Friday, September 30, 2005

All That Invisibilty Means

An excerpt from H.G. Wells -- The Invisible Man. 1898.

“Hitherto I have gone on vague lines. We have to consider all that invisibility means, all that it does not mean. It means little advantage for eavesdropping and so forth—one makes sounds. It’s of little help, a little help perhaps—in housebreaking and so forth. Once you’ve caught me you could easily imprison me. But on the other hand I am hard to catch. This invisibility, in fact, is only good in two cases: It’s useful in getting away, it’s useful in approaching. It’s particularly useful, therefore, in killing. I can walk round a man, whatever weapon he has, choose my point, strike as I like. Dodge as I like. Escape as I like.”

Kemp’s hand went to his moustache. Was that a movement downstairs?

“And it is killing we must do, Kemp.”

“It is killing we must do,” repeated Kemp. “I’m listening to your plan, Griffin, but I’m not agreeing, mind. Why killing?”

“Not wanton killing but a judicious slaying. The point is they know there is an Invisible Man—as well as we know there is an Invisible Man. And that Invisible Man, Kemp, must now establish a Reign of Terror. Yes—no doubt it’s startling. But I mean it. A Reign of Terror. He must take some town like your Burdock and terrify and dominate it. He must issue his orders. He can do that in a thousand ways—scraps of paper thrust under doors would suffice.

There is no way that even the great visionary H.G. Wells could have invisioned the Internet back in 1898. But he did understand a thing or two about invisibility.

Within the Internet of today, there exists a new kind of "invisibility," that comes with the ability to pose as someone else, or to even comment anonymously within the blogosphere. In that matter, you can creep in, unseen, and add your voice to those others engaged in conversation. If one is clever enough, they can redirect a conversation here, or plant some reasonable doubt there.

Such actions are becoming more and more frequent within the world of political "black ops." With the proliferation of blogs, public chats and forums, it is ever easier to "invisibly approach" those engaged in conversation, in order to slip in some little propaganda or disinformation. After anonymously contributing, it is just as easy to invisibly "get away." It is then incumbent on someone within the conversation to determine whether or not you are expressing a true opinion or fact, or were an Invisible Man, bent on no good.

Today's internet Invisible Man isn't bent on killing in the corporeal sense. Rather, the cyber Invisible Man is often bent on character assasination. A pinch of anomous here...a dash of acrimony there...and just a splash of bald face lying which is vague enough that the casual reader might believe it...and you have the formual for today's Invisible Man.

It doesn't take much to produce a "Reign of Terror," just "scraps of paper under the door." Or in this case, anonymous postings in the right places.

To see the perfect example of such a tactic, go visit and read the comments. Comment 4 is a classic example of the trade.


Medlock has recently been talking like LaFortune so I think we need to re-think this business about being gung-ho for Medlock. Suddenly he is changing his tune on just about everything. Just listen to him on DelGiorno’s show.

We don’t need Bartlett, LaFortune or Medlock. None are honest enough.
This is perfect. Using this little "scrap of paper," the anonymous contributor trashes both me and Bill LaFortune. He provides the reader with a reason for the readers of the forum to rethink support for me, because I'm showing I'm going to be just like Bill LaFortune (ie, someone that flips his position when its politically expedient). What am I changing my tune on? Well...just about everything!

"This is troubling to hear," the reader thinks to themselves. "What proof does he offer?"

"Oh...he changed his tune during a DelGiorno interview." they further rationalize. "I heard Medlock on DelGiorno last week and didn't here anything amiss...but perhaps it was another interview when I was out of town?"

So what do you do with your new found information? Wait for some "honest" alternative to arrive. Someone like that "honest" Bill Christiansen who says he isn't running for Mayor, but might be lured in if we "honestly" need him to return "honesty" to City Hall. Why? Because "honesty" is the best policy, and we need someone that "honestly" understands policy.

Just one problem. Bill Christiansen is, and has been for nearly three years, running for Mayor. He's playing the waiting game, hoping to be drafted by the "honest" voter who seeks someone who has remained above the petty fray of electoral politics. Candidates have used such strategies for decades, if not centuries. However, they are ineffective if everyone is satisfied with the candidates that have already announced.

Understanding this, just think how advantageous it is to have an Invisible Man, to plant scraps of paper to create confusion and distrust. Someone like...who? Maybe, Jim Burdge? You know him...Bill Christiansen's campaign manager who was outed as the particularly nasty practitioner of such "black ops" for the Pro-Recall Cartel.

Then all Bill Christiansen has to do is to continue to use words like "pro-active" and "responsible" dozens of times in committee and during televised meetings. He can accuse others of playing political games. He can propose last minute taskforces that will submit their findings days before the primary elections. And he can let his Invisible Man taint the other candidates' reputations for honesty, while allowing Mr. Christiansen to retain his.

Only problem is, every time Mr. Christiansen is forced to say he's not running for mayor, he sets the table for criticism as to his own honesty, should he announce some day in the not so distant future that he's going to "honestly" run for mayor, rather than playing the "draft me" card.

Honestly, it can make one wish they could become invisible, just so we could "get away" from all this wanton gamesmanship.

Rather than resort to invisibility, let's all approach Mr. Christiansen in a visible manner and ask him the question to which we all know the answer.

"Councilor Christiansen," we shall all ask, "'re running for mayor, right?"

Yeah...But At Least It Fires High Caliber Ammo!

Yeah…But At Least It Fires High Caliber Ammo!

One more observation about the World’s laughable editorial about me, entitled “Confused.” The final lines of the anonymous pundit’s screed was:

“We can expect more of the same from Medlock as he uses his council seat to campaign for mayor. He at least ought to get his facts straight before he shoots off his mouth.”

Question for the World opinionistas…Is Mayor LaFortune using his mayoral seat to campaign for mayor? Well of course he is. What do you think all those 3rd Penny Town Hall Meetings were?

I attended four of the five and I can tell you for a fact, they were campaign stops complete with city employees on the tax payers time-clock.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Same Song, Second Verse

The opinionistas at the Tulsa World took another shot at me in their editorial pages today. In a little ditty they titled, “Confused,” the World tries to make the case that my criticism of the mayor for presenting his State-of-the-City address to a chamber audience, rather than to the City Council, proves yet again that I am “mixed up.”

Ha! Don’t they wish?

First let’s deal with a couple of patent falsehoods in their logic. The anonymous author wrote the following:

“Medlock's comments were perfectly in keeping with his anti-establishment campaign. After all, he dislikes the chamber, which represents most of the city's business community, almost as much as he dislikes the mayor.”
Too bad guys. I don’t dislike the chamber. I think chambers of commerce are wonderful institutions as a whole, and that Tulsa’s chamber is first rate; at least with regard to its membership. What I do have a problem with are some of the professional staff and a handful of honchos who spend way too much time influencing chamber policy for their own benefit.

Additionally, I don’t dislike the mayor. Who could? He’s a really nice guy. He just happens to be a lousy mayor.

Then there is the matter of pointing out that the State-of-the-City is unofficial, unlike the State-of-the-Union. Apparently, they claim, I seem to be confusing the two. Well guess what, oh trustees of the Fourth Estate, so is the State-of-the-Union.

There is nothing in the constitution that calls on the President to make an annual address to the Congress. What our constitution says in Article II, Section 3, is;

“He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;”
I know I’m not the wordsmith our anonymous editorialist is, but I read that remark to mean that the President could every couple of years or three, just send over a report about how things are going with the country.

In fact, after George Washington gave the first address in New York City in 1790, “the address was written and then sent to Congress to be read by a clerk until 1913 when Woodrow Wilson re-established the practice despite some initial controversy.”

The important point that the World misses (no…they’re not confused…more like misguided or biased) is that the framers of the Constitution never would’ve thought it better for the President to report on the State of the Union to the US Chamber of Commerce. What the framers understood was the fact that the Congress was that body of our nascent government that represented the people. Thus, by requiring the President to report to the Congress, the framers were requiring that the President not become too “monarchial” or kinglike so as to forget to whom he was responsible.

Given that the city charter (the city’s equivalent document to the Constitution) was framed by some people who were pretty tight with the chamber, it is surprising that they didn’t just go ahead and require the Mayor to report to the chamber (note: I’m being facetious here) and save elected officials like me the shame of being publicly reminded who is in charge of things. But they didn’t.

So my point is this (and I don’t think it shrill in the least, but maybe I’m confused yet again). If you’re going to have an address that you’re going to call the State of the City, and you’re going to charge $30 to get in, and you’re not going to televise it, then you’re going to open yourself up to some reasonable criticism that you’ve forgotten who your boss is. I expected such “confusion” as to who really paid her salary from Mayor Savage. I’m very disappointed that Bill LaFortune is showing his “confusion” over whom he works for.

Then again, maybe he’s not confused at all.

Friday, September 23, 2005

State of the City Audio

In case you couldn't afford the $30 for the meal to hear the mayor's State-of-the-City speech, here is a link to the audio.

The speech ran a little longer than my recording capacity, which is a common occurance when the mayor speaks.


Kudos and thanks to Mike Bates of, for his well thought out article in Urban Tulsa Weekly laying out his arguments for why the voters of Tulsa should turn down the extension of Tulsa County's "Four-to-Fix" sales tax.

One of the problems that is going to be faced by anyone trying to develop a message in opposition to this extension, is the fact that there are so many reasons not to approve the new tax, that it will be difficult to winnow the list down to a select few, so as to not overwhelm the voters. Here's one interesting factoid, that I was not aware of until I read Mike's piece (part of his popularity is that he does his homework):

"Based on the first year and a half of Vision 2025 receipts, the county is on pace to raise $616 million over the 13 years of that 6/10th cent sales tax, a surplus of $81 million dollars, which is equivalent to six years of 4FC. The County also has a use tax, which has funded renovation of the Pavilion and other fairgrounds improvements, and which would still bring in $4 million a year if 4FC isn’t renewed."

I encourage you to click on the link above and read the piece for yourself.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The State of the State-of-the-City Address

Today at a luncheon at the Doubletree at Warren Place, Mayor LaFortune will deliver his fourth (and I hope, final) State of the City address.

Last year’s address was somewhat renowned for the introduction that the Mayor received from then Chamber of Commerce Chairman, Bob Poe. The following morning, Tulsa World described Poe’s remarks and LaFortune’s tone this way:

“Chamber Chairman Bob Poe set the tone by scolding the councilors during his introduction of Mayor Bill LaFortune, whose jabs were more restrained.

“Praising LaFortune's coalition-building efforts that led to passage of Vision 2025, Poe said the city was gaining momentum and "then, sadly, Tulsa had new City Council elections."

“Since April, the five councilors -- Chris Medlock, Sam Roop, Jack Henderson, Roscoe Turner and Jim Mautino -- have "brought the city to a halt," Poe said.

“Although LaFortune spoke for nearly 45 minutes outlining his effort to build a "more hopeful" and "more secure city," he repeatedly noted the negative effects of a government in conflict.”

This was the first of three scathing (and for many who heard them, destructive for Poe's reputation) attacks on the council’s reformists, Bob Poe made during is tempestuous reign as Chamber chairman.

The question that many asked though, after the head-shaking, tut-tutting and critiques of Mr. Poe’s style (or lack thereof) was, “Why was the Mayor giving the State-of-the-City address to the Chamber of Commerce in the first place?”

Good question. When Governor Henry gives the State-of-the-State Address, he delivers it before a joint session of the State Legislature. When President Bush gives the State-of-the-Union Address, he delivers it before a joint session of Congress. But when Mayor LaFortune delivers the State-of-the-City Address, he gives it to the Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Somewhat shows where the Mayor’s priorities lie, doesn’t it?

The Chamber is a fine organization made up of fine people. The members represent most of the businesses in our city and the surrounding area. But therein in lies the Mayor’s apparent lack of understanding who it is he represents. He represents all of the people of Tulsa, not just a select few.

The proper venue for the State-of-the-City Address is the Francis Campbell City Council Meeting Room. The proper audience is the Tulsa City Council and the citizens of Tulsa, via the gallery and the cable TV audience.

Why? Because then the address goes to all of the citizens. That, and the fact that it shows the proper respect for the other branches of city government necessary to follow through on the Mayor’s oft touted statement of wanting to have a “direct and face-to-face relationship” with the city council.

As such, if elected Mayor, I promise to give all State-of-the-City Addresses during my tenure, first to the City Council and then [if I am asked to do so] to the Chamber of Commerce.

I hope by doing so, I can at least establish the atmosphere of respect and decorum necessary to have the kind of relationship with the council necessary to turn our city around from eighteen years of mismanagement.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Where Did Randi Miller Get the Idea I'm Controversial?

I’ve been remiss in not commenting on County Commissioner Randi Miller’s flirtation with the idea of running for Mayor in the upcoming Republican primary. Commissioner Miller has long had the desire to be mayor, but was pretty much content with biding her time to wait for Bill LaFortune’s “Eight, Eight and Eight Plan”*** to run it’s municipal course.

However, Commissioner Miller is now quoted in the Tulsa World as saying, in essence, that LaFortune must clean house of his city hall staff, or face her…as well as me…in the upcoming primary. Hmmm….

It strikes me as a tad strange that Randi would say she might support Bill LaFortune if he follows her ultimatum to shake up his staff. The more interesting question is, what does such an ultimatum say about Commissioner Miller? How would she react if another elected official told her, “fire members of your staff, or face me in the primary?” And what kind of leader would Bill LaFortune be (all other criticisms aside), if he succumbed to such an ultimatum?

Commissioner Miller than moves her critique from the Mayor’s staff on and onto me. Taking her statements directly from the pro-recall tabloids, Miller said that I should not be mayor because I am “too controversial,” that I make “wild accusations” that can’t be backed up (no specifics, how convenient) which makes me a name caller, and that I have a problem “getting along with people.”

Controversial? Sure…I’ll take that. I made promises to the voters of my district to change the way government works in Tulsa and I acted on those promises. I’ve taken on entrenched self-interests, even to the point of facing character assassination and recall. Taking a stand is usually controversial. Change is always controversial…at least to those benefiting from the current status quo.

Who viewed me as controversial? Bob Poe thought I was controversial. He likened me to a jack-booted nazi in a speech before the Tulsa Press Club [isn’t that name calling?]. He gave several speeches that were given a great deal of media attention saying that I was trying to hurt Tulsa for my own political gain.

Former planning commission chairman, Joe Westervelt, thought I was controversial. Not mentioning that I had a major role in his not being reappointed to his post on the TMAPC, Mr. Westervelt wrote a scathing letter criticizing me and the other members of the “Gang of Five.” In effect, he said recall was too good for scoundrels like Jim Mautino and me.

Here’s a taste of his letter from last May:

"These three councilors have soiled the institution of the City Council, broken the laws of the city, violated the City Charter, shirked their responsibilities to attend council meetings and now have publicly vilified a competent city employee. This is not dissimilar to their arrogant and confrontational disrespect shown citizen appointees to various boards and authorities. It appears that the recall is almost too civilized a removal process for elected officials who are so lacking in character and integrity."

I think it fair to say that Joe Westervelt thinks I’m controversial.

Who else believes me to be controversial? Given that the Greater Tulsa Area Realtors gave money, via their PAC, to my recall, I think we can state that GTAR thinks I’m controversial.

And no list of those believing me to be controversial should end without the executives of F&M Bank. You remember them. They’re the people that sued individual city councilors “personally” because we didn’t grant them a plat for their proposed bank at 71st & Harvard. They took issue with my effectively defending my constituents who lived next to this proposed bank. Mostly they thought it controversial that we would announce their names and the contributions that they made to most of the 2002 city councilors. In one case, these bank execs gave more than half of Randy Sullivan’s total contributions. There were a lot of names of board members and executives that gave contributions. Two specifically were Anthony Boone Davis and Jay Helm.

We could go on and on, but let’s just settle on these names; Bob Poe, Joe Westervelt, the Realtor’s PAC, Anthony B. Davis and Jay Helm. All of these gentleman were most assuredly nodding their heads and screaming “Amen Sister Miller!” as they read Randi Miller’s statements. It wouldn’t stretch the imagination to think that all of them might even consider financially supporting Randi Miller, should she choose to run for mayor.

Such financial support will seem even more plausible after you read the following excerpts from the March 6, 2002, Tulsa World:

HEADLINE: Election funds pour in
Individual contributions greater than $200 for City Council candidates:
District 2

Randi Miller:

$1,000 -- Tulsa Firefighters Local 176 and Scott Logan;
$750 -- Realtors PAC of Oklahoma City;
$500 -- Jeff and Judy Davis, Jay Helm and Anthony B. Davis;
$300 -- Robert and Jacqueline Poe;
$250 -- Joe Westervelt and RealtorsPAC. Total contributions: $5,400. Total expenditures: $2,325.

Ken Hancock: $2,165.32 -- loan to self; $281 -- Doug Dodd.

That’s a complete list from that story. I didn’t delete any names. Draw your own conclusions. I don’t want to be accused of calling names.

I’ll touch on the issues of not being a “team player” and why I’m accused of not playing nice with the other public officials in a later entry.

***[For those that don’t know, our mayor told his staff during the first year of his term, “Eight years as mayor, eight years as governor and then eight years as president.”]

Monday, September 12, 2005

From Tedium To Apathy And Back Again, With A Side Trip To The U.S. Senate

Unlike the Mr. Roberts of the stage and screen (to which the title of this posting is paraphrased), Chief Justice nominee John Roberts doesn't have to sail about the South Pacific with a demoralized crew, a sadistic captain, or a randy ensign in order to get "Pulverized."

After listening to the very concise, and yet quite eloquent closing remarks by the judicial Mr. Roberts, which closed out the first day of his confirmation hearings, I couldn't get past one observation that I thought ironic at the very least.

Everyone is pontificating about the need to ask litmus-test questions of judicial appointments, so that we can be sure to know how they would vote on key questions before the court. Forget the irony of elected officials who are supposed to make law overstepping tradition to ask such questions in order to ensure that laws created by previous justices, that were never supposed to be making laws, would never be overturned.

What was most interesting to me is that Mr. Roberts, who said he has argued cases before the Supreme Court, both for and against the United States government's positions, is in essence being told by the various senators that all such efforts were a worthless waste of breath.

How so? Well, these litmus questions that recent nominees like Mr. Roberts have been forced to endure pre-suppose that he...and other judges like him...will have predetermined their opinions without hearing the arguments put before them by the attorneys for either side of the case. If all justices actually did this, then all the time Mr. Roberts put forward preparing for, and presenting in, the Supreme Court is a waste of time, because there isn't anything he could say that would change the opinions of the nine black robed jurists he's supposed to sway.

The easiest way for our noble senators to save themselves from having to appear so pathetic is for them to continue to approve nominees that are not judicial activists seeking to make law.

As Mr. Roberts said in his closing remarks, "I'm going to judge balls and strikes, but never pitch or bat."

As for what has led the elected members of our most esteemed legislature in the land to ask such condescending and insulting questions? Well...I guess we need to remember the question asked by Mr. Robert's (the fictional sailor) friend, "Doc," when he was asked if a handful of men who had been in a brawl could return to the island for shore leave:

"Anybody got a fractured skull?"

Friday, September 09, 2005

Is the "Fix" in With the Tulsa Media?

Today's story in the Tulsa World on the County's decision to put an extension of the Four-To-Fix the County Sales tax before the voters this December was missing a paragraph that one would think would have been included. Whether it was never written by reporter Susan Hylton, or was exorcised by one of her editors, it would've looked something like the following:

"City councilor and recently announced candidate for mayor, Chris Medlock, stated his intent to encourage Tulsa voters to reject any renewal of the Four-To-Fix" sales tax, so that the city could put an alternative plan for the tax revenues before the voters. Medlock believes the revenues would be better used by the City of Tulsa to improve public safety issues that have been impacted by the city's reduced sales tax revenues. Specifically, Medlock cited the need to ensure funding for future police and fire academies, as well as, funding for more bilingual police officers."
Not hard, and certainly germane, don't you think?

Interestingly, only one media outlet has done a story on my proposal since I outlined it at the press conference where I announced I would seek the mayor’s job. That was Emory Bryan and KOTV-The News on Six. [View a streamed copy of the story]

They did a story, two days after my announcement, which featured Commissioner Randi Miller of Tulsa County and me. Commissioner Miller was, predictably, somewhat dismissive of my idea. She was also, a bit surprisingly, dismissive of me, suggesting that I apparently didn’t understand county government and should stick to representing my council district.

I don’t know if that means she also doesn’t think much of me running for mayor, but I’m reasonably sure, from her reaction, that I won’t be getting her endorsement. That would concern me more, if I’d ever gotten her endorsement in the past, but I haven’t

Anyway, the story ran at 5PM on Channel 6 and I thought it pretty even handed. I tuned in a 6PM to see it again. But it didn’t run. It also didn’t run at 10PM either. If one were cynical, one could postulate that those that interested KOTV in doing the story so that Commissioner Miller could quash my suggestion before it gained any traction, might have made a call to the station to say “pull that thing.” But to believe that, you’d have to believe that governmental agencies like Tulsa County would hire publicists and public relations specialists; perhaps like Schnake Turnbo and Frank.

They wouldn’t do that…would they?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

New Look Now Suitable for Mozilla Mavens

Took a couple of hours of dinking around with the codes, but I am pretty sure I fixed the spacing flaws that were making my design less than pleasing to my readers using Firefox.

So, to all you browser "pioneers" (as opposed to Explorers), hope things will be looking better for you in the future.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Revisionist Reality

Aside from seeming to be in love with the word "moribund," (you may recall it is how they described the League of Women voters when they dared to oppose recall) our friends at the Tulsa world editorial board are beginning to revise history by playing with chronology.

In and editorial in today's paper, the opinionistas wrote:

"The EDC has been for all intents and purposes moribund in recent months because of membership turnover that occurred when it was caught in a crossfire between some city councilors, led by Chris Medlock, and chamber officials. EDC's last three meetings were canceled because its 10 remaining members -- 21 members are allowed -- could not make a quorum."
It was the EDC's apparent lack of a direction or purpose, coupled with the inability to make quorum following Chamber Chairman Bob Poe's strong arming of the mayor into putting a passle of Chamber board members onto the EDC, that began the "moribundity."

As a response to what we were witnessing, Sam Roop and I began the process of attempting to revamp the EDC via its enacting ordinance. After months of process and compromise, the council voted 5-4 to support the ordinance that would have given the EDC greater authority and mission. Unfortunately, Mayor LaFortune chose to veto the ordinance.

If the World wants to attribute the EDC's current "moribundity" to something other than Mr. Poe's meddling, perhaps it would best be credited to the mayor's action of vetoing a new mission, without supplying the commission he revived, with an alternative mission.

They mayor lacks a comprehensive vision for Tulsa's economy (at least one not supplied to him by DTU and Bob Dick). As such, it isn't surprising that those appointed to the EDC would lack enthusiasm for giving of their time in a rudderless and captainless endeavor.

3rd Penny: Round 1

Hats off to Our Tulsa World for video taping the mayor's first townhall meeting on the 3rd Penny extension. When one accounted for all of the mayor's people in the room, the turn out was relatively small.

It was amazing how little information or ideas the mayor had at his command. It was tough for me to not chime in on a lot of the questions that were asked. I'm looking forward to debating Mr. LaFortune as the campaign progresses. However, most of the people advising me that understand campaigns and strategy tell me that Hizonner will try everything he can to avoid any real debates.

Let's hope that's not true.

I'm planning on attending tonight's meeting in the Aaronson Auditorium. Hopefully the mayor will be better prepared.

Direct and Face-To-Face

In an article written by P. J. Lassek and published in the Tulsa World on March 17, 2002, then Mayor-Elect Bill LaFortune talked about the many difficult decisions that awaited him as the newly elected mayor of a city that was well mired in its worst budget crisis in history.

The city's FY 2002 general operating budget was facing a $3 -$5 million budget shortfall. There was a hiring freeze and outgoing mayor Susan Savage was asking for each department to recommend across the board budget cuts of 20%.

There is no doubt that the budget crisis in which Tulsa still finds itself was not of LaFortune's making. However, the fact that three-and-a-half years later Mayor LaFortune is making speechs saying that Tulsa is finally, "turning the corner," is a testament to his failure to construct a timely plan for getting our city back on its feet.

Two quotes from the World article back in 2002 jump out at me. In the first, LaFortune says he will handle the budget crisis, "just like a CEO would in the private sector."

In the second quote, he says "he plans to have a 'very direct, face-to-face relationship with the'" Tulsa city council.

The second promise is an important one in supporting his intentions to fulfill the first promise. Within a Strong-Mayor form of government like Tulsa has, one can reasonably postulate that the mayor acts very much like the city's CEO, and the city council's role is akin to a corporate board of directors.

The mayor's office is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Tulsa, as well as the development of a proposed budget, which is required by Oklahoma law to be balanced at the end of the year.

Correspondingly, the council represents the various "stakeholders" (in this case the citizens of Tulsa) and oversees the approval and subsequent implementation of that budget, as well as providing an oversight capacity to esure that the CEO and his subordinates are continuing to look out for the stakeholder's interests. Just as an investor would be loath to put his or her hard earned money into any corporation that had a CEO who didn't work in a "direct, face-to-face relationship" with to Board of Directors, it should concern all citizens of Tulsa, if their mayor didn't do the same.

That is why is has been so disheartening for me as a citizen, who originally ran for the office I now occupy, in order to work with the Bill LaFortune that made those and other promises of change. My experience with the LaFortune administration has been two-and-a-half years of poor communications and lack of a direct relationship. I have not been alone in this experience. Tuesday morning, in the Public Works committee, Tulsa's newest councilor, Bill Martinson, was compelled to express his newly discovered frustration with our Mayor.

Citing poor communications between the Mayor's office and the Council on the 3rd Penny issue, Martinson told Chief Operating Officer Alan LaCroix to take a message to the mayor. As reported in this morning's Tulsa World:

Councilor Bill Martinson asked LaCroix, who is also the city's fire chief, to tell the mayor that "he has a huge problem down here with the City Council."

"Chief, you're really a nice guy, and we appreciate you showing up, but it would sure be nice to talk to the mayor sometime. Everything going on around here is a result of a lack of communication," he said.

"It's a little frustrating when you're the guy that shows up speaking for the mayor. We never see the guy," Martinson said.

He said it was "embarrassing and upsetting" to learn about the third-penny process by reading it in the newspaper.

It should be apparent to everyone that Bill Martinson has arrived (will soon be rolling up to the gate) at the realization that our mayor has failed in his promise to have a "'very direct, face-to-face relationship" with the Tulsa city council. Instead the Mayor is sending Mr. LaCroix (the COO), or Sam Roop (the CAO), to apologize or spin for his failure to plan and work with his fellow elected officials.

Now that we're months from the municipal elections, he's apparently going to try to have a "very direct, face-to-face relationship" with the voters in a hope that he can convince them that he still has the stuff to be Tulsa's CEO. My hope is the voters will see what everyone in City Hall knows all to well; Bill LaFortune isn't who we all thought he was in March, 2002.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

3rd Penny Town Hall

Not sure how I got it that tonight's meeting with the Mayor and "his constituents" was set for 6PM rather than 7PM, which is the case. Now I find myself at the Zarrow Library with time to kill.

As such, I'm trying to blog for the first time, using my Palm Treo 650. The tiny keyboard is a bit daunting...but not as daunting as the task our mayor has before him tonight. I am halfway through a draft installment about my disappointment with Mr. LaFortune's attempted "end around" the Council's leaning towards only extending the 2001 tax for a year or so. I'll file that later.

Needless to say, the mayor will have to convince the public that it is better to put forward a 6 year extension during a municipal election that could be very contentious, at a time when many Tulsa voters are wary about bridges to Bixby, arenas with funding to build but not necessarily operate, and a Mayor who to my knowledge has the re-election support of nary a single sitting city councilor.

Well, the Tulsa World reporter has arrived, so I'll wrap this up and report later when I have more information and a bigger keyboard.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

New medBLOGlook...Same medBLOGger

The plan for today was for Cheryl and I to clean up my home office and to get some control of my volumes and volumes of files. Unfortunately, Cheryl hurt her knee (only slightly) and she was forced to lie on the couch, reading some ebook she downloaded.

Rather than clean by myself, I decided to upgrade the graphical look of my blog. If you are reading this, then you are admiring (presumptuous, I know) the fruits of my labors. Hope you find this more visually pleasing. I know I do. It's more in keeping with my personal taste and style and I had fun doing the new masthead. In fact, it's the first time in a long while I've gotten to flex my graphical muscles in an out-and-out design project.

Unfortunately, the quality of the writing and observations are very unlikely to change. You can't do everything in just one day...especially with a partially lame wife.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Please Remit Your Dilligence Immediately

Dear County Commissioners,

We regret to inform you that it appears your dilligence is over 60 days past due. Your dilligence was due prior to your approval of a toll bridge that smacks of favoritism and a complete lack of planning.

For a detailed accounting of your failure to remit your due dillegence, please click here.

In order to maintain your good credit with the voters of the City of Tulsa, we ask that you return the offer you made to Infrastructure Ventures, Inc (aka Cinnabar) and review the entire project from a perspective of intergovernmental cooperation and responsible governmental stewardship. Failure to remit your due dillengence could permanently impact your community credit and negatively impact your political capital.

Thank you for your attention,

The Voters of Tulsa County

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Empty Chairs...And Yet, No Chairman.

I've read many of the observations and critiques of the speeches and hoopla surrounding yesterday's Arena Groundbreaking, but I haven't yet heard anyone comment on how odd it was that Roscoe Turner wasn't asked to be on the stage with the other dignitaries (Steve Alter, Bob Dick and Rev. Jim Miller) and Mayor LaFortunes wife and kids.

Protocol is that if the Council is to be involved in an event, the Council Chairman is either invited to speak, or to sit with the Mayor. Last year I attended many city celebrations and ribbon cuttings and Randy Sullivan was uniformly allowed to participate.

I leave this as a mere observation and let others speculate as to why protocol hasn't been observed much this year.

Back With a Whimper

When I wrote, last May, "more on this later," I had no idea it would be September 1st, before I began blogging again. Things have been very hectic, with Recall and other political and council activities, so this has been a lower priority.

I'm going to try to write shorter, but more frequent entries (more in keeping with observations, than with detailed analysis). We'll see how that goes.