Tulsa City Council Restates Its Position On TGOV Channel

Tuesday, October 5th 2010, 1:57 pm
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, The News on 6

TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- The Tulsa City Council is urging Mayor Dewey Bartlett to work through traditional means to affect change to the government access channel called TGOV. The city council rejected again any notion of major changes to TGOV, which Mayor Bartlett wants to revamp as an economic development tool.

Bartlett's Press Secretary Lloyd Wright told councilors Tuesday that TGOV could be expanded to include more diverse programming along the lines of government channels in Portland and Seattle.

Councilor Jack Henderson, a strong supporter of TGOV, said "It's been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, we're giving the people what they want to see" on the channel. The channel primarily runs city government meetings, both live and recorded.

City councilor Chris Trail criticized the administration for attempting to make changes without going through the established process. Bartlett has a seat on the TGOV Coordinating Committee, yet has not appointed anyone to the position. Trail said the Mayor was seeking special treatment without taking advantage of the opportunity he already has to make changes.

Councilor Rick Westcott accused Bartlett of an "attempt at unilaterally controlling TGOV."

The city council recently clarified the leadership of TGOV through legislation that Bartlett vetoed, leading the city council to override his veto.

9/23/2010 Related story: Tulsa City Council Overrides Two Of Mayor's Vetoes Thursday Night

TGOV was begun in 2004 as a joint venture between the City Council, which provided content, and the Tulsa Fire Department, which had the infrastructure to distribute the video. In the years since, distribution has been moved to the city IT department.

Henderson told Wright to deliver a message to Bartlett that the council had already decided who would be in charge of TGOV and warned "there's going to be some fireworks" if the mayor tries to operate TGOV outside of the process established by the city council.

Henderson reminded Wright of the city council vote and override of the Mayor's veto. "That's where it ends, go find something else. Case closed; next case" said Henderson.