Mayor Bartlett Vetoes Resolution by City Council on Passenger Rail in Area

Mayor Dewey Bartlett vetoed a resolution Tuesday passed by City Council urging state officials not to sell a rail line connecting Tulsa to Oklahoma City.

Bartlett explained in memo to the city councilors his decision to veto the resolution passed in February. One of the reasons being that it expresses an "opinion" for the entire "City of Tulsa."

"I would be agreeable to approve a resolution expressing an opinion of the Tulsa City Council," the memo describes. "But not if the resolution is attempting to express an opinion of the City of Tulsa as well as by me."

READ: Open House Gathers Sentiments on Passenger Rail

KTUL previously reported that the resolution was passed after the Oklahoma Department of Transportation proposed selling the rail line, also known as the Sooner Sub, to the highest bidder.

City councilors stated that a sale would be "detrimental" to the development of affordable and effective rail service between Tulsa and OKC.

And it's that sentiment that Bartlett addressed in his second reason for vetoing the resolution, adding that it wasn't necessarily the case.

"In my opinion, only private ownership or holding a long-term lease will potentially provide the necessary capital and assumption of risk to accomplish any semblance of passenger rail service for Tulsa," Bartlett added.

Bartlett ended his memo by suggesting that City Council consider a new resolution that encourages ODOT use their "best effort" to develop the rail line during continued negotiations.

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