City Hall report
BY KEVIN CANFIELD & ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writers
Friday, February 01, 2013
2/01/13 at 2:50 AM
Read continuing coverage of Tulsa’s City Council.
Related stories: Council OKs reforms to city’s block grant program.
Task force touted for troubled area.
Close call: Councilors initially voted to postpone a vote on a proposal to extend for six months a temporary ban on demolishing downtown buildings for surface parking lots.
The vote to continue the item was taken after Council Chairman David Patrick said he had questions for the proposal's sponsor, Councilor Blake Ewing, who was not present.
Later in the meeting, Councilor G.T. Bynum told councilors he had received a text message from Ewing saying that without council action, the temporary ban would expire Thursday.
Councilors then agreed to take up the issue again and voted to extend the ban for one month.
A six-month moratorium took effect July 18.
Ewing proposed the ban to give the council time to consider permanent restrictions in the zoning code.
The city is drafting code amendments that would ban most new surface lots and create a stricter application and review process for businesses seeking to demolish buildings.
Ewing has said previously that the proposed amendments would empower the city to preserve historic buildings after decades of watching its skyline erode.
Charter amendment: A proposal to amend the City Charter by giving the City Council authority to approve or disapprove mayors' appointments for city attorney was presented to a city committee Thursday.
Bynum, the proposal's author, said the measure would ensure that the council has confidence in any future city attorneys.
Under the current system, mayors can fill the position unilaterally.
Changes in the City Charter require a citywide election and must be approved by the mayor and City Council. Bynum has said he hopes to have it on the ballot in November.
Moment of silence: City councilors had a moment of silence for Mayor Dewey Bartlett and his family. Bartlett's mother, Ann Bartlett, died Saturday.