Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Council Powerless to Stop Taylor?

I have it on very good authority that the Tulsa City Council can do nothing to delay Mayor Kathy Taylor from giving away $7 million in Tulsa taxpayer funds to the Bank of Oklahoma. The resolution the Council will be voting on Thursday night is to "survey" the Sinking Fund, to see if there are sufficient monies available to cover the Mayor's action.

This surveying of the Sinking Fund is considered to be a "ministerial" action which a previous City Attorney, Alan Jackere told the Council when I was a member, that the council is duty bound to certify the figures, if they are true. Ironically, Jackere is the same City Attorney that told the Council in 2005 that the city had no legal obligation to make good on Bank of Oklahoma's bad loan to TIA via TAIT. Doubly ironic is the fact that Jackere was run out of his position early in Taylor's term of office because she alleged that Jackere and Larry Simmons (another staunch opponent within city legal to giving money to BOK) mishandled a law suit against a man improperly prosecuted, which (triply ironic) cost the tax payers millions of dollars from the city's Sinking Fund.

With these two gentlemen gone, can then rely on her appointee as City Attorney, Deidre Dexter, to tell her everything is hunky-dory with the transfer of funds. Remember too, that Dexter is the first City Attorney in recent memory that is employed as one of Taylor's sixteen at-will employees. This means she can also be fired at will. Draw your own conclusions.

The last time the council voted down a "ministerial" action was when it voted not to approve the plat for the F&M Bank that was eventually built at 71st and Harvard. When the Council took that action, F&M filed suit against the councilors individually, threatening their personal assets. Since it took a majority of councilors to deny the plat, a majority of the council were named in the suit. As such, no majority of the council could be mustered to vote to give the councilors [me included] the legal services of City Legal. As such, each councilor was forced to hire their own counsel.

It is quite doubtful that the current councilors will take such a risk to stop this action, given the determined legal actions BOK has been taking to get their money back. Thus, Kathy Taylor will be able to claim that she made the transfer of money with the blessings of the Council.

At best, the council could safely delay the action for a week or two, giving the voters time to muster some political pressure from the public to stop the Mayor.

There will be an 8:30 AM special meeting of the Tulsa Airport Improvement Trust in Room 1101 of City Hall. This is the Mayor's main conference room. It is ostensibly open to the public, but also very likely that they will move to enter executive session to handle the really dicey stuff the Mayor doesn't want the public to know.

Later that evening, the Council will meet at 5 PM to "survey" the Sinking Fund and then will vote on it as a "Mayors Item," during their regular Thursday night meeting.

The citizens of the city of Tulsa need to pack the place and speak out against this waste of our tax dollars. Give the City Council some political cover to delay this, thus assuring the Mayor will pay a political price if she proceeds.

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