Tulsa mayoral candidates Bartlett, Taylor, Christiansen, Branch, Kirkpatrick make final push
9:01 PM, Jun 4, 2013
9:17 PM, Jun 4, 2013
TULSA - The race for Tulsa's mayor is entering the final week.
The five candidates are current mayor Dewey Bartlett, Kathy Taylor, Bill Christiansen, Jerry Branch and Lawrence Kirkpatrick.
Mayor Bartlett, Taylor, and Christiansen say they're spending their last week speaking at forums and meeting with as many people as they can.
Christiansen says his top two priorities are letting voters decide how Tulsa's trash service is run. Christiansen also wants to hire more police officers. He said he will cut certain six-figure city hall salaries to pay for the new officers.
"The current mayor has several people working for him in the mayor's office that make six-figure salaries," he said. "I think that needs to stop. Nobody in my administration will make more than the mayor."
Taylor's stated priorities are education and Fix Our Streets, which includes adding sidewalks and bike lanes.
Taylor used the stretch of Lewis Avenue outside of her campaign headquarters as an example. Taylor says crews have dug up and repaved the section four different times in the last three months because of mistakes.
Taylor also wants kids to have mentors, citing education as a primary factor in Tulsa's crime rate and jobs.
"If kids don't read at grade level by third grade, we know statistically they are unlikely to succeed in life," she said. "We really want to reach out to kids early. If we can get them out of high school, they have the opportunity to get a college degree with the Tulsa Achieves program."
Bartlett says he's seeking a second term because he believes in the city's current focus. He wants to keep adding jobs in aviation and energy and also add 70 police officers and 45 firefighters to Tulsa's streets.
Bartlett says it won't take more money to do so. He wants to extend an existing tax.
"The beauty of it isn't a tax increase, but it also pays for those officers," Bartlett said. "It's not just this one year, but pays for them for the entirety of their service."
Branch said he wants to create transparency as mayor. He also promises to meet directly with department heads instead of sending a manager.
This is Tulsa's first time where being a Democrat or Republican doesn't matter.
One of these candidates must get at least 51 percent of the vote. If not, the two candidates with the most votes face off Aug. 13.