New Beginnings in New Ballroom

Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr. said during a swearing in ceremony Dec. 7 in the Tulsa Ballroom of the newly renovated Convention Center he intends to focus on the basics.
“Bob LaFortune told me once, a long, long time ago, that ‘as long as the toilets flush, the trash gets picked up and you can walk outside and feel safe, you have the bases covered,’” Bartlett said.
Bartlett, speaking just before Judge Gregory Frizzell issued the oath of office, making him Tulsa’s 39th mayor, echoed his general election campaign theme. Bartlett will govern in accordance with conservative Republican principles, he said.
“I assure you that we will efficiently manage this city, spend your money wisely and promote our city’s assets and interests,” he said. “At the end of the day, you will realize that we understand customer service.”
Tulsa ‘Open’
In his speech, Bartlett declared Tulsa is “open for business.”
Asked if he was presenting a contrast between his administration and former Mayor Kathy Taylor’s, he said she was a strong business supporter.
“Mayor Taylor came from the business community,” Bartlett said. “I want people to make certain that Tulsa would remain that way. She accomplished quite a bit.”
Taylor finished the downtown revitalization, which started with Vision 2025 projects during former Mayor Bill LaFortune’s term.
“She made some tough decisions to get us to a point that the city budget can afford what we have now — as long as the revenue stream does not dip,” he said.
Bartlett, 62, president of Keener Oil & Gas Co., said he decided to run for mayor because the other candidates did not have business backgrounds.
“I come from the business community,” he said. “Tulsa’s success is predicated upon a person from the business community being (in the mayor’s office).”
Others Sworn In
Tulsa’s newly elected city officials were sworn in during the hour-long ceremony, which seated an audience of 510 and had more than 250 standing.
Following Bartlett, Preston Doerflinger was sworn in as Tulsa’s city auditor. Then, City Councilors-elect Jack Henderson (District 1), Rick Westcott (District 2), Roscoe Turner (District 3), Maria Barnes (District 4), Chris Trail (District 5), James Mautino (District 6), John Eagleton (District 7), Bill Christiansen (District 8) and G.T. Bynum (District 9) stood for their oaths as the next Tulsa City Council.
Since taking office, Bartlett hired four chiefs to top his organization chart, including Jim Twombly, recently the Broken Arrow city manager. He also named Jeff Mulder, who will continue to be Tulsa’s airport director, the head of public facilities and transportation. Bartlett appointed Susan Neal to oversee city planning and neighborhood issues. Neal remains from the Kathy Taylor administration. Longtime political figure Terry Simonson, who has served in two mayoral administrations and Tulsa County government, will be Bartlett’s chief of staff and general counsel.
The mayor serves a four-year term. Bartlett will accept the $105,000 annual salary, which Taylor refused.

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