Thursday, December 14, 2006

Where Is Tulsa's Legal Department on Bixby Bridge?

Are they lost? Are we being burdened by so many nuisance suits that there are no Tulsa City Attorneys available to help the citizenry in a very public and high-stakes court action?

The South Tulsa Citizens Coalition (STCC) has a court date on December 20th in their attempt to ‘move that bridge,” that is proposed to cross the Arkansas River near 121st and South Yale Ave.

The wannabe builders of the bridge are Infrastructure Ventures, Inc. (IVI). They hope the bridge will provide a second link over the river between Tulsa and Jenks. They too, will have attorneys at the court hearing on Dec. 20th, but with one noticeable difference. IVI’s lawyers will most likely be joined by the legal eagles paid by the good citizens of Jenks.

You see, Jenks views the building of this bridge to be in their city’s best interests, so they are using taxpayer dollars to fight the home owners of South Tulsa. In contrast, STCC is having to raise money to pay for lawyers, or are depending on pro bono assistance from some of the lawyers in the effected neighborhoods.

This is shameful, bordering on SCANDALOUS!

The taxpaying home owners along South Yale have paid their taxes. Their property values are under attack by IVI, the City of Jenks and the City of Bixby. They deserve to be represented by the Tulsa City Legal department.

This might not be the case, if the following weren’t true:

  1. Mayor Taylor signed a pledge (as did most of the mayoral candidates last Spring) to oppose building the bridge where IVI and the other city’s want to build the bridge.
  2. Last Spring, the Tulsa City Council approved a binding resolution opposing the building on Yale Ave. The resolution was signed by both City Attorney Alan Jackere and then mayor, Bill LaFortune.
  3. The current City Council has not rescinded that resolution.

As such, it is the official position of the City of Tulsa that the bridge should not be built where IVI wants the bridge and where STCC does NOT want the bridge.

So why are tax paying citizens of Tulsa being forced to fend for themselves in the courthouse, rather than being assisted by the city’s legal department?

Mayor Taylor needs to get off the fence, be mindful that she gave her word, and get some attorneys down to the hearing on December 20th.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Are "The Channels" All But Dead?

Very quietly, at two meetings of Tulsa's Chapter of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, the death knells were sounded for the proposed $700 million river development known as “The Channels.”

The November guest speaker at the Republican Assembly meeting was newly elected County Commissioner John Smaligo. During his presentation, he said that he very much doubted that The Channels would ever be brought to a vote of the people due to cost and an overall lack of support.

Last night, during the December meeting of the Republican Assembly, guest speaker Fred Perry echoed Smaligo’s assertion, stating that he “very much doubted” a vote would ever take place.

Beside myself, others of note present at the meeting were former City Councilor Jim Mautino and current District 7 City Councilor John Eagleton. Both meetings were video taped, so it would be very awkward for either commissioner to back track on statements made before a group of conservative activists that make up a large part of their base.

Given it only takes two votes to kill The Channels, and given these two commissioners’ very public remarks, you can pretty much take it to the bank.

J-K Warren’s “The Channels” will remain the pipe dream of a few mid-towners who meant well, but weren’t in tune with what the public wanted.