Fairgrounds annexation approved

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It took a while, and everybody got to speak that wanted to speak, but the City Council voted 5-4 to approve the ordinance to annex the Tulsa County Fairgrounds. Voting in favor were Henderson, Turner, Barnes, Martinson, and Eagleton; voting against were Westcott, Troyer, Christiansen, and Carter. The emergency clause vote broke the same way, which means it failed -- two-thirds vote would be required to put the annexation into immediate effect. Without the emergency clause, it will go into effect sixty days after the Mayor signs the ordinance.

I'll be on KFAQ at 6:10 in the morning to talk about the debate and the vote, so tune in to 1170 and listen.

I was especially impressed with Councilor Martinson's comments. I've had plenty of disagreements with him on various issues, but his analysis of the pros and cons of annexation was flawless, just as impressive as his analysis of the city's financial constraints. His business and accounting experience is a real asset to the council.

As are the legal expertise and fearlessness of Councilor Eagleton. A highlight of the meeting was when he called fair board member Clark Brewster (the banty rooster) on Brewster's bluffing claim that the increased sales tax rate resulting from annexing the Fairgrounds would constitute a breach of contract with the Arabian Horse Show. Eagleton had the contract in hand, demanded that Brewster cite the paragraph to back up his claim, and then read the clause that clearly contradicted Brewster's claim. Eagleton's diligent digging for facts has diffused several of the bogus arguments leveled against annexation.

UPDATE 4/11: There are two complementary accounts of the City Council debate on annexation in the latest Urban Tulsa Weekly: Brian Ervin's news story on the debate, with details on why various councilors voted the way they did; and my column, on the factors that may influence Mayor Kathy Taylor's decision to sign or veto annexation.

UPDATE 4/18: David Schuttler has posted video on YouTube (thanks, David!) of the exchange between Clark Brewster and John Eagleton regarding the Arabian Horse Show's contract. I had forgotten that it was actually Bill Martinson who interrupted Brewster to ask him how a city action could cause a breach of contract between the fair board and the Arabian Horse Show. Brewster's reply, "The terms of that contract provides [sic] very specifically what their vendors would pay as a matter of tax," led to Eagleton's question, "Clark, which paragraph are you referring to?"

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6 Comments

XonOFF said:

I really didn't think they'd do it. But, they did. Great!

We have a lot of odd shifting of opinions by Councilors which give me the feeling everything's a horse trading negotiation rather than on the actual issues, however.

maury said:

I listened to you on the radio the other day discussing this with a councilman. I tend to agree with the councilman, it did sound like you had a bone to pick with the city council. His arguements sounded better then yours. No offense, just offering an opinion.

Shadow6 said:

If I would have known Carter would cave on the important things, I would have voted for Stavka.

Jeff Shaw Author Profile Page said:

Congratulations on all your hard work, Micheal. I know you didn't do it alone. Although I wasn't an annexation supporter, it shows how grass roots efforts really can have an impact on city.

Great work.

Paul Tay said:

Would someone PLEASE u-tube the Eagleton-Brewster exchange? It sounds RIOTIOUS!

If Brewster is willing to go to great lengths to make FALSE statements to Council and RISK some jail time, 10 days, as per 27 TRO 310, County must have LOTS to hide.

This vote is the PERFECT example of the GREAT American Democracy HARD at work, whichever side you are on. I flipflopped several times, with each new, sometimes BOGUS, info. EVEN the Sheriff is STILL trying to throw in a WRENCH. But, I'm convinced. Annex it, Mommy!

Props to Marty(I hate to say it. But, hey, CROW don't taste too bad with a whole lotta BEER.); Maria--She wasn't REAL sure of the consequences, but willing to take a flyer, a calculated guesstimate; Henderson and Roscoe; and, Legal Eagle Eagleton! I RARELY say this about Council: WAY TO GO for sorting it out for ALL of us!

P.S. Hey, Shadow6, Carter is NOT that bad considering the alternative Stava. He's just a little MISGUIDED on this one. I'm willing to give the kid a skate just THIS one time.

Shadow6 said:

Dear Paul,

Thanks for the thoughts on Carter. This is not a playground where you get do-overs. this is city government. I understand where you are coming from, but I don't have the time or patience for misguided souls. I expect my councilor to get it right, or they will lose my support.

We will see what he does if there is a veto override effort.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 5, 2007 10:21 PM.

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