Tulsa City Hall: December 2005 Archives

Bobby of Tulsa Topics has done a great service by collecting in one place, in chronological order, the petition origins of the recent drive to dismember three Tulsa City Council districts and add three at-large seats on the Council, and the parallel thread leading to the Mayor's "Citizens' Commission on City Government".

It's especially interesting to notice the timing of Tulsa Whirled editorials and news stories on the subject.

More blogging elsewhere

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I encourage you, as always, to explore the links on the right side of the page, as well as the linkblog above. (And note, too, that there's an archive of all previous linkblog entries.)

If you're a Tulsan, be sure to check out the TulsaBloggers.net aggregator. And MeeCiteeWurkor offers the convenience of the same set of blogs combined into a single set of links, in reverse chronological order.

Beyond our city limits (well beyond, in one case), you will find a couple of blogs that always have something new and interesting: Dustbury and Mister Snitch!

Tulsans for Badder Government halted their petition for at-large councilors on Monday, and Mayor Bill LaFortune announced formation of a new "Citizens' Commission" to study Tulsa's form of government. The Mayor says he doesn't want any politicians involved in the process, but he's handpicking all the members. Council members weren't consulted, nor have they had the opportunity to recommend members of this task force. Bobby's got details at Tulsa Topics.

I really did hear Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune say this tonight:

"More police officers mean more arrests mean a higher crime rate."

Here's the audio of my question and his answer (500 KB MP3), at a "Mayor's Night In" meeting for neighborhood leaders. (Thanks to Bobby of Tulsa Topics for capturing it.)

I always thought crime rate was based on crimes reported, not arrests.

Also, LaFortune seems to say that it's just fine for Tulsa to be a donor city on the "4 to Fix the County" tax. (If the tax passes next week, Tulsa sales will generate $50 million of the tax, but only $40 million will pay for projects in or near the City of Tulsa. The rest will go to the suburbs.)

The good news is that Tulsans for Badder Government has decided to drop its petition effort for dismembering three Tulsa City Council districts and replacing them with three elected city-wide. The bad news is that, word has it, Mayor Bill LaFortune is going to set up a blue-ribbon panel to study the form of government headed up by the same wealthy Utica Square types who supported the petition. Either way, their goal is the same -- dilute the influence of citizens from the outlying parts of Tulsa at City Hall.

Bobby at Tulsa Topics went by to sign the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) state initiative petition at a storefront near 51st and Harvard today, and he learned that the same company was soliciting and paying for signatures on TABOR, the eminent domain reform petition, and Tulsans for Badder Government's petition. Go read what Bobby learned when he visited the office and returned again later. Then go visit politicalactivists.org and learn about the world of professional petition signature gathering.

MORE: On the home page of politicalactivists.org, the first sentence says, "At politicalactivists.org we are a non partisan organization dedicated to putting conservative issues on the ballet for voter approval." But they go on to say that they've done work for the Kerry for President campaign and the Democratic National Committee and an anti-Bush 527 called America Coming Together.

And here's one of politicalactivists.org's proud accomplishments on behalf of "conservative issues": "We were directly responsible for rallying over 5,000 people to attend our promotion of John Kerry with Michael Moore (Producer of Fahrenheit911) and Carl Pope (Executive Director of Sierra Club) on the Portland State University Campus."

The deal fell through?

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MeeCiteeWurkor was at last night's City Council meeting for the last item on the agenda: Whether to extend the right to unionize to more city employees. The proposal failed at the previous meeting: Turner, Henderson, Baker, and Mautino voted yes; Sullivan, Medlock, Neal, and Martinson voted no; Christiansen was absent, effectively a no vote, since five votes were required for passage. Councilors Turner and Henderson put a motion to reconsider on this week's agenda, but someone who voted against the proposal would have to make the motion to reconsider. And no one did.

MeeCiteeWurkor reports much anger at Councilor Randy Sullivan after no motion to reconsider was made. He writes about what he was told in trying to understand the cause of the anger, and he writes about his disgust, if what he was told is true.

Here's what I found shocking: If what was said is true, Randy Sullivan is raising campaign money. Will he run in the district he currently purports to represent, District 7, or will he run in the district in which he lives, District 9?

My column in the current Urban Tulsa Weekly is a review of the City Charter amendment proposals Tulsans will vote on next spring, as well as a few that didn't make the cut, along with a look at the politics behind what passed and what didn't.

There were a couple of new developments tonight. Illegitimate Councilor Randy Sullivan tried to move the zoning protest petition amendment from the March primary election ballot to the April general election ballot. He tried to make the case that voters would be disenfranchised by having the vote on the primary ballot, when turnout would be lighter.

Councilor Chris Medlock pointed out that homeowners were promised back in 2004, when the courts ruled that the protest petition ordinance was in conflict with the charter, that the amendment to restore that protection would be on the next citywide election ballot. That would have been the December 2004 library bond issue, but the Council held off at the request of library officials. The next opportunity was the city bond issue in April 2005. The Council called the election, but something happened -- the dog ate Bill LaFortune's homework -- and the required public notices weren't placed in the Tulsa Legal News. The March 2006 is the next available citywide date to vote, and because there will be a mayoral primary, every precinct will be open anyway.

The other councilors were apparently persuaded by Medlock's argument -- Sullivan's motion died for lack of a second.

Councilor Roscoe Turner brought the recall amendment up for reconsideration, as I was hoping he would. The original proposal was modified by two complementary amendments proposed by Councilor Tom Baker. The requirement for signature comparison for the recall petitions was dropped (by a unanimous vote). Added in its place was a requirement for each signer to provide a valid contact phone number. That passed by a 5-4 vote (Baker, Henderson, Mautino, Medlock, Turner in favor; Christiansen, Martinson, Neal, Sullivan against). The amended amendment was sent to the voters by a 7-2 vote -- Martinson and Sullivan voted against. Although it isn't my ideal, the proposed amendment would require that recall be for cause, provides a consistent standard for number of signatures across all offices, and requires that signature gatherers be residents of the district. If we pass it in April, it will help ensure that a recall only happens when genuine constituents have a genuine and grave complaint against an elected official.

Finally, a District 7 resident (and a friend of mine), John Eagleton, protests that he did raise the issue of Randy Sullivan's non-residency with members of the City Council when it was publicly acknowledged in February 2005. Eagleton asked the Councilors to seek the City Attorney's opinion on the effect of filing a bogus declaration of candidacy; he believes it would render the election null and void and cause the office to become vacant. That was never done, apparently, perhaps because everyone was distracted by the recall effort underway at the time.

I remember, too, that there were District 7 residents who wanted to recall Randy Sullivan, but they restrained themselves at the request of Councilors Medlock and Mautino, who were themselves under threat of recall at the time.

Here's a link to all the articles in the current issue. Don't forget -- just a few more days to donate gifts for children in the DHS foster care system. Pick up a copy of the dead-tree version of UTW for a list of kids, ages, and the gifts they'd like for Christmas.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa City Hall category from December 2005.

Tulsa City Hall: November 2005 is the previous archive.

Tulsa City Hall: January 2006 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

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