By Emory Bryan, The News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett wants one-on-one meetings with City Councilors to discuss their differences, while many councilors want the meetings to be public with the full council.
"I think for all of us to have very frank conversations, it should be done privately," Bartlett said. "Things can be said in the heat of the moment and without the media there, I know the media loves this."
The Mayor and the Tulsa City Council have agreed to take part in sessions to settle their differences but have not yet agreed on the time and format.
"I'm not just fussing with you, but these conversations need to be based on fact. We never did agree to mediation," said Council Chair Rick Westcott.
Councilor Jack Henderson told Mayor Dewey Bartlett he wanted to meet in the open.
"I'm not going to come at you," said Henderson, in response to a comment from Bartlett questioning whether a public meeting would lead to grandstanding.
The councilors urged the mayor to go in to what's called a facilitated discussion, an option being pushed by the Chamber of Commerce.
Mayor Bartlett said he would continue meetings he's already begun with individual Councilors and wanted to see how that worked before agreeing to larger, public meetings.
"I'm not going to say yes, I'm not going to say no" said Bartlett. But under questioning from Councilor John Eagleton whether he was willing to schedule a meeting for the facilitated discussion, the Mayor said no.
The mayor has met individually with Councilors Rick Westcott and GT Bynum.
Several councilors told News On 6 reporter Emory Bryan they think professional help is the only way to get both sides talking about the real issues and get them to stay with it until it's resolved. But as for now, that's not going to happen, with the mayor saying no to public meetings and the council saying no to hashing it out in private.