Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett expected to present apartment licensing proposal to City Council

TULSA - In a video forum released online and on cable Friday, Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett made one thing abundantly clear.

The city would no longer be "kicking the can down the road" in regards to one of Tulsa's most notorious areas -- 61st and Peoria Avenue. 

The mayor, who was quick to point out the cross street's long history of crime, said the area would soon be "the poster child of success." 

"61st and Peoria is ground zero," Bartlett said.

The strong words come just weeks after the bodies of four women were found bound and shot to death inside a Fairmont Terrace apartment with a 3-year-old boy left to watch.

READ: '4 found dead, shot inside Fairmont Terrace Apartments' (bit.ly/Fairmontdeaths)

The Section 8 complex immediately received harsh criticism from the Tulsa Police Department, which reportedly battled with Fairmont ownership over video surveillance it has yet to receive. 

TPD and apartment management met in September to discuss safety changes, including the installation of cameras, but several suggestions appeared to go unheeded in the days following the quadruple murder.

READ: 'TPD, Fairmont Terrace at odds over security cameras' (bit.ly/TPDfairmont)

Bartlett also came down hard on the complex. Shortly after Wednesday's arrest announcement, the mayor released a statement.

READ: 'Brothers arrested in Fairmont Terrace quad murder' (bit.ly/Fairmontarrests)

"We can now get to the essence of this issue and that is much bigger than crime, it's about poverty," he said in the release. "We're moving forward on our mission to establish a method to hold out-of-state apartment owners accountable for safe, secure and peaceful lives to live."

Friday's forum showed Bartlett was still serious about holding absentee ownership accountable. The mayor announced his plan to hold residential owners' feet to the fire through a new licensing process.

Bartlett described the permit as similar to a liquor license, and would allow for owning rights to be revoked.

"Owners should have a list of requirements," he said.

Bartlett, who expects the proposal to be drafted by February's end, said the move would be a significant start to curbing crime in Tulsa.

"That'll be the first step, but it won't be the last step," he said.



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