District 2: For Rick Westcott

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Westcott-20060410.jpgThere are some very powerful people in this town that evidently would rather not have grownups on the City Council. They'd rather have children, nine naifs easily led to the preferred conclusion.

But we ordinary citizens need grownups to look after our interests. We need people who have the intelligence to analyze the information they are given, look for gaps, and ask tough questions, and have the courage to say "no" or "wait" when it makes sense.

During my last run for City Council in 2002, I wrote an essay on why the City Council matters and what makes a good city councilor. It remains my standard for evaluating candidates for city office. I think the piece has held up pretty well. (So does a Fall River, Mass., city council candidate who decided to plagiarize it.)

District 2 City Councilor Rick Westcott meets the criteria I set out seven years ago. I'm happy to endorse his re-election. While I have had my disappointments with him on specific issues, his tenure has been marked by fortitude when it's mattered most. He stood firm with some of his colleagues in blocking some faulty mayoral appointments to authorities, boards, and commissions. He regularly insisted on more time to evaluate alternatives when Mayor Kathy Taylor was pushing the council to rubber-stamp her plans with haste. Westcott took a political risk to join Bill Martinson and John Eagleton in pushing for a closer look at the budgets of the police and fire departments (not voting for massive cuts, as the unions falsely allege) and the investigation of fraudulent EMS certifications in the fire department.

Early in his tenure, Rick and some of his class of 2006 colleagues made much of differentiating themselves from previous councils by refraining from "bickering." They've had their wake-up call; they now understand that merely speaking the truth, asking tough questions, and insisting on answers is enough to get you accused of bickering.

No Democrats filed for office, so Tuesday's Republican primary is the election. His opponent, Barton Ralph Rhoades, is in the midst of a bankruptcy, his third. Rhoades seems to have been recruited as an act of political vengeance by a mayor and a union that wish Rick Westcott would shut up and go away.

But Tulsa and District 2 need councilors like Rick, and I urge District 2 Republicans to re-elect Rick Westcott this coming Tuesday, September 8.

MORE: District 2 resident Jeff Shaw endorses Rick Westcott for re-election:

I'll be voting for Mr. Westcott in the Tuesday primary, and if you live in District 2, I encourage you to do the same....

He understands that in order to make big decisions, the big picture includes the details, and that includes scrutinizing every line of a budget.

There are self serving entities fighting against Rick, that do not believe in this type of responsible government. On the contrary, I expect it....

Beyond the budget, Rick is responsive and has done a good job during his term. I'll be happy to have him continue as a City Councilor come next Wednesday.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 2, 2009 10:12 PM.

Eric Gomez on SLAPP suits was the previous entry in this blog.

District 6: For Jim Mautino is the next entry in this blog.

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