Saturday, April 23, 2005

Charter Trumps State Law

Thursday's Tulsa World had yet another letter to the editor that painted Jim Mautino and I in a bad light.

Under the headline, "Where's the Consistency," Dave Mendoza writes:
"City Councilors Jim Mautino and Chris Medlock have filed a lawsuit to verify the signatures of the recall petition. I thought Mike Kier had already performed this function. Silly me.

In the council race between David Patrick and Roscoe Turner, a recount petition was filed by Turner to determine the outcome of the election.

State law was followed, no signatures were compared to registered voter signatures, the votes were recounted and Turner was declared the winner."
Then he goes on to ask...not surprisingly...where's the consistency?

Well Mr. Mendoza, your logic is flawed. The City of Tulsa is a charter city. That means, we are allowed to adopt ordinaces or practices different from those of municipalities that aren't charter cities.

The recall procedures are spelled out in the city's charter. They state infatically;

"The signature of each petitioner on the supporting petitions shall correspond with that appearing on the official voter registration books applicable to the city."

The contention of our suit is that state procedures (like that used in Councilor Turner's election) are trumped, because Tulsa's charter mandates a different procedure, as stated above.

Consistency is a fine thing. But the law is the law.

The charter trumps state law and that is why we've brought the question to a judge.

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