The Vision plan ballot goes to court

Tuesday, September 2nd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The clock is ticking and still no decision on a lawsuit that threatens to derail next week's Vision 2025 vote. Former Tulsa City Councilman Todd Huston filed the suit last week, arguing that it's unconstitutional because it lumps together multiple projects on one ballot.

A hearing was held Tuesday, but as News on 6 reporter Steve Berg tells us, they didn't get very far.

The judge on the case said she was out of town and hadn't had time to read the briefs on the case. So oral arguments will have to wait until Thursday. But in the hallway afterward, a preview.

Former City Councilman Todd Huston says he's not trying to throw a monkey wrench in the works. In fact he says he favors parts of the plan. "It's not about trying to take any projects of the issue, giving any issue an advantage or disadvantage or delaying the vote. All this has to do with is to make sure the voters of Tulsa County have a constitutional ballot and they have the right to choose." Huston says the Vision ballot violates the constitution's "single-subject" rule.

But Tulsa County Commissioners and their attorneys say it's not a single-subject, but a single-"purpose" rule and that multiple projects can be packaged together under one purpose like education or economic development. Linda Greaves, Tulsa County Civil Division attorney, "there may be a misinterpretation of statutes or differing opinions. I guess that's why you have lawyers isn't it because you have different interpretations, but I think we're on very solid ground."

Tulsa County Commissioners also argue that it simply isn't practical to have so many separate issues on the ballot. County Commissioner Wilbur Collins, "can you imagine going in and voting on 25 different items one by one. That wouldn't make much sense and the law provides that we can assemble like projects and that's what we did."

One thing they all agree on is they need to resolve this fast, with the election just a week away. So they will try again on Thursday. With just a couple of days before the election itself.

Huston is only challenging propositions 3 and 4. So there could still be a vote on Boeing and American Airlines, even if the judge rules in Huston's favor.