Bixby bridge meetings today


I'm sorry I haven't been giving the Bixby Bridge issue the attention it deserves. There have been a lot of developments in the last couple of weeks, and more will be happening today:

The Tulsa County Commission will meet to discuss the Bixby toll bridge at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Room 315 of the County Courthouse, 500 S Denver Ave, downtown.

The Tulsa City Council last week agreed on a consensus to ask, pretty-please-with-sugar-on-it, City Attorney Alan Jackere to issue an opinion on whether Tulsa County has the power to condemn land owned by the City of Tulsa and turn it over to the private developers building the Bixby toll bridge. (You would think that the City Attorney would be aggressively defending the City's prerogatives against encroachment from the County. You would think that the City Attorney -- appointed and unaccountable to the voters -- would eagerly cooperate with the City Council -- the people we elect to represent us -- but you would be mistaken.)

Last week, south Tulsa State Representatives Fred Perry and Pam Peterson submitted similar questions to the Attorney General:

May a county condemn (or acquire by the use of eminent domain) real property that is owned by municipality for the public good?

May a municipality condemn (or acquire by the use of eminent domain) real property that is owned by a county for the public good?

A municipality owns real property and has dedicated and set apart that real property to be used for the good of the public as a park. The county in which the municipality is located believes that such real property should be used for the good of the public as a road. Given the competing public interests of the municipality and county for the same piece of real property and the fact that the municipality owns such real property, can the county condemn (or acquire by the use of eminent domain) said real property from the municipality?

It will be interesting to see the AG's response, as it will pretty much make moot anything Alan Jackere has to say about the matter.

This week, the City Council will vote on a resolution opposing the Bixby bridge, and you are urged to show up and voice your support. Meeting is at City Hall (south of 4th between Denver and Houston Avenues) at 6 p.m.

Michael Covey, spokesman for the South Tulsa Citizens Coalition, which is fighting the bridge, will be on 1170 KFAQ this morning at 7:40. Last week, the South Tulsa Citizens Coalition filed suit against the County Commission. The suit alleges that the County Commission violated 19 O.S. 381 by entering into an agreement with Infrastructure Ventures, Inc., (IVI) without putting the matter to a vote of the people. The suit further alleges that the County Commission's agreement with IVI violates the Public Competitive Bidding Act of 1974 (61 O.S. 101 through 138). And because the commissioners exceeded their authority in so acting, they are being sued individually as well.

At last week's Council meeting, Covey pointed out that there is a deed restriction on the city park land which the County wants for the bridge. If it won't be used for a park, it must be used for some other charitable purpose, which presumably wouldn't include a for-profit toll bridge.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 7, 2005 12:22 AM.

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