Debate Continues Over Proposals To Change Tulsa's City Government

Thursday, July 7th 2011, 10:38 pm

By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Voters in Tulsa will get a chance to change how the city is run. Two plans are on the table and both involve stripping power from certain elected officials.

10/11/2010 Related Story: Tulsa City Council Considers Changing City Government

A small group of voters wanted to get their opinions in before the Tulsa City Council decided whether or not to advance an idea to change the government.

"I do think our current form of government is sound," one voter said.

"The problem I see coming from the different mayors is that they have their own agenda," another said.

In basic terms, the Council proposal would weaken the mayor's authority and have them hiring a city manager. The mayor would join the council as the Chair.

A group called "Save Our Tulsa" has another plan; to weaken the individual councilors' authority. It would add three "at-large" councilors, and make the mayor the council chair, while the mayor retains all current authority.

Read both proposals to change Tulsa's form of government

"This current system prevents citizens from changing the policy of the city in a single election," Reuben Davis, with Save Our Tulsa, said.

The city council is divided between pushing their own plan or doing nothing. Councilor Chris Trail supports change, but just enough to pass it on to voters.

"Put it before voters and let the people of Tulsa decide," he said.

Councilor G.T. Bynum doesn't support either plan.

"It started with perhaps looking at having a city manager and perhaps putting the mayor on the council and it has expanded into this huge overhaul of everything that we do," Bynum said.

The League of Women Voters voiced their opposition. The League says "None of the proposed changes will significantly strengthen what we already have and will not resolve perceived problems."

Read the news release from the League of Women Voters

The city council has to decide this month if they'll put their idea on a ballot. Regardless, the Save Our Tulsa plan will be on the ballot this November.


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