Tulsa Mayor Elect G.T. Bynum plans to focus on education in his first days in office, convening a meeting with education leaders at the start, with the goal of changing the perception of public education in the City of Tulsa.
Bynum spoke Thursday in front of the Southwest Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, where he said he hoped to assist leaders already in place with improving education.
"I have no desire to overtake the local school board, or try to tell them how to run the school," said Bynum. He said he hoped to build up the city parks programs that reach out to children in after-school hours.
Bynum said he hoped to defuse some of the acrimony between Tulsa County and Tulsa city government and said it was more important to work with the county on common goals.
Bynum specifically said the parks and River Parks systems could be good examples of how city and county government could work together.
Bynum said one positive of having months between an election and taking office is that he has plenty of time to plan.
But, speaking to the Southwest Tulsa Chamber, he said his biggest plan is what he outlined in the campaign: a focus on bringing people with different ideas together - to make the city better.
He said one of his main goals is to transform the quality of education in Tulsa by using whatever means the city can use to help.
One of his first day in office plans is to have education summit.
"We don't know all the things the city could be doing to be helpful, we don't know where the opportunities are, so by having this group meet on a regular basis, we'll be able to identify those areas and work proactively together on them," Bynum said.
The leaders of the westside chamber liked what they heard about a new emphasis on inclusion on appointments to city boards.
"He did say we are not very well represented on the boards for the city, so I hope this will get more people interested and we'll have more input on those boards when he gets to be mayor," said Susan Coman of the West Tulsa Chamber.
Bynum also said he hopes to rebuild the relationship between city and county government, and boost economic development, but for now he's putting together a staff and planning how to begin.
"We're going to be doing things in the very first week that I think will allow us to make positive steps in each of those areas," Bynum said.