The next mayor will probably be Dewey Bartlett or G.T. Bynum. That means nothing will change at City Hall and conservatism – especially on fiscal matters – will once again take a back seat.
Mayor Bartlett and Councilor Bynum are all about growing government, raising taxes and adding regulations. These two are like mirror images of each other. They are from rich families, they don’t make a move without getting a thumbs up from the chamber and they are social moderates (that’s being generous).
A friend of mine, a truly conservative Republican, almost ran for mayor. He knew he had no chance but he wanted to at least give a conservative option.
If I were the mayor of Tulsa, here are some of the things I would do.
I would end the contract with chamber that gives that private group millions of dollars to spend however they wish. I would either put that job open for bids or create a small, but efficient in-house department that would get results from spending the hotel tax that now goes to the chamber.
I would lobby in the state legislature to end the state, county and city sales tax on groceries. This would really help people on fixed incomes.
I would repeal the city hiring discrimination guidelines that created a special class for homosexuals.
I would dissolve the Human Rights Commission.
When it comes to appointments to the “ABCs – authorities, boards and commissions,” I would find people outside of Midtown Tulsa and Downtown Tulsa to serve.
I would end the public investment of tax dollars downtown.
I would fix streets based on traffic counts rather than on political considerations.
I would invest in things that matter, things that government should be working on, including waterlines and sewer lines.
I would end the overlap of services between EMSA and the Tulsa Fire Department to save money.
I would fight against any new casino or casino expansion in or around Tulsa. Gambling is not economic development. It is legalized stealing.
I would find a way to close Tulsa’s abortion clinic and prohibit any new ones.
I would make sure that Tulsa is not a “sanctuary city” for illegal aliens.
I would have the police concentrate on stopping gang activity.
I would open city swimming pools in poor areas in the summer.
I would make the “state of the city” speech in a public setting rather than in a high-dollar luncheon exclusively for the chamber backers.
I would meet with county officials to work out ways to make the jail more cost efficient and safe.
I would look for ways to make the Creek Expressway a free road.
I would join a state effort to put a full-time recruitment office in California to coax businesses to relocate to Tulsa.
I would encourage retail development in East Tulsa.
I would try to figure out a way to bring back Bell’s Amusement Park.
I would encourage private development along the Arkansas River.
I would change the retirement structure for new firemen and policemen that would be like a 401K rather than a pension plan.
I would advocate for a change back to a commissioner form of government when Tulsa had a street commissioner, a finance director, etc.
I would push for a change from nonpartisan municipal elections and let the voters know who is a Republican and who is a Democrat.
I would have street contractors concentrate on a smaller number of repairs and do them more quickly rather than starting a lot of projects and taking more time.
I would make sure that businesses are not blocked when street work is underway.
I would make the downtown arena shoulder the true cost of police overtime, especially during high dollar events.
I would hold a press conference at least once a month.
The only incentives I would offer new businesses that want to move here would be infrastructure (streets, sewers, waterlines, etc.). That would apply to existing businesses that want to expand, too.
I would stop PlaniTulsa and end attempts to force people to develop the city in ways that they don’t agree with.
I would not tear down any more recreation centers, especially in poor neighborhoods.
I would get Tulsa out of the museum business.
I would make sure that the Tulsa Zoo doesn’t try to indoctrinate school children with the theory of evolution.
I would encourage pregnancy resource centers like Mend and promote other Christian ministries like John 3:16 Mission.
I would not rely on the city’s financial department to make forecasts concerning budget projections.
I would facilitate new building permits for churches.
I would discourage festivals that promote public drunkenness.
I would cancel the permit for the “gay pride parade.”
And finally, I would genuinely listen to the public concerning policy issues instead of deciding plans behind closed doors in smoked-filled rooms downtown.