Dewey Bartlett Ready to Lead Tulsa
By GRANT ROWL
THE WINNER: Tulsa Mayor-elect Dewey Bartlett Jr. talks to his supporters at the Stokely Event Center Nov. 10 upon learning of his mayoral victory.
DANIEL C. CAMERON for GTR Newspapers
Dewey Bartlett emerged the winner in what became the 2009 mayoral brawl in Tulsa, as he outdistanced rivals Tom Adelson, the Democrat, and Mark Perkins, the Independent.
Mayor Kathy Taylor said she is anxious to get to work with Mayor-elect Bartlett and his transition staff, saying, “It takes a lot of love for your city and strong will to file for election, and I want to thank each candidate for participating in the democratic process.”
Bartlett has announced Tulsa’s Congressman John Sullivan will chair his Mayoral Transition Team.
Bartlett says, “I am so honored that Congressman Sullivan has agreed to chair my transition team. I’ve known and worked with John for nearly two decades. Under his leadership, we’ll be able to assemble a top-notch staff to tackle our city’s most pressing issues.”
Sullivan will serve as the chairman of the transition team through Bartlett’s inauguration on Dec. 7. Other members of the Bartlett Transition Team include Bartlett Government Relations and Political Advisor Karl Ahlgren, Tulsa County Director of Development and Governmental Affairs Terry Simonson, Tulsa City Councilor G.T. Bynum and Bartlett Campaign Manager Jarred Brejcha. The group will work through the coming weeks to identify the most immediate hiring needs in the mayor’s office as well as working with the current administration to identify those most pressing city issues.
Sullivan says, “I am humbled to serve as the chair of transition team for Mayor-elect Bartlett. While I represent the needs of all First District residents in Washington, D.C., Tulsa is my home and whatever I could possibly do to help make this a better place to live, I will most certainly do.
“Dewey has a number of difficult decisions to make once he takes the oath of office in just a few weeks. Our goal is to help him be educated and prepared with a very capable staff and all of the information he needs to move our city forward.”
Taylor says that the most pressing issue for the city is the budget. She notes, “There is a lot of hard work ahead; this current budget crisis is unprecedented. The finance team and I are ready to get started.”
Taylor says she plans to brief Bartlett on the current state of this year’s budget, and the issues that will need to be considered regarding next year’s budget.
She adds, “We have an office set up for Mayor-elect Bartlett. He can occupy the office as soon as he would like and we will provide space for other staff as well.” Each department has drafted a summary of its staff and budget as well as issues to be addressed. “I will be personally briefing the new mayor, as soon as he is available, on all the issues I am handling that need to be transitioned to the mayor-elect.”
Taylor says that the mayor-elect will be invited to attend all management meetings, as well as attend any meeting on her schedule. Her staff has prepared a list of events and dates for which the mayor’s presence has been requested after her term ends.
The campaign was tough until the end with many voters complaining about the negative campaign advertisements pervasive in both the Bartlett and Adelson camps. It was shaping up to be a very interesting election. Tulsa was poised to choose from three good candidates the one they believed was best suited to run the city for the next four years.
Late polling had it right as Bartlett received a clean victory and became Tulsa’s next mayor. The writing was on the wall early as results began coming in shortly after the polls closed and Adelson and Perkins graciously conceded well before the final vote tally was made public calling on all Tulsans to get behind the new mayor.
Of note was independent candidate Perkins’ strong showing of 18 percent. He did so without running a single negative attack ad and he was considerably outspent. It remains to be seen whether candidates, pundits and campaign consultants will take note of the independent candidate’s surprising showing and understand it is evidence that the electorate wants positive campaigns.