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September 17, 2021, 02:44:51 pm
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Author Topic: 2016 Mayoral Survey: Dewey Bartlett's Responses  (Read 1887 times)

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« on: June 17, 2016, 08:24:19 am »

In early June, TulsaNow sent a short survey to all mayoral candidates.

Following are the questions and Mayor Dewey Bartlett's responses:

Tulsa voters recently approved funding for a wide variety of Vision projects. Of the many projects, which one were you most excited about?

Funding for the public safety plan has me most excited. The successful effort to fund additional police officers, firefighters, and street safety needs was more than a three year effort and I was very happy to see a priority like that accomplished. It also represented a key change in how we approached Vision by using the Vision tax for game changing operational needs. I had to stand alone for a long time in my advocacy for operations funding within Vision but eventually everyone came around and we made the Vision package better than it has ever by combining capital and operational projects.

Was there one particular project that you actively supported, and why?

There were multiple projects that I supported. Public safety, F-35 funding for the Oklahoma Air Guard base, river infrastructure, and school partnerships were among the most common projects I spoke about.

What project did not make the list that you wished could have been included, and why?

Redevelopment support for the Evans Fintube site on the north side of downtown. This would have also allowed the rail yard adjacent to the old industrial site to be relocated so that the entire area could be restored and redeveloped. I have a great deal of expectation about this area as a place for downtown to grow and expand northward beyond the IDL. Ideally we need to make sure that all available forms of transportation in the area maintain connectivity, so that future commuter and passenger rail lines can pass through, but some of the industrial tracks in the rail yard are holding back development and those should be relocated. Downtown and north Tulsa would benefit greatly by a redevelopment of the Evans Fintube site and I remain very hopeful that we can connect the existing transportation network of the area to development potential and experience a lot of excitement and growth.

Many of our members feel frustrated about zoning and adopted small area plans being ignored. What do we need to do in order to preserve the character of our existing neighborhoods while encouraging high-quality development?

The development community needs to know what to expect and as a result of our implementation efforts on the new comprehensive plan our community expectations are becoming more understood and this will lead to more of the type of development we desire in communities across Tulsa over time. It is also a matter of priorities. Development will change along with our preferences and transitions are always hard but we are on the right track.

Tulsa officials seem focused on sales tax funding and approving retail projects to collect sales tax revenue, but most retail jobs do not pay well. What would you do to bring higher paying jobs to Tulsa?
I look to the industries that provide high paying jobs and tailor our business development to assist those industries. Education and training is key in this effort. I have experienced that job growth will follow trained and trainable people. This is why I partnered with Tulsa Tech and our local public schools to create the Aviation and Aerospace Academy to train the next generation of aerospace workers. It is also why at the City we partnered with Union High School to do "Learning with a Wrench" to teach kids about how to become an automotive expert or mechanic. Kids use these jobs to find a place in school, and then either continue their education in college with a focus or find a good paying job in the workforce. Industry development is key and partnering with our local schools and businesses we have found ways to keep jobs coming to Tulsa.

We hear from many people that great cities have great transit, but Tulsa has among the lowest commute times in the country. Now that permanent funding will add more access, what else could be done to get people like you to use public transit?

All forms of transportation must be acknowledged. Transportation matters to people on foot as much as it does in cars and I am excited about building a city that has all viable forms of transportation. Walkability aides transit and we will be looking for more ways to make Tulsa neighborhoods walkable so that the short trips can be made on foot in between transit rides for commute. Increasing the dependability of transit will also help improve ridership on transit. I am excited by the transit piece of Vision because it is another example of a game changing project withing Vision that was made possibly only because I stood up and made certain that operations funding be a part of Vision. I was tired so seeing us build great things and then be left without resources to operate things. Dedicated transit funding is a key piece to making our bus system more convenient and dependable. As we build a more walkable city and develop all forms of transportation better we will experience an increase in transit use.

The BOK Center and OneOk Field were both controversial when first announced, but have been wildly successful, spurring millions in new development downtown. What game-changing public improvement would you do if you had the money?

I would build a stronger transportation network that provides connectivity of all forms to key density points around Tulsa. The downtown location of a transportation hub for people would be within this effort, but so would freight concerns that would be pushed to industrial zones around the airport and water port. Our location geographically paired with our existing transportation assets are huge opportunities for the movement of people and freight. In a coordinated way a we can make our road, air, water, rail, and transit functions work together to deliver goods an people better than ever before and really put Tulsa at the forefront of transportation innovation.

We have seen disagreement between past Mayors and Councilors as well as City and County officials. Is there an issue that is unresolved that you feel might become controversial in 2016?

We have done a lot of great things with the County recently including the successful renewal of Vision. I expect this type of success to continue even during times of disagreement. We have talked about combining our parks' departments, for example, but this is an idea that needs more study and vetting although it has early signs of merit.

If you had the chance to show off Tulsa for one day to a visiting elected official the same age as you, name the places you would take them to.

I would take them to the Gilcrease Museum, the Mohawk Water Treatment Plant because it is the original water treatment plant for the city that has been refurbished within the shell of the original historic building, the Guthrie green area, the Gathering Place, and Evelyn's for eating.

Hypothetical: The city is given a gift of $10 million to spend with a stipulation that you decide whether all of it should go to either public pools or protected bike lanes. Which do you pick, and why?

Bike lanes - we already have pools that are going to be updates and refurbished, we have more need right now for dedicated bike lanes.

Education is important to our quality of life and economic success, and is often cited as a major factor companies consider when choosing where to locate. What will you do to improve public education in Tulsa?

We are going to play a part in teacher training and recruitment with our Vision Tulsa package. We are in discussion with local schools on how to best place this support. Additional I am working to make sure that all of our local high schools have a career academy in them similar to the programs we already have made for aerospace and mechanical engineering. Education is best when children see a tangible connection to opportunity and this is why my academy concept works so well in the two targeted areas we have focused so far. I look forward to expanding these academies into all of Tulsa's public high schools and also bringing in other industries like finance and banking, computer science, and other important fields of opportunity.

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