Tulsa City Council Considers Changing City Government

Monday, October 11th 2010, 5:56 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The Tulsa City Council is restarting a plan to change Tulsa's form of government, while an outside group is as well.

Both are responses to the bickering at City Hall and both would require changes to the charter.

The council is starting to talk again about hiring a city manager to run things, while another group wants to expand the council, but put the mayor in charge.

6/22/2010 Related Story: Tulsa City Council Discusses Replacing Mayor With City Manager

John Brock believes the problem with Tulsa city government is a city council naturally too focused on small issues to agree with the mayor on much of anything.

"And it's not just this council; it's been going on for years," said John Brock, Save Our Tulsa.

That's why he's pushing a charter change to add three at large councilors and make the mayor the head of the council.

"The council has been complaining justifiability that the mayor will not talk to them," Brock said.

That's exactly what Roscoe Turner believes doesn't need to happen.

"Then now we find out what the rich people want to do, we just can't go along with so I'm going to bring back the city manager idea, as it should be," Turner said.

Turner blames Mayor Dewey Bartlett for creating the frustration driving the talk of change.

"All he needed to do was recognize that the city council is part of the government and everything would be fine," he said. "He chooses not to do that, so I think we better go ahead and change the form of government and go to a city manager form of government, along with the council."

While the council and Mayor are more at odds than any time in the last 20 years, Councilor GT Bynum doesn't believes a permanent solution is needed for a temporary problem.

"It doesn't matter what the form of government you have, if you elect people who don't work well together, they're not going to work well together," Bynum said.

The council plans to discuss their changes Tuesday, while the other group is working on an initiative petition to get it on the ballot a full year from now.

Both would require voters to approve and both could end up on the ballot.