By Dan Bewley & Scott Thompson, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Two of Tulsa's candidates for mayor squared off Tuesday morning at the Tulsa Public Schools Education Service Center.
Dewey Bartlett and Tom Adelson spoke for close to an hour on job creation and public safety, among a number of other issues.
The event was hosted by the Tulsa Retired Educators Association.
Dewey Bartlett pledged not to raise taxes if elected mayor and Tom Adelson said preventing gang violence is at the top of his priority list.
Close to 100 people listened to Dewey Bartlett and Tom Adelson talk about why each should be Tulsa's next mayor.
Bartlett touted his experience in the Tulsa business and social community as major reasons why he would be a successful mayor.
"It's thirty years experience in the oil and gas business, it's many years, a variety of community services, everything from the American Red Cross to Woolaroc," said Dewey Bartlett, (R) mayoral candidate.
Bartlett said the struggling economy means it's time for the city to look for any and every way to save money. He said if elected, he would find ways for city offices and vehicles to become more energy efficient, even if it meant just changing the light bulbs. But Bartlett's top priority is to create and bring more jobs to the city.
"Job creation is my number one, long term goal as mayor. I will be the job-gettingest mayor this city has ever seen," said Dewey Bartlett.
Tom Adelson also cited his experience as proof he's up to the job. He also took issue with two of Bartlett's key statements. One, when Bartlett said the city needed to become more energy efficient.
"We are going to do everything that we can to wring out all of the savings that we can find. If it was about changing light bulbs, I promise you, the mayor would have done that already," said Tom Adelson, (D) mayoral candidate.
Adelson also challenged Bartlett's claim that he would not raise taxes, saying city services must be maintained.
"If you believe a 'no new taxes, read my lips pledge,' I don't know how one makes that. I want to make sure our citizens have the services that they expect," said Tom Adelson.
A third candidate for mayor, independent Mark Perkins was not invited to participate in the debate. Organizers said they had only decided to invite representatives from the two major parties.