either be chosen in a special election or appointed by the remaining members of the Council. Replacing by appointment would be a messy business, with the Council split 4-4 between the Reform Alliance and the Cockroach Caucus. Unless the City Attorney's office comes up with yet another creative interpretation of the City Charter, a vacancy before March 14, 2005, means that a special election will be called to fill the seat. (An example of a creative interpretation -- saying that because it's less than a year before the 2006 election filing period the vacancy must be filled by appointment.)

If Roop takes the job, it will also remove him as a possible primary challenger to LaFortune in 2006. It will be interesting to see if other possible challengers are handled in a similar way.

Meanwhile, the Cockroach Caucus seems to be attempting an end-around to break up the Reform Alliance. Councilors Bill Christiansen (District 8) and Randy Sullivan (formerly a resident of District 7, which is now unrepresented) have been seen schmoozing Councilors Roscoe Turner and Jack Henderson, the two Democrats in the Reform Alliance, and it's rumored that the South Tulsa Rotary Club (of which Sullivan and Christiansen are members) is promising a substantial amount of money for projects in north Tulsa, the area represented by Henderson and Turner.

If the strategy is to buy Turner's and Henderson's loyalty, it won't work, and it demonstrates the Cockroach Caucus's contempt for their integrity and the Caucus's failure to understand what motivates their service. It would be easier for certain special interests if all public officials were venal, but the rest of us can be thankful that at least a majority on the Council have higher motives.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 11, 2005 9:39 AM.

Mayor going wobbly on charter change? was the previous entry in this blog.

Dissin' Terry is the next entry in this blog.

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