Tulsa District 6: For Jim Mautino

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Mautino-20040814.jpgI'm happy to endorse my friend Jim Mautino for re-election as Tulsa City Councilor for District 6.

Jim Mautino isn't a slick politician. He is passionate and persistent when it comes to pursuing policies that will help residents of far east Tulsa and the entire city. Alone among the councilors elected from District 6 since the new charter of 1989, Mautino has pushed to see far east Tulsa's potential reached, while working with other councilors to protect the concerns of taxpayers and homeowners citywide.

District 6 is one of the city's largest districts and may contain (haven't done the math yet) the highest proportion of undeveloped land. Nearly half of the district is a sparsely populated section of Wagoner County, annexed into Tulsa in 2001. West of the county line you find subdivisions built in the '60s and '70s, brand new developments along the southern edge of the district (in the Broken Arrow school district), semi-rural, large-lot developments that were built before the area was annexed in 1966, and entire square miles of open fields.

Too many city leaders, who only skirt the edge of the district on their way to Grand Lake, are content to make this part of town as a dumping ground for ugliness. Jim Mautino sees District 6's section of I-44 as the gateway to Tulsa from the east and northeast, an ideal spot to capture retail dollars from visitors to the city and thus sales tax revenues to fund the level of service Tulsans expect from their city government.

Jim's focus on developing within the city limits has made him a target for those with a vested interest in using city assets to fuel development in our suburbs. His opposition to disadvantageous long-term water deals between Tulsa and growing suburbs was a major factor in the unsuccessful 2005 effort to recall him from office.

I have a litmus test for people who comment on city politics. If all they can talk about is the "terrible bickering" on the City Council, I know that they've absorbed the latest meme -- a meme pushed by those special interests who want all power concentrated in a mayor they can control -- but they haven't really been paying attention. This council has worked well together, with a long list of significant accomplishments while fending off lawsuits and sniping from Bartlett Jr and his allies.

When Jim returned to City Hall in 2009, he set out to be newly elected Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr's strongest advocate on the City Council. He urged his fellow councilors to give Bartlett Jr the benefit of the doubt for at least six months as he got his new administration going. Despite their good-faith effort to work with the new mayor, Bartlett Jr managed to alienate each councilor, one by one, with broken promises, misleading information, and contemptuous treatment.

Mautino may have been Bartlett Jr's last supporter on the Council. The final straw was Bartlett Jr's response to Mautino's recommendation for a vacancy on the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission. Mautino had suggested Al Nichols, a mild-mannered retired Air Force officer and long-time leader of the Mingo Valley Neighborhood Association, as someone who could bring some much-needed geographical and neighborhood balance to the TMAPC. Bartlett Jr seemed very receptive, but a short time later Bartlett Jr told Mautino that Nichols was "toxic," presumably because Nichols was knowledgeable enough about zoning and planning not to be a puppet for the developers' lobby. Instead, Bartlett continued to delay, ultimately nominating former Councilor Eric Gomez, who had very recently been rejected for re-election by his constituents.

Jim Mautino will turn 80 next May, but he is as vigorous and energetic as ever. I am proud to endorse him for re-election. As a taxpayer, I can trust Jim Mautino, a fiscal conservative, to oppose higher taxes and corporate welfare and to support fiscal restraint. As a homeowner, I can trust Jim Mautino, a long-time neighborhood leader, to consider the impact of a zoning or planning decision on homeowners and to be farsighted enough to see the impact of the decision as precedent. As a social conservative, I can trust Jim Mautino to resist liberal efforts to use government's coercive power against traditional moral values.

Jim Mautino has also been endorsed by the Tulsa Area Republican Assembly, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the Tulsa Firefighters.


Jim Mautino 2004 endorsement
Jim Mautino 2006 endorsement
Council accomplishments during Jim Mautino's first term
Jim Mautino 2009 endorsement
UTW story on Jim Mautino's concern for animal welfare
UTW story on the District 5 and District 6 races


Mautino has one opponent in the primary, Byron "Skip" Steele III. (The winner will face Robert Arizona Gwin, Jr., in the general election.)

Steele is a newcomer to politics, runs a computer repair business, and received funding from the Tulsa Metro Chamber's PAC, TulsaBizPac, and the endorsement of the council-suer and SOT member who are working with Karl Ahlgren. It will tell you something about Steele's level of interest in local politics that his website URL is http://steeleforcommissioner.vpweb.com/. (Tulsa's governing body was a board of city commissioners until a major charter rewrite in 1989. The commission was replaced by a City Council in 1990.)

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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


Jan Thomas said:

I, too, have a great deal of admiration and respect for Mr. Mautino. I do so hope that he is re-elected from his district. Those citizens are very lucky to have him working for them, as he always is. Listen up, voters of East Tulsa!

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 3, 2011 9:33 AM.

Tulsa District 7: For Steven Roemerman was the previous entry in this blog.

Tulsa District 5: Karen Gilbert's conflicts is the next entry in this blog.

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