Urban Tulsa Weekly: May 2007 Archives

This week in UTW, I'm writing about Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor's vanished campaign promises and her failure to deliver on one of them in particular: a more collaborative relationship with the City Council. Her refusal to keep them in the loop about the hiring of an interim and a permanent police chief, her use of private dollars for public actions (like the recruitment of a new chief) to try to circumvent the Open Records act, and her unilateral decisions to commit Tulsa to radical positions on gun control and anthropogenic global warming with which most Tulsans disagree.

Two weeks ago, Kathy Taylor became the 500th mayor to sign the U. S. Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement, which you can read in PDF form here, and you can read more about the agreement's development on the website of Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. And here is the Climate Protection page on the U. S. Conference of Mayors website. Taylor's action came without any consultation with the City Council.

And here's a belated link to the previous week's column about the last-minute agreement reached on Fairgrounds annexation, negotiated by Taylor behind the Council's back, and the need for the Council to defend its institutional prerogatives for the sake of checks and balances in local government. In the same column, I also covered an apology by a Tulsa Whirled reporter to the Tulsa Minuteman Project for underestimated their numbers at a Cinco de Mayo counter-rally, and I make my recommendations for Absolute Best of Tulsa Spiritual Leader and Best Family Fun Spot.

MORE: Here's an interesting thread on a national police and law enforcement forum about the Tulsa Police Department and Taylor's criteria for a new chief. The pseudonymous officer posting there claims Taylor is only looking at female candidates. If true, it would be another example of Taylor putting left-wing politics ahead of the public interest.

This week's UTW column topic: The Mayor's proposed FY 2008 budget has been released, and it includes some unpleasant surprises. As the old arena is converted to ballroom space and the new arena isn't open yet, convention and arena revenues will vanish for the year, while start-up administrative costs appear with a vengeance. The net result: A $1.7 million hole in the General Fund, which the Mayor proposes to plug by shutting down 27 holes of golf and cutting a police academy, resulting in a net loss of officers. (The suggestion that golf savings will be funding northside pools is a smokescreen. The Mayor didn't actually say that that would happen, and in fact one fewer pool will be open this year than last.)

There was a typo -- my fault -- in the section of the column about the pools. Last year nine pools were open -- four funded by the city and five by private sponsorships, not four.

Also this week, a few thoughts on the result of Oklahoma's vote for a state quarter design. How did we miss out on an American Indian theme?

One of the images I suggest might have been a better choice is Willard Stone's sculpture "Exodus". Follow that link to see a picture of it.

Elsewhere in the current issue, Brian Ervin has a story on the problem of sinkholes caused not by geology but by aging underground sewer and stormwater pipes. (Take a look at the downtown stormwater management master plan -- it's in the government documents section at Central Library -- and note the section on "subsurface voids." That's where there's a gap between the relatively thin layer of concrete and asphalt and the solid ground beneath.)

The second installment to UTW's guide to summer events and activities is in this week's issue. Here's a link to the first installment.

Also, nominations are in order for Urban Tulsa Weekly's Absolute Best of Tulsa awards. Click the link to enter your choices online, or pull a ballot out of a paper copy and mail it in.

This week's column in Urban Tulsa Weekly was a follow-on to Brian Ervin and Shannon O'Connell's story on the death of Eleazar Torres-Gomez in a dryer at Cintas's Tulsa laundry. My column explored the reasons why local media had downplayed this story and other local stories that received nationwide attention -- Jamal Miftah's expulsion from Tulsa's mosque, the OU suicide bomber, and the Tulsa Whirled's legal threats against this blog. Read the story, but here's a hint as to the answer: It's not a conspiracy, more a failure to see the forest for the trees.

Posted retrospectively on May 10, 2007, to complete the UTW archive category.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Urban Tulsa Weekly category from May 2007.

Urban Tulsa Weekly: April 2007 is the previous archive.

Urban Tulsa Weekly: June 2007 is the next archive.

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



Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
[What is this?]