Tulsa Mayoral Race Heats Back Up With Attacks Over Transparency

Tuesday, September 3rd 2013, 6:48 pm

After a quiet month, the candidates to be Tulsa's next mayor are likely to be more visible soon, as the campaign enters the last two months.

There haven't been many very clear attacks from either candidate, but that changed Tuesday, when Kathy Taylor accused Mayor Dewey Bartlett of clogging up the flow of information at City Hall.

Bartlett says it's flowing better than ever before.

Former Mayor Taylor attacked Bartlett for not doing more to open up City Hall's business for all to see.

"And we will convert the city into an open and transparent and accountable government, focused on serving you," Taylor said.

Taylor said Tulsa's government ought to have a better website, with more information that's easy to find, so anyone can get the information they want. She said it's up to the mayor to push the agenda for better information.

"Maybe this distrust in the TARE board and the EMSA board would go away if citizens had access to all of the facts, but now, from what I hear, they believe things are being hidden from them and they assume if things are being hidden, it's because somebody doesn't want them to see it, and hence they distrust their government," Taylor said.

Mayor Bartlett takes exception to Taylor's complaints.

"Well, that's just silliness, it really is," Bartlett said. "It's too bad that Kathy is continuing with this negative campaigning, because Tulsans really don't want to see it, they don't like it."

Bartlett said City Hall is far more transparent now, than it was just a few years ago, when Taylor was mayor. He specifically pointed to an "A"-plus rating given to Tulsa by a website that monitors government information online.

"The City of Tulsa was given a 'C' rating under her administration. We soon achieved an 'A' rating, and we've kept that rating ever since I've been mayor. And that's the truth, that's the reality," Bartlett said.

This new charge against the mayor comes as Taylor launched a new set of campaign ads, talking about transparency in government.