Tulsa Mayor, Councilors Agree On Goals For 2015

Thursday, February 5th 2015, 7:22 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Tulsa's mayor and city council met Thursday in a strategy session to determine their mutual priorities and came away with a list much shorter than last year.

They said they've realized they can't accomplish all they would like, so they've roughly divided them up between achievable goals for this year and visionary projects for down the road.

The two groups haven't always been able to relax while in the same room, but for the last four years, councilors and the mayor have agreed on common goals.

2/5/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Mayor, Councilors Discuss Budget Priorities

"It reinforces our responsibility to work together," said Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett.

He said what comes out of it helps guide city policy.

"Each one of those has a really serious and important impact on the history of our city, what's going to be the future of our city," Bartlett said.

Before this year's retreat, Councilors G.T. Bynum and Phil Lakin in particular asked the others to throttle back the list of topics and the resulting list of goals.

That's changed the expectations from “they might be able to do everything,” into, “here's a few things that can be done this year.”

"We hope to emerge this time with three to five goals that have really measurable results - that have a timetable associated with them too,” Lakin said.

This year the focus was just on river development, economic development and public safety.

The group agreed a joint goal would be to add more police officers and firefighters this year.

"I think our council is very interested in public safety, I think they're very concerned and sincere about their desires, but they need to hear from me about what our community needs as far as policing so they can move forward with it," said Chief Chuck Jordan, TPD.

City leaders agreed on pushing for low water dams, while preserving as much as possible of the natural aspects of the Arkansas River.

They've agreed that improving quality of life is one of the best ways to attract a better workforce to Tulsa and build up the sales tax the city relies on.