Double-secret Council meeting about moving City Hall

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Actually, it isn't secret. It has been officially posted, but it seems to have been scheduled for a time (Saturday morning at 8:30, in room 201 of the City Hall tower) that would be unlikely to draw spectators, and it appears that part or possibly most of the meeting will be conducted behind closed doors in executive session. Here's the agenda:

Unless otherwise noted, the Council may discuss and/or review the following items:

01. Discussion regarding the proposed consolidation of City offices at One Technology Center located at 100 S. Cincinnati Ave. 07-529-3

02. Council may consider a motion to enter Executive Session pursuant Title 25 O.S. Section 307 (B)(3) to discuss the purchase of the One Technology Building. 07-529-4

03. Leave Executive Session regarding the discussion related to the proposed consolidation of City offices at One Technology Center. 07-529-5

04. Adjournment

The cited section of law includes the following item in a list of permitted purposes for executive sessions of public bodies:

Discussing the purchase or appraisal of real property;

The law further provides in subsection D:

An executive session for the purpose of discussing the purchase or appraisal of real property shall be limited to members of the public body, the attorney for the public body, and the immediate staff of the public body. No landowner, real estate salesperson, broker, developer, or any other person who may profit directly or indirectly by a proposed transaction concerning real property which is under consideration may be present or participate in the executive session.

While the discussion of the purchase or appraisal of One Technology Center is a valid reason for going into executive session, I would argue (and I hope that the councilors and other members of the press argue) that discussing the total costs of moving to OTC, the estimate and comparison of operating costs in the current facilities and at OTC, the sources of funds for a move to OTC, and any other aspect of moving city offices to a new building are not within the legally permitted reasons for an executive session and should be discussed in open session.

UPDATE, Saturday 1:00 p.m.: I was there this morning, and they spent three hours in open session covering a wide range of issues. I was proud of the job the City Council did this morning. Vice Chairman John Eagleton did a fine job of keeping the meeting on track. (Chairman Roscoe Turner had been scheduled to be out of town before the meeting was called.) Councilor Bill Martinson presented his analysis of the financial situation along with a list of questions drawn from his years in the real estate business. Every councilor had some significant question or point to make about the financial analysis presented by the Mayor's office. More details later, and in my column.

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Paul Tay said:

Which may open the possibility of a citizens' lawsuit. Bledsoe, are ya game?

Bill Moeller said:

The more I see and hear of this proposed move, the more it smells. For example, why is the mayor afraid to post the entire "study" on the city's website?

Ann said:

My goodness they are behaving just like our HOA board. Interesting article below reflects that the problems don't end with city council - what about this matter regarding judiciary??? Scares me.


Concerned said:

Has the Tulsa World Newspaper or any local TV channels reported on this?

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 22, 2007 11:39 PM.

"There's an elephant in the room, and it is you" was the previous entry in this blog.

City Hall move; Buried Car recap; Tulsarama revisited is the next entry in this blog.

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