Kathy Taylor not running for re-election (UPDATED)

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Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor has issued a press release saying she will not be running for re-election. She will hold a press conference at 5:30 at the Tulsa Press Club.

More as it develops.

UPDATE 6:15 pm: Taylor spoke very briefly and did not answer questions. She spent a minute or two greeting well-wishers like Tulsa Metro Chamber head Mike Neal, Convention and Visitors Bureau head Suzanne Stewart, and Sharon King Davis.

Taylor began her remarks with a list of accomplishments: A hangar for American Airlines to keep maintenance jobs here, completing the BOK Center, coping with the ice storm of 2007, "amazing progress" on the river, the entrepreneurial spirit awards, finding mentors for 400 students, and finalizing plans for the John Hope Franklin Reconciliation Park before Franklin's death.

Taylor decried a focus on personalities and partisan politics and expressed hope that stepping down would help the Council do the right thing with regard to the ballpark. (Tonight is the final vote on the assessment roll for the Tulsa Stadium Improvement District.)

Taylor said the primary reason for not running was to ensure the economic viability of Tulsa. She claimed that "we've turned this city around." She said she needed to be running the city, not running a political campaign. As she makes tough budget decisions, she doesn't want a partisan political cloud over decision making.

Taylor said she had no plans for the future but would continue to pursue her passions: education, small business, and greening Tulsa.

MORE: Taylor's letter to city employees at 5:30 this evening:

Together, we have opened a world-class arena, moved city hall to a modern and high-tech new space, seen amazing progress on the revitalization of downtown, made a significant commitment to our streets infrastructure, created new education opportunities for our children and recruited hundreds of mentors for at-risk kids. We have promoted health programs, had success with our "biggest loser" wellness program and worked side by side with community leaders with the shared goal of making our neighborhoods safer.

We have launched new initiatives in the areas of energy efficiency and we have pulled resources together to honor the many veterans and military families in Tulsa. We have made city government more efficient because of your participation in High Performance Government and our green initiatives are saving energy costs in departments throughout the city. We have supported emerging businesses with our Entrepreneurship Week and Spirit Awards and thousands of Tulsans have given us their input through our city's comprehensive planning process.

All of these initiatives and many many more have culminated in a record of amazing progress for the city we love. It is a record you can be proud of and I want to personally thank you for all you have done to make it possible!

Because of the serious budget and economic challenges we are facing, the next 6 months are going to be pivotal and frankly, very difficult for our City. Tough decisions will have to be made that may not be popular, but they will be fiscally responsible- and they will help secure Tulsa's future.

I have been in public service now for 6 years -- first as Secretary of Commerce and Tourism for the State and these last years as your Mayor. Amazing things can be accomplished when private citizens get engaged in their community.

Thank you again for your hard work and for allowing me to be a part of this great team of city employees.

It is an honor I will value forever.

Sincerely,
Kathy Taylor,
Mayor

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7 Comments

Bob said:

Michael for Mayor! Michael for Mayor!

Yogi Author Profile Page said:

Man that is surprising. At least to me.

Trait said:

I would wholeheartedly back a Bates run for mayor.

If you run for mayor, can I be your press secretary? I would definitely keep things interesting.

Robin said:

Ditto the Michael for Mayor, if not, at least for city council. Without the Urban Tulsa,(great decision in my opinion). Now you will have more time to lend your wonderful incites to the antics/politics of our city.
May God Bless you and your family
Robin

David V Author Profile Page said:

List of potential mayors I've heard mentioned (in no particular order):

Clark
Gwin
Medlock
Bates
McCorkell
LaFortune
Simonson
Williamson
Henderson
Martinson
Christianson

(gee, that's 5 "sons")

I wonder who else is about to emerge?

I'd expect at least 2 vpeople from the business sector who haven't yet ventured into community service.

The democrats have had a way of "convincing" people to bow out in favor of a coronated "anointed one", ever since Susan Savage won a special election in the mid 90s.

Paul Tay Author Profile Page said:

Don't rule out Tom Baker, Bates' drinkin' buddy!

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 4, 2009 3:41 PM.

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