Friday, August 6, 2010

There's No Tranquility In Tulsa Today

A few decades ago, the tranquility at the end of the Turner Turnpike was in Tulsa and the ugly stepchild was Oklahoma City.

Today, that tranquility is shattered and Oklahoma City appears as a placid oasis as newly-elected Tulsa Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett Jr. and the City Council battle daily, investigations are underway or demanded, and the Police Department is racked by a corruption probe involving multiple officers.
You are reading The McCarville Report Online
The City Hall conflicts began upon Republican Bartlett's election as mayor earlier this year. Now, he and council members are engaged in a running tit-for-tat battle that dominates newscasts and headlines.

The council wants Bartlett investigated for an alleged ethics violation. He and members regularly exchange insults. There have been demands that Bartlett resign; one group wants him impeached.

A lawsuit was filed against the council last month by three residents; that follows a council vote taken in executive session to remove the mayor from the session.

Bartlett and others took office as diminished sales tax returns hit the city and department budgets were slashed, including that of the Police Department. The actions of Bartlett and his chief of staff, Terry Simonson, in dealing with Police Department funding, have drawn fire from council members.

After assuming office in December of 2009, Bartlett was immediately met with a $10 million financial shortfall. The financial difficulty has resulted in Bartlett holding meetings with various groups, such as the Tulsa Firefighters Union, and most of them generated controversy.

The numerous controversies prompted Bartlett to issue a rare declaration to citizens a month ago; in it, he urged the council to cease its criticism of him and to cooperate in moving the city forward.

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