City Hall report
BY ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer
Friday, February 08, 2013
2/08/13 at 2:57 AM
Read continuing coverage of Tulsa’s City Council.
The City Council began what will be a monthly pet adoption awareness campaign Thursday, showing off two dogs that are available for adoption at the Tulsa Animal Welfare Shelter.
Councilor G.T. Bynum, who spearheaded the campaign, said the council will feature such pets at one of its regular meetings each month in an effort to reduce the number of animals that must be euthanized at the shelter.
Such efforts have been highly successful in other cities, he said.
Tulsa's shelter currently has about 180 cats and dogs. Last year, 11,500 animals came through the shelter's doors, Tulsa Animal Welfare Manager Jean Letcher said.
The dogs featured Thursday were Baxter, a Chihuahua and dachshund mix, and Minnie, a Labrador retriever and German shepherd mix.
Anyone interested in adopting them or any other dogs or cats can call 918-596-8011 or visit the shelter at 3031 N. Erie Ave.
Information on the current City Council pets of the month will be available by calling the council's office at 918-596-1990, Bynum said.
Demolition ban corrected: The council on Thursday corrected a technicality that would have kept its extension of downtown's demolition ban from taking effect until the end of this month.
The council voted Jan. 31 to extend for one month the previous six-month ban on demolishing downtown buildings to make surface parking lots, which was set to expire that day.
However, the council did not consider an emergency clause that would have allowed the extension to take effect immediately. Without it, the extension would have had to wait 30 days.
Councilors repealed the previous action on Thursday and approved an extension through May 15 with the emergency clause. Because of the technicality, the demolition ban was not in effect for seven days.
Councilor David Patrick previously requested the shorter extension so he could speak with the ban's proponent, Councilor Blake Ewing, who had to leave the Jan. 31 meeting before the item was discussed.
Patrick said he became comfortable with a longer extension after speaking with Ewing at a committee meeting earlier Thursday.
The original ban took effect July 18.
Its extension is intended to allow city councilors to consider permanent restrictions in the zoning code that would ban most new surface lots downtown and create a stricter application and review process for businesses seeking to demolish buildings there.
Ewing has previously said the proposed amendments would empower the city to preserve historic buildings after decades of watching its skyline erode.
61st and Peoria task force: The council voted Thursday to create a task force to seek quality of life improvements for the area of 61st Street and Peoria Avenue, where four women were fatally shot at an apartment complex Jan. 7.
Councilor Jeannie Cue said she proposed the 61st and Peoria Quality of Life Task Force to assemble elected officials, neighborhood leaders and residents to brainstorm projects and seek grant funding with the aim of addressing social and economic problems that have contributed to the area's high crime rate.
The task force will focus on improving safety, creating activities for children and establishing social services such as mental and medical health care, Cue said.
She said task force members are still being sought. Anyone who is interested, including residents, can call the City Council's office at 918-596-1990.
Councilor hospitalized: City Councilor Skip Steele was taken to St. John Medical Center after complaining of feeling bad after a committee meeting Thursday.
His condition reportedly was not serious.
Colleagues said he began feeling poorly at the council's office in City Hall shortly after the 11:45 a.m. conclusion of the Capital Improvement Program Task Force meeting.
Steele, a Republican, represents District 6. He was elected in 2011.
Appointments: The council appointed Shonday Harmon and Donnie House to the Human Rights Commission on Thursday. Harmon replaces Claiborne Taulbert, whose term expired more than 60 days ago, and House replaces Tommy Chesbro.
The council also appointed Emmet Richards to the Tulsa Stadium Trust. He replaces Steven Malcolm.
Councilor G.T. Bynum holds a dog available for adoption at the Tulsa Animal Welfare Shelter. Courtesy