Tulsa City Council Overrides Two Of Mayor's Vetoes Thursday Night

Thursday, September 23rd 2010, 8:55 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory  Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- The Tulsa City Council voted twice to override a veto of Mayor Dewey Bartlett Thursday night, continuing a sharp division between the legislative and executive branch at City Hall.

The city council vote was 8 to 1 both times, with only city councilor GT Bynum siding with the mayor.

In their first meeting since the city council dropped the investigation of the Mayor, there was still some animosity in the room.

9/22/2010 Related Story: Tulsa City Council Drops Investigation Into Mayor, Chief Of Staff

"None of us heard your concerns until the 11th hour tonight," said Bill Christiansen, Tulsa City Councilor.

The first veto override was over control of the city's government access channel TGOV.

The council wanted to reaffirm their authority to manage the channel but the Mayor believes that his office should be more involved and that the council acted only after he started talking of revamping the channel.

9/22/2010 Related Story: Tulsa City Council, Mayor Spar Over Government Cable Channel

"I certainly am not making any disparaging remarks against anybody, but I think the process was a little quick," Bartlett said.

The mayor was reduced to raising his hand to ask to speak, which the council alternately allowed and did not. Ultimately, they voted to override his veto, while he was still objecting.

Mayor Dewey Bartlett, Tulsa: "The tweaking, it's a vast change, first of all."

Councilor Rick Westcott: "Then you and I disagree. Call the roll."

After losing two more rounds with the council, Mayor Bartlett said it's nothing personal, at least with him.

"Not with me, I do believe the vetoes I made were pretty easy to understand," he said.

And councilors continue to say they're ready to move on.

"I think they vast majority of them are and I think the citizens of Tulsa are ready to move on and that's the most important thing," Christiansen said.

The other veto was on making the city attorney an elected position. The council believes it would make the attorney more accountable, but the mayor thinks it would make the position more political.