Tulsa District 4 Democratic primary: For Maria Barnes

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Tulsa City Council District 4 is unique in having two seriously contested primaries. In the Democratic primary, I'm pleased to endorse my friend Maria Barnes.

I've known Maria Barnes for over a decade, through her role as Kendall-Whittier Neighborhood Association president and fellow board member of the Midtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations. From her many years as a neighborhood leader, Maria understands zoning and land use planning and how they affect the quality of life in Tulsa's neighborhoods.

Maria Barnes boldly advocates for the concerns of homeowners in Tulsa's most historic neighborhoods. In 2008, her support for a mild and reasonable form of neighborhood conservation districts made her a target for defeat by a certain clique of developers who think they ought to be able to build anything they want anywhere they want. Maria Barnes understands that what I do with my property affects my neighbors, and she supports reasonable, clearly defined and fairly enforced land-use rules that protect the investments homeowners have made in Tulsa's historic neighborhoods.

In her current term of office, Maria Barnes sought to close a loophole in our zoning code that endangered the handful of neighborhoods with historic preservation zoning protection. (Click the link for all the details.) The response from the development lobby was predictably shrill.

The developers' lobby is backing Barnes's opponent, Ken Brune, a downtown resident and lawyer. Brune was the attorney who represented the Coalition for Responsible Government, who backed the failed and divisive 2005 recall attempt. Brune's consultant is Jim Burdge, who was consultant to the recall campaign. Brune's financial backers include Joe Westervelt, renowned for his rude treatment of homeowners during his service as planning commission chairman. Brune is also supported by the Tulsa Metro Chamber's TulsaBizPac, Save Our Tulsa member Ben Latham, and contentious former Chamber chairman Bob Poe.

Maria and I often differ on national issues, but I know I can trust her to speak eloquently and knowledgeably at City Hall on behalf of homeowners, even though it makes her a political target. If you're a District 4 Democrat, I urge you to turn out in support of Maria Barnes.

MORE: My 2009 endorsement of Maria Barnes.

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Happy election day! Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In two districts (1 and 5), the primary will determine a winner. In all districts, the primary will determine whether we'll have good representation or not-so-good representation at City Hall whe... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 12, 2011 6:21 PM.

Tulsa Election 2011: Progress report was the previous entry in this blog.

Tulsa District 8: For George Gibbs is the next entry in this blog.

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