Tulsa blog roundup 2009/10/19

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I spent the last half of last week and all weekend at home dealing with a particularly nasty virus, and in the process missed a family gathering in Arkansas and what must have been an interesting political discussion. To compensate for the abnormal quiet in the house, I had the TV going all night, with the History Channel running endless repeats of an interesting two-hour documentary on the JFK assassination. I caught bits and pieces of it every time a coughing fit woke me up.

So nothing new from me, but here are some recent Tulsa blog entries of interest:

Tulsa City Councilor John Eagleton has the memo from Mayor Kathy Taylor announcing that September sales tax revenue is $1.2 million below her budget projections with this comment:

The numbers vindicate Councilor Bill Martinson's prediction that the Mayor's numbers were overly optimistic and would leave the incoming mayor and council with difficult budget choices.

Eagleton also was quoted in a story on the city's budget problems in the current issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly, reminding of his spurned efforts in earlier years to rein in spending increases to core inflation:

In 2006, he said, the economy was good, and sales tax receipts were high.

"And we spent every penny we earned," he said. "We gave raises all around that are now baked into the cake. So, it becomes harder and harder every time, with each budget cycle downturn, to meet our budget."

Eagleton favors a budget process based on the core inflation rate that sets aside revenue for the inevitable downturns of the future. Some smaller sacrifices today can help the city avoid having to make what he calls the "Draconian cuts" required in the current budget.

"If we had done that in 2007 and 2008, yes, we would still have to trim the edges, but we wouldn't have the eight furlough days we did have," he said.

Despite Tulsa's budget crisis, Meeciteewurkor reports that some city workers in the Human Resources Department may have received $2500 bonuses for "superb" participation in a city-run training program. The head of the local municipal employees' union says the interim HR director verbally confirmed that the "stipends" were paid and has submitted an open records request seeking written confirmation.

Fear an Iarthair offers some thoughts on Bible translations and reminds that the original preface to the King James Version "advised the reader to read the Scriptures in several translations."

Historic Tulsa has an entry on the Dawson schoolhouse, built in 1908, one of the few (perhaps only) Romanesque structures remaining in Tulsa.

PR consultant Mandy Vavrinak is now blogging on public relations for the Journal Record. According to a press release announcing the blog:

Vavrinak will anchor the newly-launched PR blog, dubbed "Public Relations > Beyond The Press Release" and will focus on the reality of good public relations.

"I want to share solid how-to info for businesses as well as stories from the trenches, good examples and bad examples, and also be a resource for PR information," Vavrinak said. The PR blog will feature contributions from other area PR pros as well, including Kristen Turley, an active member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). New posts will be appearing weekly, and comments are encouraged.

Finally, please keep Brandon Dutcher's newborn daughter Anne Marie in your prayers (and her parents, siblings, and doctors, too).

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5 Comments

I'll take all the kind words I can get! Thanks!

Sorry to hear about the young'un. But I betcha she pulls through and in the long run, is just fine.

You know, a certain karate expert I know fairly well manages to operate pretty well on only 39 percent lung capacity. It's amazing what modern technology can allow a person to do. 30 years ago, he'd pretty much be stuck in a wheelchair.

Brooksider Author Profile Page said:

The mayor has hired many very competent people who have good ideas and skills--for the private sector. They seem incapable of adjusting to the realities of public service. The rules of governing are not arbitrary; they exist to protect the citizens' (including City employees) rights. So elected and appointed officials can't just buy whatever they want, or hire whoever they want, but have to comply with City ordinances and policies. That is, until a mayor can replace civil service department heads with at-will appointees whose loyalties are not with the citizens but with the mayor. Cronyism and corruption follow. I am not accusing this administration of corruption, but through cronyism they have set the stage for it. The Council is supposed to be an equal authority, along with the City Auditor, to ensure good governance of the community. In general, this Council has failed as miserably as any I have seen. I get tired of saying, "At least Eagleton...." One Eagleton is not enough (and he is not right 100% of the time). The City Auditor, without an independent staff and budget, is hamstrung from the start. What the City does affects us all. People need to get serious about electing their councilors and mayor.

Bob said:

I'm sad to say there will be even less "Eagletons" in the next city council.

Councilor Martinsen got retired in the last election. As a CPA and company CEO, he has a really good head for budgets and numbers. Of course, he had to go. Replaced by:

A hot dog vendor who apparently most recently lived in Sand Springs....until the election?

Councilor Westcott barely squeaked through for re-election, opposed by the avaricious and insatiable tax-vampires known as the Tulsa Firefighter's Union.

Will they mobilize their mendacious minions in two years to defeat Westcott, or has their effort chastised his eagerness to look for budget savings where he apparently shouldn't be looking for savings, at all.....?

Councilor Bill Christiansen, who is the proverbial Hamlet who can't make up his mind on the City Council, survived an opponent well-funded by King Kaiser.

Barnes may knock off Gomez to reclaim her seat. Where's Gomez' campaign money coming from?

King Kaiser and his Kronies?

Troyer may hold off former City Councilor Mautino's attempt to reclaim his City Council District seat?

Where's Troyer's campaign $$'s coming from?

King Kaiser and his Kronies?

Former City Councilor and Democrat Roscoe Turner may reclaim his former city council seat from local Establishment throw-rub "Independent" David Patrick, with Patrick's funding provided by??

King Kaiser and his Kronies, again?

Is there a pattern here?

KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK....

Sorry, my keyboard got stuck from overusing the "K" key.

Isn't it CURIOUS why someone who lives in a different time zone, and is worth $Billions wants to control city government in a third tier city.....

Follow the money?

Oops.


Brooksider Author Profile Page said:

I wish it were that simple, that we could just blame George Kaiser, target him, and solve the influence problem in city government. But what about the Helmrichs, Siegfrieds, Zarrows, Warrens, and all the others who, it would seem, trade philanthropy for influence?

Wouldn't it be more realistic--and helpful--to figure out how to get greater public involvement, better ways to inform and educate voters--Bates can't do it all by himself--and create a better government ourselves?

Bob said:

Brooksider:

Good comments.

Yes, those local ruling oligarch families you cited do as well have much influence, and you can add Hardesty, Lorton, Schusterman and LaFortune families, as well.

I see King Kaiser as the most currently active of the Patriarch families in trying to directly and overtly influence our city government.

I just wonder why he bothers.

If the city government's bond underwriting business were actually competitively bid instead of sole-sourced to Bank of Kaiser, I believe the bank would be competitive nonetheless in going after this valuable business.

Bank of Kaiser also appears to have an inside track in controlling to my knowledge ALL city deposit account relationships, including those that provide a sinking fund for Tulsa's large bonded indebtedness.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 19, 2009 12:54 AM.

Roscoe Turner & Jim Mautino need your help was the previous entry in this blog.

Oklahoma's abortion-reporting law is the next entry in this blog.

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