Next Tulsa Mayor Lays Out Plans For First Week In Office
TULSA, Oklahoma - Mayor Dewey Bartlett's last day in office was Friday, and incoming Mayor G.T. Bynum takes the oath Monday afternoon.
As city councilor for eight years, Bynum is moving to the top floor at City Hall. Tulsa’s new mayor said he’s ready to put his stamp on the administration.
Bynum has already cleared out his city council office and plans, in the first day as mayor, to eliminate the city manager's post and reorganize some departments.
"We flattened that structure out a bit, providing more empowerment to the department heads to run their departments,” he said. “I think we have a lot of great department heads here at the City, and I want them to be able to do their job."
Bynum has had five months to plan for next week.
He said the best advice came from former mayors who urged him to focus on the long term.
Bynum said his vision is to make Tulsa more competitive.
“And I don't think we've been challenging ourselves in that way for the last 15 years or so,” Bynum said. “We've been content to compete with the suburbs and Oklahoma City. I want us to get back to focusing on being a nationally competitive, world-class city."
In his first week, Bynum is holding a strategy session with school superintendents and a meeting to repair the relationship between city and county government over jail expenses.
Bynum said, “Just to start what I hope is a new era of cooperation between the City and the County, but that will be a big one we focus on in the first week is developing a proposal from the City as it relates to the jail, so we can get that behind us and focus on moving forward, working together, the City and County hand in hand.”
Bynum said he hopes the relationships he's built with City and County leaders, and education leaders, will pay off for Tulsa as he leads the city for the next four years.