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My opponent has put out so much false information that I have chose to address it here, rather than getting into a posting war on social media.

 

 

Allegation 1: The street widening project on 41st between Garnett and 129th E Avenue had an approximate $12.5M price tag on it.  Instead, we got asphalt resurfacing to the tune of $2M.  A lot of people have asked what happened, with no answers given.

This project has been discussed multiple times at town hall meetings during the course of the project.

First he has indicated it was a Vision Project. That is false. It was part of the first “Improve Our Tulsa” package, in 2013 while my predecessor, Skip Steele, was in office. The $12.5 million number came from my predecessor. It is unfortunate that he doesn't remember the details and even after discussions with city engineering continues to provide false information. It is even more unfortunate that Mr. Bengel put it out as fact without verification. 

 

It was funded for rehabilitation of the original two lanes with sidewalks. Once I was elected I had continued discussions with engineering and streets. I convinced them that we had to include a third turn lane because of the high number of accidents related to turning traffic. They found a way to make it work.

 

The real funding amount can be found in the link below. I also have provided a statement from Jack Blair with the Mayor's staff to explain some additional details.

Here’s the bond ordinance. The project is on page 3 (page 4 of the pdf), at $1,260,000. It’s a little confusing because the statute requires us to specify 70% of proposed project costs, so our bond project ordinances list projects at 70% of the total cost estimate (see Section 3). As you say, 100% would be $1.8M.

Jack Blair

2013_IOT_Bond_Resolution.pdf

 

Allegation 2: We deserve to know why we invested $10M in a "community" health clinic, and then placed it on Union school property, when TPS is reporting a $20M deficit.

The State Of Oklahoma funds the schools, not the City of Tulsa. You can not just take money approved by the voters for a specific purpose and shift it to something else. For example money for parks can't just be shifted to a different department.

During the planning of the package, the McCullough park property was a suggested location. The bond ordinance language of the bond the voters approved included the funding for the Community Health Connections Clinic.

It did not specify a location because locations may change, as it did in this case. In fact the location of the BMX headquarters changed from county property to city property because of contract issues with the county. The original location for the new fire station on 41st was further west. By the time we approved funds to staff and outfit it, the need, based on demographics, indicated a different location.

Mr. Bengel also questioned the move, based on a loss of asset for the citizens of Tulsa. What he fails to understand is Union Public Schools is not located in a different city. We have two major independent school districts in the boundaries of the City of Tulsa, Independent School Dist No 1 (Tulsa Public Schools) and Independent School Dist No 9 (Union Public Schools).  It is an asset for the taxpayers of the city of Tulsa, not necessarily an asset for the City of Tulsa, and it serves the same voters that voted on the "Vision Tulsa" package.

The location move allowed the taxpayers the continued use of all the park property for improvements also funded in the package.  It also means The City of Tulsa isn't burdened with thousands of dollars in future upkeep on the building. Regardless, those contract issues are beyond the control of the council. After they are funded, the details are handled by the Mayor and various departments. 

Mr. Bengel did confront me on this project at a former town hall. I provided many of these answers at that time. His unwillingness to accept the factual answers provided is not, as he has indicated, a deflection.

In full disclosure, on October 5, 2020, the former councilor, Skip Steele, also a supporter of Mr. Bengel, filed an ethics complaint on me regarding many of these same issues.  

  

The disposition of that complaint can be found here.   Ethics_Disposition.pdf

 

Allegation 3: The mystery of 31st and other road projects. 

We now see 31st Street from Garnett to 129th E Avenue going thru the same.  The problem is 31st Street had a couple of reparable bumps, but really didn't need the resurfacing currently being done.  21st Street is probably one of the worst, and in bad disrepair up to I-44.  I'm not sure why the repair starts just east of 169.  Since this is being done specifically within this Distrct, I too question the timing.  There are also neighborhood roads in disrepair, where this would've been better suited.  Did we get cheated into acceptance of less for the sake of optics of improvement?  I think so.  Our current Councilor brags about more asphalt during her time in office, than in any other. 

 

31st Street from Garnett to 129th E Ave: Was from non-specified routine prevention and maintenance funding. With the increased traffic associated with the new school campus, it was done to protect that investment until the "Improve Our Tulsa 2" funding comes through for a complete rehab. 

21st Street between Garnett and 169 Hwy: Was from non-specified routine prevention and maintenance funding.

21st Street from Garnett to 129th E Ave: Rehab was funded in "Improve Our Tulsa 1" in 2013 under my predecessor, Skip Steele.

As for optics check out the map here http://maps.cityoftulsa.org/iot/

There are four colors that relate to four funding opportunities

Blue -  "Fix Our Streets" there was little investment. That was before my time.

Green - "Improve Our Tulsa 1" That was under my predecessor, but where I could argue for more I did.

Red - "Vision Tulsa" There is only one road project based on an emergency need, because this was an economic development package.

However, I secured the funding for the Community Health Connections Clinic, the major investments in McCullough Park, funding to staff and outfit the new fire station (an empty station would not serve the community and the earlier funding only funded the building). 

For the record I never claimed to have funded all the funds for the new fire station, but I was involved in part of the overall funding. I was also part of the design phase, that included multiple meetings hashing out the details with the fire department. I also fought for the funding of four men per fire trucks especially for the outer lying areas (which includes station 66 and the new station 33). There was significant pushback from Mayor Bartlett on this item.

Orange - "Improve Our Tulsa 2" Is the one and only opportunity that I have had during my time in office to have a major impact on the roads. If you take just a moment to look, you will clearly see that there was more major road projects funded in District 6 during this package, and during my term than in the previous road packages of the last 12 years. Are they done yet? No, but the package passed with more than 80% voter approval, and I couldn't have done it without you.    


Neighbors for Connie Dodson
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