Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 147

Thread: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

  1. Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanized View Post
    I’m also glad these things are being challenged, but not for the same reasons as you are. If the City prevails in a challenge (which I believe would be the case) it would bring much-needed clarity to this issue and hopefully enlighten many as to the reasons for and benefit of the City’s actions and approach in such matters. Hopefully it would also put an end to the baseless intimations and outright allegations of wrongdoing, which is incredibly damaging. And let’s not beat around the bush here and say “nobody is alleging corruption,” because Shadid’s attorney clearly suggested in last night’s KFOR piece that it was a possibility. [...]
    Of course it's a possibility. The fact is we just don't know because we have zero visibility into the process - precisely because of the alleged creative circumvention of the Open Meeting Act. Everything in these meetings could very well be 100% on the level - and in fact I hope that it is! But again, because we don't have any insight into the process until proposals are thrust before the Council for a final yes/no vote, there's no way for us to know. As noted in Shadid's press release, this level of secrecy also serves to suppress public input on these development proposals - and while I generally trust my elected representatives to represent the will of their constituents, the general public still needs to have the ability to add their voice.

  2. Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanized View Post
    Again, that’s reckless and potentially harmful speech with no evidence of this cited whatsoever. If you have evidence of wrongdoing, it should be turned over to law enforcement, otherwise you become an accessory. If not, those words should never even cross your lips. In a debate over PROCEDURE, no less.
    There are a lot of ways something like this could come out. If it is found that the Alliance relationship with the city is problematic, there are a number of things which could happen from the courts simply making available for FOIA requests all of the records of the entity to a slap on the wrist and an admonition not to do these things in the future, all the way to unwinding every single deal the Alliance made. Shadid's attorney isn't a state's attorney, so he doesn't get to prosecute the criminal code.

    You'll need a bit more to make an accessory charge stick than having read something in the newspaper and failed to report it as a crime--just a bit.

    I’d expect the City/Alliance to prevail if a lawsuit were filed. If so, it will be in our best interests as citizens and taxpayers, as it preserves the City’s ability to be quick, responsive and competitive, and to not have all of its cards laid on the table in negotiations.
    I'd wait to see the briefs of the parties before making any determinations. Even if the city loses, I imagine the blessing of groups like the Alliance will quickly make it into the Oklahoma Statutes during the next legislative session.

    It will also have the added benefit of clarifying discussion on this board. Which, of course, would happen no matter who prevails.
    I'm sure that's what everyone is shooting for!

  3. Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by baralheia View Post
    Of course it's a possibility. The fact is we just don't know because we have zero visibility into the process - precisely because of the alleged creative circumvention of the Open Meeting Act. Everything in these meetings could very well be 100% on the level - and in fact I hope that it is! But again, because we don't have any insight into the process until proposals are thrust before the Council for a final yes/no vote, there's no way for us to know. As noted in Shadid's press release, this level of secrecy also serves to suppress public input on these development proposals - and while I generally trust my elected representatives to represent the will of their constituents, the general public still needs to have the ability to add their voice.
    Very simply, the Open Meetings Act could be amended to allow executive session to consider incentive packages for business development. It really could be that simple.

  4. #29
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    5,662
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by baralheia View Post
    Of course it's a possibility. The fact is we just don't know because we have zero visibility into the process - precisely because of the alleged creative circumvention of the Open Meeting Act. Everything in these meetings could very well be 100% on the level - and in fact I hope that it is! But again, because we don't have any sinsight into the process until proposals are thrust before the Council for a final yes/no vote, there's no way for us to know. As noted in Shadid's press release, this level of secrecy also serves to suppress public input on these development proposals - and while I generally trust my elected representatives to represent the will of their constituents, the general public still needs to have the ability to add their voice.
    I hope we get it cleared up. But, at this point, we have seen zero evidence of corruption or bad faith. To my knowledge, there have been no claims by jilted competitors, accidental or other witnesses, no evidence of bribes or payoffs, etc. .... nothing that points to bad behavior other than “we just don’t know, so it must be bad”.

  5. Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post
    I hope we get it cleared up. But, at this point, we have seen zero evidence of corruption or bad faith. To my knowledge, there have been no claims by jilted competitors, accidental or other witnesses, no evidence of bribes or payoffs, etc. .... nothing that points to bad behavior other than “we just don’t know, so it must be bad”.
    There is certainly room for healthy skepticism when a private organization is created solely to help the city get around its obligation to share information with the voters. If we're talking about the old saying re "where there's smoke, there's fire," Alliance is definitely smoke. Now.. have millions of dollars in taxpayer incentives to private entities flowed out without an ounce of corruption? From a historical perspective in Oklahoma and OKC, a fair amount of skepticism is warranted.

  6. #31

    Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner View Post
    I'm sure you're aware then that fair market value is often vastly different from what a structure is worth after it is applied to the depreciation tables. Typically, once built, real estate increases in value, it doesn't decrease. That's at least true for most commercial and residential structures. Do parking garages depreciate to 1/2 the value of a new garage? Isn't the utility of a parking space in a garage built new for $29K per space vs. a space in a garage sold for $15K per space exactly the same, i.e., you can park a car in that space? Isn't the Santa Fe Garage more crucially positioned with regard to these properties than the arts district garage is positioned with regard to any properties it serves?
    You’re saying structures increase in value over time? Correct. I promise you the city didn’t build the garage for $22 million however many years ago it was built.

    To compare SF to the brand new arts garage is silly. For one it’s brand new, elevators are nicer, spaces are wider, etc. it’s used versus new. If a blank lot in your neighborhood gets a house built on it, your house isn’t worth what the new house is all of a sudden. You still have an old house they still have a new one. They function a little more independently.


    Fair market value? The SF garage makes 2.25 million in revenue and sold for 22 million. That’s a 10X multiple, pretty standard.

  7. Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner View Post
    ...You'll need a bit more to make an accessory charge stick than having read something in the newspaper and failed to report it as a crime--just a bit...
    I was referring to anyone who might have specific and direct information.

  8. #33

    Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by gopokes88 View Post
    You’re saying structures increase in value over time? Correct. I promise you the city didn’t build the garage for $22 million however many years ago it was built.

    To compare SF to the brand new arts garage is silly. For one it’s brand new, elevators are nicer, spaces are wider, etc. it’s used versus new. If a blank lot in your neighborhood gets a house built on it, your house isn’t worth what the new house is all of a sudden. You still have an old house they still have a new one. They function a little more independently.


    Fair market value? The SF garage makes 2.25 million in revenue and sold for 22 million. That’s a 10X multiple, pretty standard.
    10% cap rate for a parking garage is very much on the high end.

  9. #34

    Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner View Post
    There is certainly room for healthy skepticism when a private organization is created solely to help the city get around its obligation to share information with the voters. If we're talking about the old saying re "where there's smoke, there's fire," Alliance is definitely smoke. Now.. have millions of dollars in taxpayer incentives to private entities flowed out without an ounce of corruption? From a historical perspective in Oklahoma and OKC, a fair amount of skepticism is warranted.
    That is not why the alliance was created

  10. #35

    Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    He's objected many, many times in city council meetings and to Jim Couch and the Municipal Counselor and has been considering this action for a long time.

    I'm sure the timing has more to do with him just deciding not to run for re-election next April.

    This really has little to do with the garage, it was just the most recent incident.

    Shadid has indicated that there are many examples beside the garage and notes the $1.3 million allocation to the Boathouse Foundation from the General Fund on July 3rd as another example. Think about this example for a minute. The City Council meets with Couch right in the middle of several weeks of budget presentations which is in May of every year. Any and all sizeable changes to the general fund are discussed publicly (even the addition or subtraction of a single employee from a department). The Council decides with Couch in a private meeting that they will allocate the $1.3 million from the General Fund (meaning it is money which could be spent on almost any department in the city, including restoring cut positions, park amenities etc...) but doesn't mention it in the public budget presentations. Then, four weeks after the budget is voted on, Couch sticks the item on the consent docket on July 3rd (the day before a major holiday) with no accompanying presentation. If Shadid did not challenge it during the meeting there would have been no public discussion whatsoever. I personally think the City has a harder time with this budgetary gimmick in the courts. Go back to the meeting and listen to Couch's incoherent mumbling response to Shadid asking why this wasn't discussed during the budget presentations. Couch better do better than that in a deposition etc.. But he can't,, because there is no acceptable answer.

  11. #36
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    5,662
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner View Post
    There is certainly room for healthy skepticism when a private organization is created solely to help the city get around its obligation to share information with the voters. If we're talking about the old saying re "where there's smoke, there's fire," Alliance is definitely smoke. Now.. have millions of dollars in taxpayer incentives to private entities flowed out without an ounce of corruption? From a historical perspective in Oklahoma and OKC, a fair amount of skepticism is warranted.
    Your bias is immediately obvious when you state that the reason the Alliance was formed was for nefarious activity rather than acknowledging perhaps its stated intent of streamlining and facilitation for the purposes of public good is the real reason.
    Of course we know there can be corruption in all sorts of well intentioned organizations ... churches, the White House, the EPA, etc. if there is, root it out. Otherwise, don’t start the smoke so you can claim there is a fire. If you see flames, yell. If it’s ones own breath they see, then they need to think twice about yelling fire in a crowded room.

  12. #37
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    5,662
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by sooner88 View Post
    10% cap rate for a parking garage is very much on the high end.
    Especially since it is losing a significant number of contracted parkers as well as it needing maintenance and upgrade capital. Cap rates on parking garages across the country is running around 6.75% to 7.25%

    At 7%, on face value, the purchase price would be around $32 million. Given the loss of revenue from the leaving of Enable, and given other possible capital needed, Bancfirst and Continental are getting a good, not great deal.

  13. #38

    Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    I am going to laugh when this causes BancFirst to back out of buying the Cotter Ranch Tower.

  14. Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Oof.

  15. Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by BoulderSooner View Post
    That is not why the alliance was created
    The Alliance was created to "Fast-track" development proposals outside of the existing processes.

    The proposal calls for additional, unspecified amounts to be provided by the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, which is largely supported with federal funds and land sale proceeds. Devon Energy Corp. Executive Chairman Larry Nichols, who will chair the new organization, said it is needed to “fast track” development projects.

    “Oklahoma City is at a unique stage in its growth,” Nichols said. “As a community, we have implemented strategies that are attracting investment in our city at an ever-increasing rate, yet the process and entities to help facilitate that growth have been the same for many years.”
    “In the past we've pulled together this ad hoc team from the city, Urban Renewal and a variety of trusts to put together whatever project we had at the moment,” O'Connor said. “The idea is to institutionalize our approach to economic development.

    “The idea is that entities like the city of Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust will contract with The Alliance to coordinate projects we have ahead.”

    Nichols said a company looking at Oklahoma City will be able to work with just The Alliance, and not several different offices, to assemble deals. Similar organizations exist in Kansas City and St. Louis.
    O'Connor said proceedings of the existing public trusts will still be subject to the Oklahoma Open Meetings and Open Records laws. She was unsure whether the expenditures of The Alliance, which will operate with public funding, will be subject to open records laws.
    Duties of “The Alliance” will include coordination, management, planning and implementation of the following tasks:
    • The city's economic development incentives.
    • The city's retail incentives.
    • Redevelopment traditionally handled by the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority.
    • Identification and development of job creation sites.
    • Public/private redevelopment opportunities generated by MAPS 3, specifically a new convention center hotel.
    • Implementation of required financing associated with projects.
    Source: https://newsok.com/article/3556579/n...lopment-in-okc

  16. Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by baralheia View Post
    The Alliance was created to "Fast-track" development proposals outside of the existing processes.

    Source: https://newsok.com/article/3556579/n...lopment-in-okc
    You say that and you posted that article as if it were an indictment. The “existing processes” were that THERE WERE NO EXISTING PROCESSES. Just as your quoted article states, anytime the City was pursuing an economic development opportunity they had to hurriedly throw together an ad-hoc team, determine what partnerships might apply, and then hand applicants off to a hodgepodge of agencies and hope everybody handled things with the same amount of care.

    The Alliance was intended to streamline things and bring a level of professionalism and institutional knowledge which would make everyone’s efforts more impactful. Period. And it has performed exactly as was described in the article you just quoted, to the letter.

  17. #42

    Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    In secret.

  18. #43

    Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    This is a whole lot of speculation It seems. Most of the people named in this, I would assume, are readily available for comment. Why has no news organization got them on record as of yet? I apologize if I’ve missed that somewhere here as this thread and other stories about it are all over. Seems like it’d be important for the reporting.

  19. Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by d-usa View Post
    In secret.
    This reminds me of the "I know you are but what am I?" scene in Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure. Were you really trying to make a point or just to antagonize?

    As I have pointed out (ad nauseam) in other threads, the business of OCURA and the Economic Development Trust has been conducted to the letter of the law (and personally I believe to the spirit of the law). As I pointed out abundantly in the Cox Center thread, land deals and the like have been done overwhelmingly by RFP, as indicated in their mandate. Furthermore, groups like COTPA follow the rules and obligations of municipal trusts, which are decidedly different from their beneficiary municipalities. If you care to know more about those obligations and the thinking behind them, you can read about them here: http://www.crawfordcpas.com/Municipalpublictrusts.pdf

    Regarding The Alliance, I have outlined their main reasons for existing above. But if by "in secret" you are referring to the fact that The Alliance can honor a non-disclosure agreement if a company they are dealing with does not wish to reveal proprietary information (that could be seized upon by competitors) and wouldn't come to the table without one? In that case, you are 100% correct. Or, if you meant they can negotiate without revealing their full capabilities, resources and limits to competing municipalities or future applicants - thereby protecting OKC's negotiating position - then, you're right about that too. These are strengths, not weaknesses, and they protect our interests rather than compromise them.

    Have you ever wondered if, when someone looks at the sky that you see as blue, even when they agree that it is blue, the color they see is actually orange? If you are wearing a tinfoil hat you are ALWAYS going to see a conspiracy.

    Here is an example: when I see someone here saying "they met with a group of 3-4 in order to circumvent public meetings law" I completely disagree, because I believe they met with a small group so as to NOT VIOLATE open meetings law. Or - perhaps more properly - IN ORDER TO COMPLY with open meetings law. If you would like to know more about the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act, you can read the actual, full ordinance here: https://www.ok.gov/occy/documents/OpenMeeting.pdf

  20. Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird View Post
    This is a whole lot of speculation It seems. Most of the people named in this, I would assume, are readily available for comment. Why has no news organization got them on record as of yet? I apologize if I’ve missed that somewhere here as this thread and other stories about it are all over. Seems like it’d be important for the reporting.
    It is because other news organizations have previously attempted to challenge this and have been advised that they have no traction and that the City is operating within the bounds of the existing Open Meetings Act.

  21. #46

    Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by jonny d View Post
    I am going to laugh when this causes BancFirst to back out of buying the Cotter Ranch Tower.
    Not knowing what, if any, other suitors exist, that would suck. Hard.

  22. #47

    Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by Urbanized View Post
    I’m also glad these things are being challenged, but not for the same reasons as you are. If the City prevails in a challenge (which I believe would be the case) it would bring much-needed clarity to this issue and hopefully enlighten many as to the reasons for and benefit of the City’s actions and approach in such matters. Hopefully it would also put an end to the baseless intimations and outright allegations of wrongdoing, which is incredibly damaging. And let’s not beat around the bush here and say “nobody is alleging corruption,” because Shadid’s attorney clearly suggested in last night’s KFOR piece that it was a possibility.

    Again, that’s reckless and potentially harmful speech with no evidence of this cited whatsoever. If you have evidence of wrongdoing, it should be turned over to law enforcement, otherwise you become an accessory. If not, those words should never even cross your lips. In a debate over PROCEDURE, no less.

    Regarding the need for and purpose of the structure of The Alliance, I discussed this in the Cox Center thread.


    I addressed the reasons why it makes sense in the Santa Fe Garage thread and separately in the Cox Center thread:


    I’d expect the City/Alliance to prevail if a lawsuit were filed. If so, it will be in our best interests as citizens and taxpayers, as it preserves the City’s ability to be quick, responsive and competitive, and to not have all of its cards laid on the table in negotiations.

    It will also have the added benefit of clarifying discussion on this board. Which, of course, would happen no matter who prevails.
    Urbanized, I don't think people are asking for the city to have to lay out all of its cards or to not be responsive/competitive; we've seen the great work that the alliance has done. However, what I (and likely many) on here want to see is for there to be more TIME allowed for public disclosure of what the Alliance recommends before the City Council votes on it. THIS to me is what brings up the potential for corruption, because often deals in OKC have strings attached involving the good ole boys (lets face it, its true) where they get something out of it at the public expense. Case in point here - Hamm wanted that darn Santa Fe garage and will now get it since it's a string on the Bank First deal which obviously the city and everybody in OKC wants... Why does Hamm have to be involved with Bank First deal? And why does OKC have to build a connection to yet another string, the Karchmer (sp?) garage?

    That's at least two outside "deals" brokered involving public funds/assets and there was barely one business day for the public to read and react before the unanimous city council approval on Tuesday. ... Do you now see how this appears to be corrupt? Why not give the citizens at least a week before the council vote? Furthermore, why not have the Santa Fe and Bricktown garages as separate developments from the Bank First purchase?

    I hope this is the outcome of this lawsuit, not to hold up OKC or the Alliance but to allow for time for the public to find out and voice an opinion AFTER the deals are made but BEFORE the council vote. Make the deal but give us a little time to consider it. ..
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  23. #48

    Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by HOT ROD View Post
    Urbanized, I don't think people are asking for the city to have to lay out all of its cards or to not be responsive/competitive; we've seen the great work that the alliance has done. However, what I (and likely many) on here want to see is for there to be more TIME allowed for public disclosure of what the Alliance recommends before the City Council votes on it. THIS to me is what brings up the potential for corruption, because often deals in OKC have strings attached involving the good ole boys (lets face it, its true) where they get something out of it at the public expense. Case in point here - Hamm wanted that darn Santa Fe garage and will now get it since it's a string on the Bank First deal which obviously the city and everybody in OKC wants... Why does Hamm have to be involved with Bank First deal? And why does OKC have to build a connection to yet another string, the Karchmer (sp?) garage?

    That's at least two outside "deals" brokered involving public funds/assets and there was barely one business day for the public to read and react before the unanimous city council approval on Tuesday. ... Do you now see how this appears to be corrupt? Why not give the citizens at least a week before the council vote? Furthermore, why not have the Santa Fe and Bricktown garages as separate developments from the Bank First purchase?

    I hope this is the outcome of this lawsuit, not to hold up OKC or the Alliance but to allow for time for the public to find out and voice an opinion AFTER the deals are made but BEFORE the council vote. Make the deal but give us a little time to consider it. ..
    serious ? what would another week do to change this vote?? this is why we elect the council? to make these decisions

    also take exception that "good old boys" are getting something at the public's expense

    can you show me where that has happened?

  24. #49

    Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by BoulderSooner View Post
    serious ? what would another week do to change this vote?? this is why we elect the council? to make these decisions

    also take exception that "good old boys" are getting something at the public's expense

    can you show me where that has happened?
    It would actually give it time to hit the news and give citizens time to read/see it and tell their councilperson how they feel. Hard to do in less than 24 hours. Shedding more light on public deals is never a bad thing for the public.

    If someone is buying a public property below market value, you could say thats getting something at the publics expense. I thought I read talk of an appraisal on the Karchmer property but is there a recent one for the Santa Fe garage?

  25. Default Re: Possible lawsuit against city regarding alleged open meetings violations

    Quote Originally Posted by BoulderSooner View Post
    serious ? what would another week do to change this vote?? this is why we elect the council? to make these decisions

    I'd actually like to hear your answer to your own question. Not that any court is going to reform open meetings/records laws to allow legislative bodies any period of time to consider things before them, but do you really not think that a week to sit on any deal could never have an effect? Would it be a horror show if the Council rejected one of these deals?

    also take exception that "good old boys" are getting something at the public's expense
    How are they not? How come Continental is able to worm its way into a BancFirst deal?

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Open meetings ruling could have big impact
    By Pete in forum General Civic Issues
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-02-2018, 02:26 PM
  2. How to Make Yourself Appear Smart in Meetings
    By NWOKCGuy in forum Current Events & Open Topic
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 07-11-2014, 02:10 PM
  3. Community Meetings
    By ljbab728 in forum General Civic Issues
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-15-2012, 11:54 PM
  4. Public Transit Meetings are Coming!
    By progressiveboy in forum General Civic Issues
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 04-08-2010, 03:03 PM
  5. Looking for Emergent Church Meetings
    By solitude in forum Current Events & Open Topic
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-31-2007, 02:47 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO