Tulsa mayoral candidates Dewey Bartlett, Kathy Taylor meet for final debate before election

TULSA - Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett and former Mayor Kathy Taylor went head to head for what was the final debate ahead of the November election.

The candidates discussed a number of issues at the Cox Business Center, including crime, roads and accountability.

One focal point for Taylor was Bartlett's handling of Tulsa's green waste system.

In August, the mayor announced that he learned Tulsa's green waste was not being recycled due to a problem with the machine used to remove the waste from plastic bags. As a result, the waste was taken to the city's burn plant. Now, Bartlett believes the situation has been resolved.

"I hope it has," he said.

Taylor, however, criticizes the mayor for not knowing of the problem sooner and handling it. She says she would have acted immediately upon learning of the situation.

"When I found out, I would've raised my hand and said we made a mistake and let's do something different," Taylor said.

In addition to the green waste discussion, Bartlett criticized Taylor for not running for reelection in 2009.

"I think she saw the financial tsunami that we were about to hit and experience and she didn't want to mess with it anymore," Bartlett said.

Taylor responded by claiming that quitting is not something she would ever do.

"If not running for reelection is the measure of quitting, then neither did Henry Bellmon quit on us," she said. "I don't think any of us believe Henry Bellmon quit on Oklahoma."

Both candidates agree that voters going to the polls is critical this election period.

Election day is scheduled for Nov.12.

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