Posted Tuesday, November 28, 2006 9:07 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Bell's owner Robby Bell says that Murphy Brothers, the current midway operator at the fair grounds, has a clause in their contract for right of first refusal to use Bell's property if the amusement park's lease was not renewed.
Read more from KOTV.
My wouldn't THAT prove to be costly...and since the *shenanigans* have long-since crossed the line from negligence/incompetence to total greed/corruption, I'm pretty sure the liability carrier for Tulsa County's Public Facilities Authority (aka, the Board) is going to want NO part of paying THIS claim...
A Good friend of mine saw Robby's mom the other day and she said to "keep her son smiling". I think Robby is beginning to lose hope.
Anytime anyone has a business on leased property, they run the chance of being shut down if the owner of the property decides not to renew the lease. Whatever kind of business it is. And unfortunately, it is the owner's right to do what they want with their property. There is nothing illegal about that if the lease has expired.
the company with the clause in their lease to take over the Bells site "just in case" their lease isn't renewed ---
just happens to be owned by a couple who have made contributions to one of the commissioners---
who just happens to be one of those most outspoken against renewing Bells lease on the grounds that they aren't financially stable enough and don't provide enough income, saying that a parking lot would be a better use of the ground.
So either it's all one big coincidence, or one businessman bribed a politician to help drive his competition out of business, or something in between. Follow?
When two strange events occur, I'll say yeah it's a coincidence. But when it's a series of 4, 5, or 6 events all coming together just the right way to ensure a certain result, you have better odds of hitting the Powerball.
If it was all done on the up & up (even with ulterior motives) then get out the violin.
Simply put, you don't work with any company that is a vendor for the government you serve, and if you do, you abstain from any decision making regarding that company. When I worked for a city, I couldn't even accept a ball cap from my vendors, and I wasn't even elected.
THEORETICALLY, it is certainly possible that Murphy, Bjorklund, *and* Miller are all in the clear with regards to technical legal issues....HIGHLY doubtful, IMO, but possible.
If nothing is prove-able, then they also come out OK in the end...the voters, well, they'll get their say when elections roll around next time...but even IF (again, highly doubtful) no LAWS were broken, there's still massive improprieties...."res ipsa loquitor".
Let's just PRESUME that everything was on the up-and-up....devil's concigliere, LOL. Wouldn't the *other* businesses occupying the land (including the one in question here, Murphy's) have to ALSO open their books, and provide business plans, financial statements, etc., under the same argument?
Seems to me the second that lease got signed, it became an eviction notice. Do you put blame on the guy who created the clause or the guy who agreed to it?
Of course Lessee #2 isn't going to turn that deal down.
On the surface it seems like a fair deal. Lessee #2 expands to fill the void left behind when Lessee #1 leaves. Which would be a good thing except for the fact that the Lessor (fairgrounds assn or county) is-- IMO-- creating an undue burden on Lessee #1 which it can't meet in order to hold onto its lease. To top it off, Lessee #2 has made contributions to certain elected persons representing the Lessor. It smacks of impropriety.
To put it another way-- this is like a town revoking one retailer's business permit, then allowing another retailer to expand to make up for the lost business.
Your statement about ethics and law being two different things is funny but sadly true, but it shouldn't be that way. On a lighter note, dontcha just love it when gator speaks Latin? Brings out the Gomez Addams in a person. :)
Still not sure anything was done that is technically punishable. Shady going ons? Possibly...hell, maybe even probably.
Again, breaking the law and manipulating the situation to your advantage aren't instantly the same thing...and the best of the best know how to do the latter without doing the former.
To me, the only reason it's questionable is because it's a government thing (which I suppose is the basic idea of Jeff's post)...and the fact that the favor was given at the expense of someone else.
But I have no problems with 'I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine' situations in life on most levels. To me it separates the folks who mull about complaining about corruption and harboring a distain for those in positions of power and those who actually get those positions and power.
The real problem started the day 'politician' became a career and not a civil service. :)
(Trying hard to stay the bad guy here)
Sadly, that's the problem with this country today and why it has headed in the wrong direction. Almost every politician has been paid for by some corporate interest. And unforunately, it is required just to run for an office anymore.........but back on the topic.
The real problem started the day 'politician' became a career and not a civil service.
When was that? When Hobbittses walked Middle Earth? ;)
Anyway, even if it is perfectly legal, the voters can throw them out of they stink too much.
The amount of *reform* necessary to take our government BACK from the politicians is virtually unachievable in our current two-party system...choosing between liars and thieves isn't REALLY the kind of decision we need to be making in a voting booth... ;)
Once the vote was cast, counted, and final, then it was published that they were not going to renew the lease.
I really don't think the fair board even considers that the three top ride attractions at the fair are owned by Bell's. And it is Bell's rides that make the Tulsa Fair unique to the other fairs in the region. You take away Zingo, the log ride, and the sky ride.............all you have is a large carnival.
Too often, those with the power to write and enforce laws manipulate them in their favor. They know exactly what they can get away with while still acting "legally."
If Murphy's gets to lease Bells' site, it would be really interesting to see if their contributions to Commissioner Miller increase as a result of their new prosperity.
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