Editorial: The state of the city is not good

Who runs Tulsa?

Just look at the recent “state of the city” luncheon and it is evident that the chambercrats are in charge.

Mayor G.T. Bynum, like almost all of his predecessors, chose to make his annual comments on the state of Tulsa before an exclusive luncheon hosted by the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Technically, non-chamber members could but a ticket to this high-dollar affair but the $85-a-plate cost assures that ordinary citizens – especially poor people and the elderly on fixed income – would not be able to attend.

Bynum and his buddies might as well have the luncheon at Southern Hills Country Club if they really wanted to exclude the “riff raff.”

It doesn’t really matter what Bynum said in his state-of-the-city address. He can only do what the powerful business leaders let him do. And they are well represented in the chamber clubhouse.

What is amazing is that Tulsa voters continue to elect mayors who exclusively live in Midtown Tulsa and who work their hardest to fulfill the wishes of their chamber overlords.

Tulsa can’t seem to elect a mayor from East Tulsa, North Tulsa, West Tulsa or even powerful South Tulsa. And frankly, the nine city councilors are all cut from the same cloth as Bynum. None of them dare cross the power of the chamber.

Unlike Broken Arrow, Owasso or Jenks, Tulsa doesn’t have its own chamber. Tulsa has a “metropolitan” chamber even though Tulsa taxpayers hand over millions of dollars each year to the Metro Chamber.

Tulsa needs a mayor and council who are connected to the people. Until that happens, we all know who pulls the strings.