Jackson, Turner turned out

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I was pleased to hear this morning that Brandon Jackson and Ron Turner had withdrawn their names from reappointment to the TMAPC and the Tulsa Airport Authority, respectively. Both had drawn significant opposition based on their performance in office. Turner basically disqualified himself by saying that he would not appear before the Council for questioning, calling the Council a "kangaroo court."

That kind of contempt for the elected representatives of the citizens of Tulsa ought to be rewarded with a permanent ban from service on a board or commission. Future councils need to remember Turner's attitude.

Turner is a retired Brigadier General in the Air National Guard. Regarding Turner's contempt for the City Council, someone said that generals don't answer to privates. But generals do answer to the civilian authority of the President and the Congress. The reappointment process is the one opportunity the people of Tulsa have, through their elected representatives on the Council, to hold authority, board, and commission appointees accountable for their performance and judgment on these important boards.

Although they have withdrawn their names in writing, Turner's and Jackson's names still appear on tomorrow night's Council agenda, so it would be sensible for those in opposition to have a representative present, just in case. If they were to reverse themselves, the Council would have good cause to delay the hearing, since many opponents would have made other plans based on the news of their standing down.

In response to Turner's announcement, State Rep. Mark Liotta, whose district encompasses Tulsa International Airport, called on Mayor Kathy Taylor to appoint an airport neighbor to fill the seat on the Tulsa Airport Authority:

State Representative Mark Liotta called on Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor to appoint an airport area neighbor to the Board of Trustees of the Tulsa Airport Authority. "Mayor Taylor has an opportunity to appoint to the Board, someone who actually lives within the traffic and sound footprint of the airport." said Liotta. "This would be a great first step toward ensuring that all parts of Tulsa are given a voice."

"The board could only benefit from the perspective of an individual who understands the local effects of the airport on a daily basis." he said.

"Among the many active neighborhood leaders who are also airport area
residents, there should be no problem finding someone willing and uniquely able to serve their community."

The position became available when current member Brigadier General Ron Turner asked that his name be removed from consideration. General Turner had served on the board since 2002.

Liotta continued, "This individual would be keenly aware of the concerns of Tulsans who live within a mile radius of the airport, including neighborhood cohesion, street traffic patterns, industrial and commercial development, as well as airport noise abatement."

Rep. Liotta suggested that relations between the airport and its neighbors could be improved, "The best way to maintain good neighbors is by maintaining communication, and putting a neighbor on the board can certainly improve communication. This should have been a requirement for at least one of the board positions when the board was originally developed."

Representative Liotta's House district encompasses the entire Tulsa
International Airport and all the surrounding neighborhoods. Liotta has served in the House since 1996.

I can think of a number of excellent candidates, such as Carol Barrow and Laura Dowty of Layman Van Acres neighborhood (just south and east of the main runway) and David Schuttler, who has had to deal with all the problems in Cinnabar's management of the airport noise abatement program.

(I hope our new County Commissioners-to-be will take a similar step with regard to the Fairgrounds and put an Expo Square neighbor on the Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority.)

A majority of the City Councilors deserve credit for standing firm and asserting their right to ask questions and hear the concerns of the public on these controversial nominees. They held the line against Jim Beach's nomination to the Board of Adjustment, too, resulting in that nomination's withdrawal. Overall, the Mayor has gotten her way on over 100 nominations, so you can't fault the Council for scrutinizing only three of the Mayor's nominees.


Twatch said:

100 nominations - Too painful to contemplate.

Bob said:

How about Cliff Magee for the TAIT Board?

He's an expert on Aviation Law, and he's not part of the Good 'Ol Boys Network.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 23, 2006 10:42 PM.

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