Newly Elected Tulsa Council Members, Mayor Hope For Closer Cooperation

Wednesday, November 9th 2011, 8:27 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Voters completed the turnover of the Tulsa City Council Tuesday night with the election of seven new people. That's encouraged Mayor Dewey Bartlett to start reaching out to the city council - again.

11/08/2011 Related Story: Crop Of New Tulsa City Councilors Voted Into Office

The new city councilors will take office in the month and they and the Mayor are predicting they'll be able to work together.

This was the first gathering of the newly elected city councilors, at a meet and greet with public relations firm Schnake Turnbo Frank.

The 7 new councilors, and 2 incumbents, will have more of these informal gatherings over the next month - including dinner at the Mayor's house.

Mayor Bartlett says he's expecting big changes with the turnover on the council. For one thing - he plans to start going to council meetings again.

"When it's appropriate, I'd like to be at all the council meetings. I do see some good opportunities to talk one on one with people and I think that's going to happen more often," Bartlett said.

The disagreements between Mayor Bartlett and the current City Council ended up in court several times, but more often ended with hard feelings.

Bartlett doesn't expect any more of that and for now is holding off on some new plans, to avoid dealing with the current councilors.

"Let's wait for the new council, I think that would be appropriate," Bartlett said.

The new council includes District Two republican Jeannie Cue, who says she's going into her terms with an open mind.

"We want to be known for what we bring to the city, not for any kind of controversy," Cue said.

Councilor-elect Tom Mansur say he's not going to give in to get along, but he's ready to work with the mayor and the other councilors.

"Even when you disagree with folks, you have to work hard to maintain communication and I'm hopeful that with some new faces on the council, we'll have a new opportunity to kind of clean the slate," Mansur said.

It was the city budget crisis two years ago that immediately put the council at odds with the mayor. This time, there's money to spend - and just like in a marriage - that can make the honeymoon last a lot a longer.