Thoughts on the District 4 race


I had posted this on the Tulsa Now forum, and I thought it was worth posting here as well. It was in response to someone who said I was against Jack Wing solely on the basis of his mailer, which I criticized in my column:

I used Wing's letter as a "hook" to criticize similar themes that many candidates are using this year. I've heard good character testimonials about Wing from people who have worked with him, I enjoy listening to his Boston accent, and I feel a kinship with anyone who has the guts to run for office without shaving off his beard. But I strongly endorsed Maria Barnes in the Democratic primary, because she is far more qualified for the job.

... Maria has exactly the kind of resume you'd hope for in a District 4 candidate. She's well-known and well-respected around City Hall. She's the only candidate with an up-to-date and direct working knowledge of neighborhood planning, zoning, urban redevelopment and eminent domain, code enforcement -- all key aspects of city government for district 4 neighborhoods. She understands the kind of support neighborhoods need from a City Councilor. Her work on the human rights commission and various citizen/police department committees is valuable experience, too.

My endorsement of Morlan in the Republican primary was and is somewhat tentative. I wish I could be an enthusiastic supporter of Brinkley's because he is a good guy, does good work with the BBB and civic groups, but he would go into the office as a kind of blank slate on city issues. Also, he doesn't own a home in Tulsa -- he rents an apartment in University Club Tower -- although he does own a small house in Collinsville.

Morlan isn't the most charming fellow, and I don't agree with every position he has taken, but at least he has bothered to engage the issues and to go on record. An attorney friend who has dealt with him says he's solid, honorable, if a bit of a bulldog. Morlan has city government experience, although it isn't recent. He is a homeowner, involved in his homeowners' association, and is a business owner in downtown, and that would be a useful perspective to have on the Council.

I was disappointed that both Brinkley and Morlan came out against the charter change that would restore the zoning protest petition supermajority, and particularly disappointed with Brinkley's reasoning. I hope they'll both reexamine the issue. It's not my sole issue by any means, but it reveals how they may understand and approach related land use issues.

Wing had expressed opposition to the change at an earlier forum, but [at the Renaissance Neighborhood forum] he said he supported the change. Barnes has been aware of the issue since it emerged two years' ago, when the City Attorney struck down the protest petition ordinance, and she understands why it's important for homeowners to get that protection back.

If you want to read for yourself what Morlan has to say about the issues, visit his website.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 5, 2006 10:18 PM.

Faith and city politics was the previous entry in this blog.

Neighborhood servants is the next entry in this blog.

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