City Hall report
BY BRIAN BARBER & P.J. LASSEK World Staff Writers
Sunday, March 18, 2012
3/18/12 at 3:22 AM
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"Hey, I broke the law. It's only fair."
- Councilor Blake Ewing, who said that's what he told an unnerved Tulsa police officer who wrote Ewing a speeding ticket. Ewing said he was rushing to a Wednesday speaking engagement with the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors
"If we tell them one thing and do something else, we all look stupid."
- Councilor Tom Mansur on Thursday about the city putting out unachievable completion dates for street projects
Week in review
Trash cart concerns: A mostly elderly crowd at a Tuesday night Tulsa Republican Assembly meeting expressed concerns to city officials that under the new trash program starting Oct. 1, everyone who doesn't qualify as low-income and disabled will receive the large 95-gallon carts and not be able to select the smaller size until January.
Downtown roundabout: Crews continued work on Tulsa's first modern traffic "roundabout" in downtown at Elgin Avenue and 10th and 11th streets.
Construction is scheduled to be done at the end of May.
A roundabout is wider than a traffic circle, such as the one at Fifth and Main streets, and smaller than a rotary, such as the one at Admiral Place and Mingo Road.
It is part of a larger, three-intersection project, funded with $2.6 million in tax increment financing district and water enterprise money.
No action on Rees review: Councilors took no action following a 5 p.m. Thursday closed-door session about Council Administrator Drew Rees.
The executive session was to discuss Rees' job performance. His probation period as the council administrator has passed, and a review is due.
Rees, who had been the council's attorney, was hired as its administrator nearly seven months ago to succeed Don Cannon.
Council Chairman G.T. Bynum was going to meet individually with councilors to discuss Rees' performance but changed that plan when concerns over potentially violating the state's Open Meeting Act were raised.
Council Thursday actions
Restrictions on peddlers: The City Council voted 8-1 for an ordinance to restrict door-to-door sales.
The new law will allow peddling in residential areas only between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. unless the seller is there by invitation. It also mandates that sellers obey "No Soliciting" or similar signs posted outside homes.
The ordinance applies to everyone, whether they are with a business or a nonprofit organization. It carries a maximum penalty of a $1,200 fine and six months in jail.
Election set: The council unanimously approved setting a June 26 election for Tulsa residents to vote on a City Charter amendment that would codify municipal election schedule changes.
The changes are needed to fix a glitch in a charter amendment approved by voters last year that left the city without the benefit of having the Tulsa County Election Board hold its primary and possible runoff elections.
Councilors also have set this year's election schedule for the three council seats, Districts 1, 4 and 7, that will be expiring as follows: The three-day filing period will be from April 9 to 11 with a June 26 primary election, a possible runoff race Aug. 28 and the general election Nov. 6.
For the first time, as approved by voters, the races will be nonpartisan.
Council unanimous on EMSA changes: A unanimous council approved a consensus supporting Mayor Dewey Bartlett's directive for EMSA to make changes to its policies and devise "a new way of running things" to become more customer-friendly.
The ambulance agency has been at the center of controversy after a recent series of Tulsa World stories.
A program costing participants $3.64 per month is supposed to protect them from having to pay out-of-pocket expenses for an ambulance ride, but the World's investigation has found that EMSA has sent bills and filed liens and lawsuits against some people, even though they are part of the program.
No meetings: Councilors will not hold their regular meetings this week because of spring break.
March 26: The City Hall In Your Neighborhood meeting for District 7 will be at Hardesty Regional Library, 8316 E. 93rd St., Frossard Auditorium. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with a city resource fair, followed by a 6 p.m. question-and-answer session with the mayor, District 7's Councilor Mansur and other city officials.
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