Tulsa Mayor And The City Council Consider Mediation

Thursday, August 12th 2010, 5:31 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News on 6

TULSA, OK -- There's talk of reconciliation between Tulsa's Mayor and the City Council.

The mayor and council might go into mediation to talk out their problems - and Thursday both sides took a step in that direction.

With Mayor Bartlett looking on, the City Council quizzed two retired judges about whether they could repair the mayor and council relationship.

"We can get for you what you want for the citizens of Tulsa and we can do that through mediation," Sam Joyner, a retired judge, said.

Sam Joyner and Daniel Boudreau have offered to serve as unpaid mediators and think they can settle the issues.

"If everyone wants to participate in the process, I think we could get it done in 30 days," Joyner said.

A short list of the issues includes the claim that Bartlett and Terry Simonson lied to the council and their ethics complaint against him. There's an allegation the council shouldn't have a city attorney, a lawsuit claiming the council violated the open meetings act and a threatened defamation lawsuit as well.

8/5/2010 Related Story: Tulsa City Councilors Not Paying Attorney Fees

"The fact about the investigation, if there's a criminal act, I don't know if there was, but I don't know we can mediate that," said Chris Trail, Tulsa City Councilor. "But anything we can do to get the train back on the track and work better together I think the council is behind 100 percent."

Council Chair Rick Westcott thinks it could work.

"I've seen relationships more broken than these repaired through mediation," Westcott said.

Mayor Bartlett said he's ready to give it a try.

"At the end of the day what we need to do is start," he said. "I've promoted the idea of mediation for several weeks, I think it's a great idea and even if the entire council doesn't agree maybe one or two of them could allow it to start."

The mediation would start with both sides writing out their positions. The mediators would eventually put them in separate rooms and go back and forth between them to reach a settlement.

The process could start as soon as next week, if the council agrees.

8/11/2010 Related Story: Attorney For Tulsa Mayor Asks For Delay In Ethics Inquiry