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Tulsa mayoral candidates debate the issues

Tulsa's mayoral candidates spent the noon hour on Monday talking about how to get along with the city council and whether Tulsa should be run by someone other than the mayor. It's the latest debate in Campaign 2006, Tulsa Votes.

News on 6 Reporter Emory Bryan says before a business crowd at the downtown Kiwanis Club - and on the airwaves of KRMG radio - the candidates for mayor said Tulsa needs to be run like a business.

Democratic mayoral candidate Kathy Taylor: "I think this city needs a CEO, who likes to work, who is driven to succeed and has the passion to make a difference."

Mayor Bill LaFortune, a Republican, said if he's re-elected he might hire someone like that. "The idea is a good idea; I would see it more as a managing type director, someone who would oversee all the non-sworn departments, like public works, etc." But Kathy Taylor says that's a job she can do. "Tulsa has a strong mayor form of government; I intend to be a strong mayor."

The two candidates had friendly exchanges during the debate on education, crime and downtown development.

The mayor took credit for the Vision plan, pointing out the previous mayor couldn't get a redevelopment plan passed. But Taylor noted the contentious past few years between the mayor and council and said she can build a better team. “and that's what I intend to do is to be a team leader and a team listener with the city council."

Mayor Bill LaFortune: "And I'll be there first say I haven't been perfect at that, I'll say that in front of everybody, on the radio, I pledge to do that with this second term."

Election day is April 4th.
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