Tulsa Voters Reject City Government Overhaul Propositions

Tuesday, November 8th 2011, 8:13 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsans rejected two different proposals that would change the city of Tulsa's form of government, but voted to return the council terms to two years.

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Voters weighed in on questions that would diminish the power of the mayor and  dilute the power of individual city councilors. Both were promoted as a way to have everyone get along at City Hall.

"It looks like voters are rejecting a wholesale overhaul of the government and to me that says they're satisfied with the change they made in the primary on the city council," said News On 6 Reporter Emory Bryan.

Proposition Number 1 would have changed the city's form of government to a city manager and the mayor as a member of the city council with no veto power. 

The city manager would be appointed by the city council and the councilors could only serve a maximum of three 4 year terms.

The proposition was rejected by 76.4 percent of Tulsa voters.

The next item was an Initiative Petition proposition number 1: to change the city's charter and restructure the city council, making the mayor a member of the council.

The mayor would only vote to break a tie and would have veto power. There would be 12 councilors, nine elected by districts, and 3 from at-large districts.

City elections would not change, terms of mayor and councilors would not change and partisan elections would continue.

That proposition was voted down by 73.3 percent of Tulsa voters.

Tulsa voters did approve propositions to change the timing of the city council elections and reduce council terms 

Initiative Petition proposition number 2 reduces council terms to two years. It passed by 58.2 percent of the vote

Initiative Petition Proposition Number 3 under the Initiative Petition would eliminate partisan elections for city officers. It passed by 55 percent of the vote. 

By returning the council terms to two years, voters will reset the election cycle, and restore the terms set out in the 1989 charter.

The non-partisan proposition is so far the only mechanical change to government voters are making - otherwise they're changing the people running government.