Tulsa Metro Chamber announces opposition to city charter ballot proposals8.29.2011
The Tulsa Metro Chamber announced today its opposition to the Save Our Tulsa and Tulsa City Council proposed ballot changes to the Tulsa city charter.
The chamber specifically opposes the council's proposal for a city manager structure and the Save Our Tulsa proposal to add three at-large councilors. The chamber argues placing the mayor on the council seemingly alters the checks and balances of the legislative body.
Shane Fernandez, Executive Vice President of Crafton Tull, a member of the Chamber’s executive committee, and chair of the Chamber’s new program on diversity and inclusion, cites the lack of inclusion as a reason for opposing the Save Our Tulsa proposal to add three at-large councilors. Chamber volunteer leaders expressed disappointment in the lack of community-wide debate in developing either proposal.
“The city charter ballot proposals to date have proceeded at a pace that has not allowed sufficient broad-based input,” said Dr. Gerry Clancy, Chairman of the Tulsa Metro Chamber Board of Directors and President of the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa. “Constituents were not afforded an opportunity to engage in the dialogue and formation of the proposals.”
Chamber officials stress altering the city charter requires deliberative study and debate from all nine city council districts in the community. Howard Barnett, President of Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, and former chair of the Tulsa Metro Chamber, was a key figure in the city of Tulsa governance change over 20 years ago. He stated changes of this scale require a comprehensive process to thoroughly study all options.
Chamber leaders encouraged continued discussion on challenges and solutions to move the city forward. Leaders noted the Save our Tulsa volunteers should be recognized for starting the conversation. The chamber recommends establishing a community-wide process, thereby ensuring inclusivity and diversity of constituents, and if necessary, developing a timely and broad-based proposal.
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