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Tulsa City Council

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By RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer

Dissatisfaction with the city’s leadership is at a four-year high, according to the most recent Oklahoma Poll.

Thirty-four percent of the 508 likely Tulsa voters surveyed Oct. 27-Nov. 1 named lack of political leadership the city’s No. 1 problem, easily putting it at the top of the list.

It’s by far the largest share that response has received in the five times since 2007 that the Oklahoma Poll has asked Tulsa voters the same question.

The previous high was in October 2008, when 13 percent named leadership as the city’s most pressing problem.

“Who could not view whatever the council’s been up to for however many years and say we’ve had adequate leadership?” asked poll participant Neal Kirkpatrick.

Kirkpatrick primarily blames the City Council, but Jimmie Pryor thinks it’s Mayor Dewey Bartlett’s fault.

“I think he’s disruptive,” she said. “He wants to be commander-in-chief. He’s more of a dictator than leader.”

Another respondent blames both parties.

“The old council was out for a power grab,” Virginia Richard said. “The mayor was not the best for bringing the sides together. I’m sure Dewey Bartlett is a bright and intelligent man, but I’m not sure he has the people skills needed.”

ContinuedClick here to read the entire Tulsa World article

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By BRIAN BARBER & P.J. LASSEK World Staff Writers
Mayor Dewey Bartlett won’t face re-election until 2013, but a new Tulsa World-sponsored poll shows that, if the election happened today, 58 percent of Tulsans would vote for another candidate.

The scientific survey indicates 26 percent would vote for Bartlett, while 16 percent didn’t know or refused to answer.

That could give other candidates the confidence to challenge Bartlett, SoonerPoll.com’s Bill Shapard said, but two years is forever in politics, so a lot could change for the mayor.

“It’s a long time, and a lot of people may be very forgiving of Dewey and forget about the past,” he said.

“This polling was taken in an environment where we haven’t seen yet whether this new City Council will be able to work with the mayor and everyone pull in the same direction. The jury is really still out.”

The new City Council, which will have seven new members and two incumbents  –  Councilors Jack Henderson and G.T. Bynum  –  will be sworn in Dec. 5.

The poll asked whether Tulsans are optimistic about the new council being able to work together to advance the city.

In response, 82 percent said they were somewhat, very or extremely optimistic, while 13 percent had some level of pessimism and 5 percent didn’t know or refused to answer.

Shapard pointed out that a near majority  –  49 percent  –  chose the somewhat optimistic option.

ContinuedClick here to read the entire Tulsa World article

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By P.J. LASSEK & BRIAN BARBER World Staff Writers

Tulsans may be fed up with City Hall controversies, but a new Tulsa World-sponsored poll indicates a majority of voters aren’t ready to adopt a council-city manager form of government or to add at-large councilors to the current structure.

But they do support with slight majorities returning councilors to two-year terms and moving to nonpartisan races.

SoonerPoll.com CEO Bill Shapard said he is cautious about the poll results on the four City Charter amendments because they are barely majorities. Noncandidate issues can also be particularly unstable because voters’ positions can be easily swayed.

“People don’t change their minds about people,” he said. “It’s easy to change your opinion on an issue such as these.”

Shapard said he tries to do polling as close to the election as possible, but “we see groups becoming energized (on issues) at the last minute where most candidate campaigns don’t wait this long.”

A campaign blitz by various groups began Wednesday for all four of the proposals that has included newspaper advertisements, yard signs and mailers.

Shapard said he is concerned with the number of undecided voters because these “are likely voters, stakeholders within the community and have shown a pattern of voting in the past.”

Having one in 10 or one in eight still undecided “seems to indicate that there is still some effect that may be placed on them by money and messaging that could alter the numbers,” he said.

Republicans are more enthusiastic about the election than Democrats, 53 percent to 39 percent. Shapard noted it has less to do with the election and more to do with the anti-Barack Obama energy on the national level filtering down.

Even though the proposed charter changes could make “seismic changes” to the city government, he said, there is probably less enthusiasm about them than there was for September’s primary elections, when only candidates were on the ballot.

ContinuedClick here to read the entire Tulsa World article


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