City Hall report
BY BRIAN BARBER & KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writers
Sunday, November 18, 2012
11/18/12 at 2:38 AM
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Writers Brian Barber and Kevin
Canfield about city government
"This technology is so advanced, I think we'll see more material than ever being recycled in Tulsa and diverted away from our landfills."
- Tom Hill, CEO of American Waste Control, which owns Tulsa Recycle and Transfer, on the upgraded facility that's processing all of the city's recyclables.
"If I am in violation, I will just do whatever the mayor and the city attorney tell me to do."
- Councilor Tom Mansur, on his possible violation of state law for missing so many meetings.
Week in review
Absentee councilor: City Council Administrator Drew Rees is trying to determine whether outgoing City Councilor Tom Mansur violated a state law that requires members of municipal governing bodies to attend at least 50 percent of meetings in any given consecutive four-month period.
From July through October, Mansur missed 11 regular and special meetings and attended nine, according to figures provided by the City Council office.
The figures include 13 regular meetings - of which Mansur attended seven - and seven special meetings, of which Mansur attended two.
At issue is whether the seven special meetings were properly designated or should have been listed as task force meetings.
The meetings were held to discuss the city's Community Development Block Grant process, which councilors participate in as members of the Fund Allocation Committee.
If the CDBG special meetings were not part of the calculation, Mansur would be in compliance with state law.
"We are looking at the facts and seeing what meetings are applicable and whether a quorum was reached," Rees said. "Then we will discuss it with the city attorney to get his advice on how to proceed."
Mansur announced Aug. 17 that he would not actively seek re-election because he had accepted a job in Ardmore. However, he chose to keep his name on the ballot, saying he did not want to be the person to determine the outcome of the two-person race.
Since then, he has missed six of nine regular meetings and six of nine special meetings.
Arianna Moore defeated Mansur in the District 7 election Nov. 6, capturing 57.1 percent of the vote. She will be sworn in Dec. 3.
Mansur said Wednesday that he was under the impression that the state attendance law applied to meetings held over six consecutive months, not four.
High-tech recycling: As the mayor proclaimed Thursday as the first Tulsa Recycles Day, the new material recovery facility processing all of the city's household recyclables was unveiled.
Tulsa Recycle and Transfer, the contractor, recently went through a $10 million upgrade at its three-acre facility at 1150 N. Peoria Ave. to replace an entirely manual process with one that uses dozens of automatic sorting points.
Magnets, optical scanners and air classifiers along the conveyer belts increase the amount of recycled materials and productivity.
Tulsans are already setting local records with their recycling efforts, city Solid Waste Services Manager Eric Lee said.
Out of the city's 116,500 households, about 110,000 of them have accepted the recycling carts as part of the system that fully launched Oct. 1.
Tulsans will have recycled about 2,400 tons through the end of this week - the seventh week of the program, he said.
That's as much as was previously collected in a full year's 52 weeks, Lee said, and has boosted the diversion rate from less than 2 percent to about 17.5 percent.
The city of Tulsa has scheduled a 4 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday public meeting in City Hall's Council Chambers to take comments on recommended changes to the downtown parking meter system.
Tulsa-based American Parking has submitted the best proposal to get the parking meter system fully functional and oversee it, a city review committee has determined.
But it will be up to Mayor Dewey Bartlett and the City Council to determine whether to increase the meter rates and hours so that the system does not need to be subsidized to operate efficiently.
The city now charges 10 to 25 cents per half-hour, depending on the type of meter and location, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The rates haven't changed since 1992 and are behind those of peer cities.
The review committee has recommended a bump to 50 cents per half-hour and as much as $2 for a full hour in the financial district, as well as increasing the hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.
Tulsa's City Hall and local government offices will be closed Thursday and Friday in honor of Thanksgiving.
Thursday and Friday trash and recycling customers will have their collection days moved forward by one day to accommodate the holiday disruption in service. So, those with Thursday collection will receive service Friday, while those with Friday collection will receive service Saturday.
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