Tulsa Mayor And City Council Trade Jabs

Tuesday, February 5th 2008, 7:30 pm
By: News On 6

The home of city government in Tulsa is moving to a newer, nicer building. But, as The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports, one city councilor believes the council might not have the kind of offices they deserve.

Councilor Jack Henderson has concerns about parking and access for the public and worries the council offices won't be as nice as what the mayor might get, though the mayor says that's not true.

In reviewing the cost of moving into a new city hall building, Mayor Kathy Taylor called Councilor Jack Henderson on the carpet for saying she is not answering his questions.

"You have intimated that I have refused to meet with you and provide you with information. Let me remind you. I met with you on December 5th at 1 pm for 2 hours and you advised me of your priority for that building and let me quote from my notes; ‘I voted to put you in that glass building and I deserve whatever kind of office I want.'  That is my goal, Councilor Henderson, that you can get in the office you want," said Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.

The terse exchange came during a city council meeting about the One Technology Center, which will be Tulsa's new city hall. Henderson thought the plans for the new building gave the mayor a better looking office than the council.

"One drawing showed the mayor's name in gold and the council's name in black and her elevators on the 15th floor were surrounded by wood and wood grain and ours were just plain old elevators," said Councilor Jack Henderson with the Tulsa City Council.

Drawings show a concept, not a plan, of how the council offices might appear in the new building. It's already much nicer than the current city hall and the mayor wants to make as few changes as possible to it to save money. But, she reminded the council if they want to make it nicer than it already is they're free to do that.

"It's not a high priority to me, if it is to the councilors, they have ultimate budget control and they can make the decision to spend the funds to have whatever finishes and offices they request," said Mayor Taylor.

Henderson said he just thinks the mayor and council should have similar accommodations. In the meeting, the mayor announced the top two floors in the building, which are deluxe offices, will likely be leased out to a company that has made the city an offer to take that extra space the city doesn't need.