Council approves stadium trust
BY P.J. LASSEK World Staff Writer
Thursday, September 18, 2008
6/30/09 at 3:40 PM
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The City Council unanimously approved the creation of the Tulsa Stadium Trust on Thursday after months of wrangling with the language in the public trust document.
The process has been controversial, with 41 trust document versions, two delayed votes and much heated discussion between some councilors and ballpark backers behind the drafting of the document.
“The issue has never been whether the location of the ballpark is a good idea. We all agree it is,” said Councilor Rick Westcott, one of three councilors who as late as Tuesday still had issues with the document.
“The issue has always been whether the trust (document) sufficiently protects the citizens of Tulsa. Now, I believe it does,” Westcott said at the meeting, which was packed with ballpark supporters.
Revisions to the document that gave the council approval over the trust’s financial actions were made after Westcott and Councilors Bill Martinson and John Eagleton said Tuesday that they could not approve the document without it.
Previously, the document gave the approval power for such actions to the mayor, who also would hold a voting seat on the trust, creating what Westcott called a “super trustee” with the ability to control decisions.
The trust is made up of nine members — the seated mayor, three downtown property owners, four donors to the project and a representative of the development arm of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce.
Martinson said councilors were never asking for “micro-management,” just a role so that the city doesn’t have a public trust run into a situation similar to one in the past, referring to the now-defunct Great Plains Airline.
“Is it the document I would have drafted? No. Is it a document I can live with? Yes,” Martinson said.
The Tulsa City Council OK'd the formation of the Tulsa Stadium Trust in a unanimous vote Thursday night after several months and 41 versions of the trust documents.