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Tulsans Vote For Change In Tuesday’s Election

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On Tuesday, voters in the City of Tulsa cast ballots in what turned out to be a vote for change. On Tuesday, voters in the City of Tulsa cast ballots in what turned out to be a vote for change.
Several councilors lost re-election bids to candidates who are also former councilors. In fact, the new mayor is a former councilor -- the first one elected mayor. Several councilors lost re-election bids to candidates who are also former councilors. In fact, the new mayor is a former councilor -- the first one elected mayor.
"And that's going to be number one on my list, getting to know each one of them better, developing a relationship because together, the city council and administration, we can get a lot done if we get along, and we will," said Dewey Bartlett. "And that's going to be number one on my list, getting to know each one of them better, developing a relationship because together, the city council and administration, we can get a lot done if we get along, and we will," said Dewey Bartlett.

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK – On Tuesday, voters in the City of Tulsa cast ballots in what turned out to be a vote for change. 

Several councilors lost re-election bids to candidates who are also former councilors. In fact, the new mayor is a former councilor -- the first one elected mayor.

The new mayor will serve with a new city council, but both he and the council have plenty of experience at city hall.

Dewey Bartlett served on the council back in 1990.

"And that's going to be number one on my list, getting to know each one of them better, developing a relationship because together, the city council and administration, we can get a lot done if we get along, and we will," said Dewey Bartlett, Tulsa mayor-elect.

Voters returned several former councilors to office. Roscoe Turner is the most experienced, but Maria Barnes and Jim Mautino have both served single terms on the council before. The only freshman on the new council is Chris Trail, who unseated Bill Martinson.

Five current councilors won re-election this year, so a majority of the council returns for the next term.

Voters also decided to stagger council elections and stretch out the terms by a year.

The changes to the council terms start with the next election in November 2011. After that election, only three councilors will serve one year. Three will serve two years. And the other three will have three year terms. After that, all terms are three years.

The result will be a city council election every year. For the city, there's the added cost of another election. For politicians, the benefit of longer terms between campaigns. The longer terms will mean councilors gain more experience.

Councilor GT Bynum doesn't like the idea of more city elections.

"But the problem is you would have city councilors in an election cycle every year, you bring electoral politics into the issues that come before council every single year," said GT Bynum, Tulsa City Council.

Mayor Kathy Taylor says she's ready to help Bartlett with a transition plan. Besides briefing the mayor elect on the budget, Mayor Taylor says she has made city hall office space available, each department is ready to brief him and Bartlett is invited to all of her appointments.

The new mayor, council and auditor take office December 7th. 

Mayor elect Bartlett said Wednesday he's going to start hiring staff and has not said exactly when he'll go in to city hall to start work on the transition.

11/10/2009  Related Story: Tulsa Businessman Wins Mayoral Election

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