Compromise or capitulation?

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Dear Mayor Taylor,

I read about your compromise proposal -- the City waives sales taxes on the Arabian Horse Show, the County allows the City Council to vote on any zoning changes at the fairgrounds, the County handles permitting at the fairgrounds.

Do you realize that none of this makes any sense unless you approve annexation? If you veto annexation, you lose any leverage you have over the county on the terms of this agreement. The county could renege tomorrow, and you'd have no recourse.

But if you sign the annexation ordinance, then you and the Council could approve sales tax waivers, permitting waivers and any other relief that you deem appropriate to address the County's concerns.

You're holding all the cards. Why are you folding?

And why didn't you include any of the city councilors in the negotiations with the County? They had to learn about the agreement through the news media. If you truly want to work with the council as fellow teammates working for Tulsa, it won't help if you show more deference to officials of another government than to the elected representatives of your own citizens.

I was disappointed when you won, but I consoled myself in thinking we were at least getting someone who was tough, someone who would aggressively represent the city's interests. Guess I was wrong.

And about that comment in the letter from the County Commissioners, saying that you could blow off the city councilors because they'd soon forget. I think you know better.

Of the five who voted for annexation, I've known four of them for many years. They aren't going to forget. This isn't like the legislature where they vote on thousands of bills in a four-month session. This was a major issue, and these councilors spent some political capital because they believed annexation was best for the City and would have no adverse effect on the County. You led them, and us, to believe that you agreed with them, and then you went behind their backs to cut a deal that leaves the City empty-handed.

This was a telling comment:

"She's been scared of the county since day one. First day she talked about it she was trembling, saying, 'They've got all the money,' " [Council Chairman Roscoe] Turner said.

That's the real problem here, isn't it? Your predecessor was so determined to get approval for a downtown arena that he handed the county the keys to the cash box. You had to go hat in hand to get extra money for the arena, and you'll probably have to go back again.

But the City Council has control of a lot of money, too. Do you think they're going to be inclined to vote for your utility rate hike when you just walked away from at least $300,000 in revenue?

Bill LaFortune put this city at a serious disadvantage, all for an arena that we didn't need and won't be able to afford to run.

At some point City officials have to stop being pushed around by the County and the suburbs. I'm not saying you have to go to war, just that you have to defend the City's interests without apology.

I hoped we'd elect a Mayor in 2006 that would do that. Chris Medlock and Don McCorkell would have. I thought you might, but evidently I was wrong. I guess we'll have to wait for 2010.

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6 Comments

W. Author Profile Page said:

Michael, considering that you endorsed the re-election of the miserable failure that was Mayor Bill LaFortune, I will take your criticisms of the current mayor with a truckload or two of salt.

Paul Tay said:

PIMP This Town Vote Paul Tay!

Paul Tay said:

Better yet, Mrs. Mommy 4 D1 Congress!

Bob said:

It's my surmise that Mayor Taylor was trading favors for some future needs funding from Vision 2025.

She can't very well approve the annexation against the wishes of the County Commissioners, and then next turn around and ask the same County Commissioners for sizeable additional funds if there are even more cost overruns on the Arena, or unannounced additional costs for the as-yet-to-be started Convention Center re-configuation, whose construction budget has been subsumed by cost overruns on the Arena.

Because there is NO CAP on the Vision 2025 tax collections, it's actually a giant, growing HONEY POT for the County Commissioners and their connected crony contruction companies (Flint and Manhattan), sub-contractors and suppliers to feast on for years to come - until 2016 to be precise.

And, then they'll of course ask that voters to extend or renew the 6/10 cent additional County sales tax. And, with their direct control of the County Election Board, they control the vote tabulation to ensure passage of EVERY county tax. With a little help from their lackeys in local government, construction companies, bond underwriters, and lastly the militant teachers unions, who trade support for every additional local Tax in return for support of never-ending School Bond issues.

It's all part of the local Favors-Trading network, feeding off of the beleagured taxpayer who are currently being pounded by $2.99 per gallon gasoline.

At this rate, we'll only be able to afford attending events at the Arena by walking to its events.

Paul Tay said:

Actually, considering the conundrum Bates must have gone through, I would have enjoyed Big Bad Bodacious Bill's re-election too!

sbtulsa said:

if the mayor was sincere about stopping the bickering she would address it on both sides of the conversation. saying you could "blow off the council" and they'd forget over time will not stop bickering but create it.

not showing up at the council meeting when the compromise with the county was discussed leads to mistrust on the part of the councelors and citizens. i wonder if the mayor has considered that average citizens in Tulsa will also not forget how she is handling this and other matters as mayor. when it comes time to vote again, no matter what the office she runs for, Tulsans will think twice about rewarding her.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 9, 2007 9:47 PM.

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