By Emory Bryan, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- It's less than a month until Tulsa votes for mayor. The candidates discussed combining governments to save money and push school improvement as a path towards economic development during a forum at the Rotary Club of Tulsa.
This was the first time these three candidates have been part of a forum since the primary.
For independent candidate Mark Perkins, it was a rare chance to get his message in front of a large audience.
"I think part of it is just getting in front of the people, the citizens of Tulsa," said Mark Perkins, (I) mayoral candidate.
The city budget, streets and public safety dominated the conversation.
"The maintenance of the city streets has not been a top priority, has not been funded as a top priority, for a very, very long time," said Dewey Bartlett, (R) mayoral candidate.
"Where we lag behind is in the quality of our infrastructure and I want to work on that from day one," said Tom Adelson, (D) mayoral candidate.
"It starts with education. If we educate the kids properly, they'll have more economic opportunities and be less likely to turn to crime," said Mark Perkins, (I) mayoral candidate.
Each candidate talked about improving public schools. Perkins wants more magnet schools. Adelson wants the city to help recruit new teachers to Tulsa. Bartlett wants to have a fulltime person work with the Tulsa school board.
Perkins was the only candidate solidly against consolidating city and county government.
"I think there's a lot of savings in these trying times and we need to work with the county, see them as a partner not a competitor and figure out how to eliminate duplication of service," said Tom Adelson, (D) mayoral candidate.
"And it sounds good, but the practicalities are that it will not happen, unfortunately," said Dewey Bartlett, (R) mayoral candidate. "And that's because at the end of the day, who's going to be the king, who's going to be in charge?"
The candidates will have several other chances to explain their views. They'll meet in forums Thursday night and Monday.
Upcoming Mayoral Forums: