City Charter changes

Editorial Analysis: Tulsans may vote contrary to law Tuesday and the daily newspaper doesn’t think that is a significant enough issue to call to the public attention in their election summary. They are wrong.

David E. O’Meilia, City Attorney in an opinion 2017-03 released August 18, 2017 writes, “The City Attorney is unable to approve the legality of the Council’s Resolution submitting a proposed Charter amendment to the voters changing Charter restrictions on certain employee political activities.”  

O’Meilia’s office provided a 44-page issue summary to Tulsa Today documenting his well-reasoned position with legal citations and precedent for refusing to approve this charter change. O’Meilia is a precise legal scholar and citizens are well-advised to heed his professionally considered documented opinion if we want to avoid lengthy and costly court battles for no purpose beyond politics.

Further, in Tulsa Today’s opinion, this City of Tulsa Charter Change Proposition No. 6 is virtually guaranteed to bankrupt the city, put control of our annual budget in the hands of union partisans and betray our citizens. It will amend the Charter to “permit municipal employees, including firefighters, to attend public meetings and express their views, and permit political activities by municipal employees, including firefighters, when off duty and not in uniform.”

Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a strong supporter of union activity in the private section wrote in 1937, “All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.” (Click here for more)

Further, in Tulsa, we have seen firefighters wear union t-shirts going door-to-door telling elderly citizens they had better vote in support of pay raises or no one will answer their call if a fire breaks out.  Police union activists have asserted the public safety will be at risk if citizens refuse to increase pay. This is evil and untrue.

Public workers have civil service – a worker focused set of law that mimic most union rights. Sadly, Democrat President John F. Kennedy felt obligated to pay back unions for their money in his election and, by executive order, allowed public employees to unionize. Thus these civil service employees can now unionize, but why does a union need a union?

Public service is managed by temporary elected officials. In cities across the nation, these temp-elected promise long-term benefits governments cannot afford. They pander for money and door-knocking support from local unions. The temp-elected are often long gone when the bills come due and the true owners of the enterprise – citizens – are then screwed to salaries and benefits beyond municipal income – in short, bankrupt.

That means streets don’t get fixed. Street lights are dark. Water systems (like in Flint, Michigan) go bad. Get the picture Tulsa? Think we are exaggerating? Have you ever read the details of a union contract with the city? We have. It’s scary how they hide all the goodies. Vote NO on Proposition No. 6 to save the City of Tulsa from financial devastation.

We could go into exhaustive detail on the other propositions, but Tulsa Today readers appreciate brevity so here are our summaries of each.

Proposition No. 1-3 are basically housekeeping amendments to align with state law.  Tulsa Today recommends: Vote Yes on all.

Proposition No. 4 reverses a good government effort to have more participation in elections. By moving the elections to August, elitists like Mayor G.T. Bynum and former-mayor Kathy Taylor hope citizens are all on vacation and not voting. Elections were set for November to align with state and federal elections, thereby, enjoying the most robust voter turnout possible. Tulsa Today recommends: Vote No on Proposition No. 4.

Proposition No. 5 is another tool of elitists to disembowel citizens. Political parties are the way average citizens can gather together to make a difference in local government. Parties provide a foundation of principles that allow people to judge and hold accountable their elected party members. Elites want money and perceptions of power (real or not) to rule and that will happen if the powerful elite set our election districts and rules. Tulsa Today recommends: Vote No on Proposition No. 5.

Proposition No. 6 we have covered above, but Proposition No. 7 is, in large part, proof of our warning that unions and the wealthy elite want to rule the City of Tulsa. Tulsa already has a long standing law called the “Brown Amendment” that provides a difficult process should money need to be moved from one budget to another. This Charter Change will prohibit union money from “ever” being moved in “any” portion. Things happen. Emergency occurs. Absolutes are dangerous when planning the future. Tulsa Today recommends: Vote No on Proposition No. 7.

Regardless of agreement on any particular point, please vote. Participate in your government. In a Republic, we earn the government that rules us by our participation or not at every opportunity to vote.

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