Tulsa’s city vote Tuesday

Analysis: In elections Tuesday, Tulsans will decide not just on elected public employees, but the very nature and form of local government.  Should a strong council rule or a stronger mayor?  Should future council candidates be able to hide their base affiliations?  Should all knowledge of each council be discarded with each new council arriving in office deaf and dumb to what has come before?

Did you know these are the questions?  If not, you are paying way too much attention to the “established” media spin.

The cliff note versions of our choices on the propositions are provided, but the summary is simple. 

In short, it is not the form of government, but the people we elect and how disagreement is propagated by the reporters of the daily newspaper with broadcast news that has caused public angst over the last several years.

Tulsa Today has covered city politics since 1996 and this writer since 1986 and it is our considered opinion that local government can be identified beyond the elected posts as groups of workers, management, and unions.  All have agendas often in conflict and to expect no disagreement is foolish.

That is what democracy looks like – disagreement.  Do you really care when some passive-aggressive bureaucrat incites an elected official with vague and disingenuous answers to the point he or she loses patience?  Do you care to watch elected officials pontificate as if they were on the U.S. House floor rather than in an obscure local council sub-committee meeting?  Put down TGOV, back away from daily hyper-coverage and you will feel much better about the city.

Tulsans are good people in overwhelming number and plainly spoken so why should you expect quiet agreement in government on every public issue?  No dispute occurs in China where they just quietly shoot those that disagree.  Is that what you want in Tulsa?

Tulsa Today will not make individual endorsements for City Council.  First, because some candidates we thought had a clue have proven in the general race to not be so gifted.  Second, no one running is a complete idiot so we will not dispute any choice.  Hopefully, those voting have personally talked to their respective candidates and the most honorable, honest and hard working in each district will be elected.

Proposition No. 1
If approved, this will change the current strong mayor-city council form of government to a council-city manager form of government.  It would extend council terms for four-years and institute a 12-year term limit on each councilor.

Tulsa Today Position – Vote No
It is not the form of government that is the problem.  Whoever we elect will be in dispute with the institutions of city bureaucracy and management unless it is the bureaucracy that rules the taxpayers and that is called communism.

Initiative Proposition No. 1
If approved, this initiative will add three at-large councilors to the current nine and have the mayor control the council meetings and agenda topics.

Tulsa Today Position – Vote No
So three more “super” councilors will shut the other nine up?  What makes anyone think that will happen?  Let the mayor have even more power by uniting city government into one elected body?  This proposal is insane.  Further, should it pass, local civil rights attorneys have declared they will file a legal challenge and, given Attorney General Eric H. Holder’s current racialist leadership (see “Injustice” by J. Christian Adams) it could get really ugly and expensive for the city very quickly.

Initiative Proposition No. 2
This question would return the City Council terms to two years and hold elections in conjunction with state and federal elections.

Tulsa Today Position – Vote No
Voters approved staggered terms so that some of what one council learned would be available to the next council.  That change is just now coming into effect so this question should be rejected.  Also, it is difficult to capture voter attention on local elections as they are scheduled and, if held when state and national races are ongoing, local races will become much more expensive and far less scrutinized by media and the public.

Initiative Proposition No. 3
Change to non-partisan elections.  

Tulsa Today Position – Vote No
This is not working anywhere in America where it has been tried.  Why hide foundational beliefs?  Granted, if a candidate has no foundation for public policy positions beyond base ambition this could be beneficial, but there is a stark difference between parties.  As defined by President Barack Obama’s Administration; Democrats believe in Marxism (redistribution of other people’s wealth) with ever growing control of the daily lives and economic freedom of the people.  Republicans believe in a constitutionally limited role of government – or, at least they should.  We have heard the line that “potholes have no party affiliation,” but the approach to repair most certainly does.

Regardless if you agree or disagree, please vote.  If you would like to tell Tulsa why you may disagree with our positions, feel free below.  Registration is free and necessary to comment on Tulsa Today.