Preserve Midtown surveys the candidates

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Preserve Midtown, a group working to protect the unique character of midtown Tulsa's neighborhoods through compatible infill development, sent a very short and sweet three-question survey to the candidates for Mayor of Tulsa and the four contested City Council seats.

PreserveMidtownSign-200.jpgThe questions deal with the city no longer paying INCOG to handle zoning and land use planning and bringing those functions under the City of Tulsa's own planning department, how the city should address damage from stormwater runoff from construction sites, and property owner accountability for methamphetamine labs discovered on their property.

With the exception of District 3, only one candidate in each race provided a written response: Tom Adelson (Mayor), Roscoe Turner and David Patrick (District 3), Maria Barnes (District 4), Jim Mautino (District 6), and G. T. Bynum (District 9). Another mayoral candidate, Mark Perkins, phoned in a response.

Dewey Bartlett did not respond, nor did two candidates who received the vast majority of their campaign funding from outside of their districts, much of it from development interests: Eric Gomez and Dennis Troyer. (Patrick has a similar funding profile. Given the amount of campaign cash he receives from developers and his voting record on the City Council, I would take his responses with a grain of salt. In the end, he will likely do whatever means more convenience and less cost to developers, no matter how it affects neighboring residents.)

Jim Mautino provided a characteristically thoughtful response to the INCOG question:

INCOG should be terminated as a contractor, Zoning and Planning should be incorporated into the Urban Development Department so that there is a continuity between community development plans and the actions of the City Planning Committee and Board of Adjustment decisions that are compatible with the community development plan.

Roscoe Turner gave essentially the same answer, but more forcefully:

Not just yes, but HELL YES! I've been saying this for the last decade. Tulsans should make decisions for Tulsa.

(By way of background: The Indian Nations Council of Governments is a regional planning agency, supported by and municipal and county governments in the Tulsa metro area. INCOG is governed by a board made up of representatives from each of those governments. At present, the City of Tulsa and Tulsa County contract with INCOG to provide support for land use planning. INCOG staffers maintain land use records, evaluate zoning changes, special exceptions, and variances, and make recommendations to the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission. Tulsa is the only city in Tulsa County that doesn't have its own city planning commission.

INCOG also handles regional transportation planning and often administers federal infrastructure funds targeted to this area. That function would not change under the aforementioned proposal.

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sidburgess Author Profile Page said:

But, how we would get grant money without INCOG? :)

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 8, 2009 9:03 PM.

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