Monday, April 10, 2006

Out of Cite

They just couldn't help themselves. Those crusty, dusty, musty minds on the Tulsa World opinion pages had to take a parting shot.

This time, the invective comes from David Averill, the vice-chief of the "Five Uncivilized Diatribes," which is my pet-name the Lorton blather squad of Neal, Averill, Adwan, Pearson and Delcour. In Sunday's paper, Averill added an exclamation point to the World's revisionist take on the reality of City Hall over the past two years. Averill writes of his great hope that the new administration and council will show civility to one another.

Averll writes:

It seems pretty clear that voters are tired of -- even embarrassed by -- the discord and dysfunction at City Hall. Hopefully all of the winners in Tuesday's election got that message.
How can I say this without sounding...well...uncivil? Oh well. If you're going to get blasted for it, you might as well embrace it.

Having actually lived through the last two years at City Hall, I can only say, "David Averill is either ignorant, or a liar."

Sorry, there are no other explanations. To support his contention that the likes of Jim Mautino and I were run off by the voters who thought us terribly uncivil, he postulates a series of offenses, intimating that we were guilty of all of them. Let's examine some.

"...civility is not trashing the reputations of honorable residents who serve without pay on city boards and authorities, especially when there is no basis in fact to do so."
I couldn't agree more, Mr. Averill. One problem. I never did this.

First let me say, I've never seen David Averill at a single meeting of the Council. If one assumes that he is speaking from first hand experience, he must have seen it on TGOV. This is a fair assumption, because almost everything a councilor does officially, they do on TGOV. As such, show me the tape of my doing this dispicable deed.

If you're referencing the Cameron and Reynolds affair, is quietly voting "no" on a mayoral appointment "trashing" their reputations? As for a basis for my vote, I thought...and still think...their philosophy regarding Tulsa's water policy is disastrous.

"It is not trying to renege on a long-standing promise to extend a water line to a neighboring community."
One, who made the "promise?" The mayor denied that he did. Charles Hardt didn't have the authority to promise. If he, or any civil service employee made a promise to Owasso, then they should be fired for doing so.

Two, how was it "long standing?" The money for the waterline was passed by the voters as part of the Vision 2025 initiatives. Tulsa offered to build the line using TMUA funds a few months after the Vision vote. The first it appeared on the Council's agenda was the very first committee meeting the day after the new council was sworn in. Imagine the brand new council showing up tomorrow morning, and having this snuck in as the third agenda item.

A few months does not "long standing' make.

It's not trying to boost Tulsa by blocking progress in the suburbs.
For the umpteenth time, regionalism is a two-way bargain. If a project requires Tulsa's resources to be used to the benefit of any suburb, and to the detriment of Tulsa, then it is foolish for any elected official of Tulsa to pursue that project.

That isn't trying to "boost Tulsa by blocking," David. It's called being a responsible steward of the citizen's interests.

Civility is not mistreating guests at council meetings.
If you're going to accuse, at least have the decency to cite the instance in which this occurred. I remember Councilor Baker chastising Deanna Oakley. I remember Councilor Martinson referring to North Tulsa citizens who were critical of his posisions as "the Peanut Gallery." I'm not sure when we were supposed to have mistreated guests.

If you're still talking about the waterline issue, I will say that I was pretty reserved with Rodney Ray, the City Manager of Owasso, who basically came to the Tulsa City Council to threaten us. I also remember saying that if a non-elected official of Tulsa went to Owasso's council to make threats, I would have screamed for their dismissal.

It is not trying to shout down fellow councilors who hold differing opinions.
Never did it. Henderson maybe?

It's not dressing down city employees, who aren't in much of a position to respond, just because you don't like the message they bring.
Never did it. Show me the tape. Cite an instance. You can't, David, because if you did, we could make the tape available and the truth wouldn't match your paper's spin.

It's not five members meeting exclusive of the other four to pre-arrange strategy for the official council meeting.

I'll will swear on a mother's grave (although she's still alive)...or take a polygraph on this one. Five of us NEVER met to do what David Averill suggests. In fact, on this one he moves very close to the edge of slander, given he is accusing us of a crime. uncivil of you David.

Then there is the matter of Jim Mautino and I being reputdiated by the voters.

It is interesting to note that two of the councilors most often at the center of incidents of discord, Chris Medlock and Jim Mautino, will no longer be on the council. Recall votes in their respective districts last year, called after a citizen group circulated recall petitions, were overwhelmingly defeated. It appears that those votes were more against the recall effort than they were endorsements of Medlock and Mautino; the next time they faced voters they lost, Medlock in the Republican mayoral primary and Mautino to challenger Dennis K. Troyer in the District 6 election Tuesday.
As for me, I ran against an incumbent from my own party, who came from on of Tulsa's "brand name" families and outspent me 10 to 1. I had no run-off election to fend off the effect of a third candidate entering the race to split the "anyone but LaFortune" vote. Even so, I got nearly 12,000 votes which is basically 12,000 more votes than any of the Tulsa World's opinionistas have ever gotten.

Also, let's not forget that the Tulsa World's "scientific" poll said that I was going to get half the votes I did get. Could this mean that there is a growing number of people that would like to see a little more disruption at City Hall if it sheds light on what's really been going on down there?

As for Jim Mautino, let's say this. Jim ran three campaigns in two years for the same seat, because of the likes of David Averill and Bob Lorton (who gave $2500 to the Recall effort). He is a 73 year old retiree with a passion for his city and his neighborhood. He was outspent in the primary and won. When they didn't get him in the primary, many of the same financial interests ponied up to the Troyer campaign to get him in the general. It is amazing he came so close.

Jim Mautino had his reputation smeared almost daily in the pages of the rag Mr. Averill works for, much of it at the hands of Mr. Averill himself. Much of this "trashing" was done with "no basis in fact to do so."

Come to think of it, who has been the most uncivil? The members of the 2004 Tulsa City Council, or the members of the antiquated Tulsa World editorial board?

At least we councilors have the facts on our side.


Steven H. Roemerman Sr said...

Jim lost by about 160 votes...that is hardly an overwhelming defeat. Also, when you consider how much he was outspent then Mr. Averill's statement is truly ludicrous.

Paul Tay said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul Tay said...

Man, I wish you had not dumped your base of over 11,000 people who sweated blood. Whydon'tcha give us da inside dope on dat? To me, it had all da trimmings of political suicide. Do you not want to come back to fight 'nuther day? Didya think da GOB would take you in like da prodigal son? Didya actually think Bill was gonna win? Da Rich Chick bought every vote in dis town. Da only reason why the point spread wasn't 60-35 was North Tulsa. North Tulsa voted Bill by not showing up for a rich honky chick who never did connect, no matter what da pimps were tellin' 'em in church.

Endorsing Faulk, over Bill, would not have been so crazy. So what if he didn't have a snowball's chance in hell. You knew Bill was toast when you endorsed him. With that, you knew your base is toast. Why, man, why?

bamlock said...

Funny how the Whirled never complained about when the councilors would meet after meetings at a restaraunt during the Patrick days... They had a spin article on it once and let them say how there was nothing wrong with it ..Just depends which side you are on how the story is told.