Some mayoral substance

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Mike Easterling has a good story on the Tulsa mayor's race in the current issue of Urban Tulsa Weekly. Former Mayor Rodger Randle described the temporal challenges the mayor faces, particularly when it comes to the community meetings that demand most of a mayor's evenings:

Randle said he often considered his attendance at events for smaller groups more important than his obligation to show up for functions thrown by bigger, better-known organizations. His rationale for that line of thinking was that most of those older, well-established civic groups in Tulsa already were secure in the knowledge that they would have a voice in how local issues are handled. Many newer, outside-the-mainstream organizations are still searching for that assurance, Randle said.

"A lot of them don't know if they're considered to be an inclusive part of the community or not," he said.

Randle's attendance at their functions often signaled to those groups that they were, and he relied on that goodwill for the support of those groups when the time came to pass a civic initiative, such as a bond issue.

"Often, your success was linked to how much those different groups felt they were part of the city," he said.

I refer you once again to the high levels of disagreement, particularly in north, east, and west Tulsa, with the statement, "City leaders in Tulsa understand my community's needs," and the high levels of agreement with the statement, "I do not feel included in the planning process. People like me are always left out."

Randle also emphasized the importance of neighborhood quality of life to the overall health of the city, and so a mayor needs to look beyond the headline issues.

The article goes on to include substantial thoughts from three of the candidates on some issues that haven't received much attention in the race to date, including PLANiTULSA and urban development. Although I haven't had the chance to speak with any of the candidates on these issues, I was pleased to see some ideas I've espoused here and elsewhere being expressed by the candidates. More on the specifics in a later post.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 29, 2009 5:01 PM.

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