Recall quid pro quo

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UPDATE: Chris Medlock has posted his account of this matter and how the story wound up in the Saturday World.

For the second time now, an quid pro quo offer has been passed along to Tulsa Councilor Chris Medlock: Support us on our pet issue, and we'll call off the effort to recall you from office. There's an interesting connection, one not immediately obvious, between the two offers that have been made.

The most recent such offer came via a very high ranking city official, who ought to realize that his involvement in passing along such an offer practically makes him an accomplice in offering a bribe to a public official. If the Mayor's administration was really serious about blocking the recall, this official -- known as a moral, scrupulous family man -- ought to go straight to the U. S. Attorney and offer to wear a wire for his next conversation with the source of the offer.

The quid in this instance is to vote in favor of granting an easement through city-owned land to a private company which plans to build a bridge across the Arkansas River near Yale Avenue. The bridge would connect south Tulsa with sparsely developed areas in the western part of Bixby and its fenceline, as well as the southeastern corner of Jenks. The name of the company is Infrastructure Ventures, Inc. If built, the bridge would open a large area for new development, none of it in the City of Tulsa, which may be why the bridge builders are concerned about City Council approval -- Tulsa would again be boosting development in other municipalities, while Tulsa's own public services and infrastructure are neglected. If the Council refuses to grant the easement, Infrastructure Ventures would get Tulsa County to condemn the city-owned land. Tulsa County is a partner with Infrastructure Ventures -- the county will provide emergency services and snow and ice removal, in exchange for 10% of toll revenues after 10 years.

The previous offer made to Medlock, near the beginning of the recall push in November, required him to stop the second phase of the Council's airport investigation from going forward. The second phase was to involve scrutiny of the contracts for personal services (such as public relations and legal work) and other contracts for services.

One major contract that would be scrutinized in the second phase involves a federally-funded noise abatement program for residential areas on the approaches to Tulsa International Airport. There have been numerous complaints about the way this program has been administered -- one affected homeowner has documented the shoddy workmanship and written about the interesting political connections of Cinnabar, the company that has the contract with Tulsa Airports Improvements Trust to manage and implement the noise abatement program. (I wrote something about Cinnabar and the noise abatement program last May.)

So we come to the interesting connection between the two offers made to Medlock:

The Chairman and CEO of Cinnabar, a company that would be investigated in Phase 2 of the council airport investigation, is William S. Bacon.

The President of Infrastructure Ventures, the company that will build and operate the Yale Avenue toll bridge, is William S. Bacon.

(You'll find more discussion about the airport noise abatement program here and discussion about the Yale Avenue toll bridge here.)


Annon said:

How much Ad Valorem tax would Tulsans be giving up by donating City-owned land to this bunch? An easement doesn't seem the proper vehicle.

After all, a private, for-profit enterprize (toll bridge) is nothing more than a storefront.

And, why didn't this bunch negotiate their deal with the City instead of the County? Seems to me the landowner would be the first point of contact.

The city should get something out of this, especially if they own the land. But, appears they expect us to build this 'pipeline' to ship people, jobs and sales taxes out of the city.

Bend over, this'll only take a minute.

Anonymous said:

I am sickened by the city of Tulsa's actions trying to oust city councilors from office for trying to Improve Tulsa. I am appalled at what I have NOT seen in the local paper. (which, by the way, I will NEVER lay eyes on again!) Please keep up the good editorials in your Batesline on the net and I hope that a national media company will take interest in the unmitigated corruption that has gone on too long in the city of Tulsa. Thank GOD for Jim Mautino and Chris Medlock. I do appreciate your concern for Tulsa and you have my full support. A registered voter in Tulsa

Mark said:

Good post, thanks Bates for all you do!

LaFortune was at ORU chapel on friday with the full support of Richard Roberts in everything he does. I almost wanted to laugh.

I edited a comment above because it was clear from the message that the commenter did not intend to have his/her name and e-mail address on display. Just a reminder that when you post a comment through this form, everything is automatically published. (If you specify a URL, that's displayed instead of the e-mail address.) If you want to communicate with me privately, send me an e-mail.

David S. said:

Nice damage control piece in the TW Sunday.They forgot to mention 2 other Cinnabar projects involving controversy.

71st & Harvard involving Ralph Jones jr and the airport sound abatement.. Oh well guess it wouldn't be much damage control then

Not a usual habit but I did buy a TW today,sorry...

David S. said:

Sorry I wanted to write the 61st & Harvard widening and not 71st...

Kellie said:

I am so dismayed at the people of Tulsa. I don't know if it is sheer ignorance or just a lack of knowledge. What will it take to have all this good ole boy networking stopped.

Concerned Citizens said:

To stop the "good-ole-boy" network will take each of us talking to our friends and family members
(and @ any other opportunity we get)....helping get the word around to NOT rely on the T.V. or Tulsa World for their information. Supporting other avenues for the news:, Beacon newspaper, KFAQ radio and other sources of reliable information.
Becoming a part of a neighborhood association that stays current with issues and learns about the processes within local, state and national levels of government. Supporting grassroots candidates for elected offices and pray they aren't changed by their exposure to the "system".

And with all that,still........the situation in Tulsa is near a point that warrants a GRAND JURY INVESTIGATION of the entire city government. We had that several years ago, at the county level....and boy, did it clean house! There is sure something that needs cleaning, as it is getting "stinkier" by the day!

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 26, 2005 11:23 PM.

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