Mayor going wobbly on charter change?


A rumor has reached me that Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune may veto the charter change proposal that was passed unanimously by the City Council last week, which would keep the proposal off the April bond issue ballot. The proposal would restore the ability of property owners affected by a zoning change to file a protest petition. A sufficient petition would require the zoning change to receive supermajority approval by the Council. The charter change would restore a long-standing protection against arbitrary and capricious changes which can damage property values, a protection that was removed by a slanted City Attorney's office ruling -- a ruling that had to do more with positioning for a lawsuit than with fair interpretation of the law.

If Bill's going wobbly again, it means his developer buddies, who are used to getting whatever zoning change they want, have been beating down his door, probably threatening to come after him like they've gone after Councilors Medlock and Mautino. If you want the chance to vote to restore this protest petition protection, you need to let the Mayor know you expect to see it on the ballot, and if it isn't there you'll feel betrayed. As Brad Colvard pointed out to the Council, the charter change proposal will help the infrastructure bond issue pass, because it represents a promise to the people that the City has kept. If the proposal is taken off the ballot, it would be a breach of faith with the citizens of Tulsa, and I believe it will damage the bond issue's chances -- as well as Bill LaFortune's future prospects.

Someone has said that Bill LaFortune is like a pillow -- he bears the imprint of the last person who sat on him. I'd like to believe that assessment is wrong, but it's up to the Mayor to demonstrate otherwise. You might wish to give him some encouragement in that direction:

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 11, 2005 8:29 AM.

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