Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett Restructures City Government

Wednesday, April 27th 2011, 3:51 pm
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett plans to revamp his own office by naming a new City Manager to run the day-to-day operations at City Hall.

There are several charter changes in the works to create this position with a public vote, but the Mayor says he can do it by executive order so that's what he plans to do.

Bartlett has named Jim Twombly, as Tulsa's first City Manager.

See the new City of Tulsa Organizational Chart

"This solves a question of whether or not a city manager would be appropriate. I think it is," Bartlett said.

Twombly, who is currently Bartlett's director of Administration, is a former city manager in Broken Arrow, He'll continue at the same salary with added responsibility.

6/12/2009 Related Story: City Manager Out In Broken Arrow

Bartlett says having a city manager will allow him to focus on larger issues instead of what he called the minutiae of city government."I feel that now is a good time to designate a person who is in charge of a lot of stuff, and gives others of us a chance to get involved with a higher level group of issues like economic development and river development, things such as that," he said.

Under the reorganization plan, the Mayor still has direct responsibility for Police, Fire and Economic Development.

The new city Manager will direct most other departments, including public works. The City Manager will report directly to the mayor.

Read the news release from the City of Tulsa

One of Twombly's new jobs will be handling the flow of information to the City Council."Some of those responsibilities will be in the interactions with the council and keeping the council informed of what's going on operationally with the City," Twombly said. "I think we can make some inroads there too."

Twombly's job there, according to Bartlett, is to improve communication, not create a buffer with the council.

"I'm not ducking that responsibility," Bartlett said. "But I think they will have a more consistent person who represents the Mayor now, with Jim Twombly. Certainly if I need to be involved, I will be."

The City council is reacting to the news. A couple of councilors told News On 6 reporter Wednesday afternoon it's not the kind of change they're after and that they'll continue working to change to a city manager form of government.