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Political Battle in Tulsa
Monday, Mar. 7, 2011
When the council and the mayor are engaged in battle, the real losers will often be the public.
For the past year, there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the city council in Tulsa. The mayor has been accused of being unavailable and unwilling to perform his job by a member of the council who is seeking his removal from office.
Although no one is sure if a majority of the council supports this effort, it is clear that the city’s business cannot be conducted in an atmosphere where the mayor and council members are on opposite side of a fundamental issue: leadership.
The councilmember who is leading the charge against the mayor was twice a candidate for city attorney. Because those requests were denied, some are speculating that the ouster petition is based on retribution in connection with the city attorney’s job.
“ I am not currently seeking the city attorney’s position,” says John Eagleton. “I could not serve as city attorney with Mayor Bartlett in office.” Eagleton has sent a letter to the governor outlining 11 allegations of misconduct, malfeasance, and criminal behavior. The 241-page document asks the attorney general to investigate the assertions, to determine whether the mayor should be subject to proceedings to remove him from office.
While waiting for the governor’s decision, the councilman has begun moving ahead and is seeking more than 1,000 signatures on a petition to force the attorney general to conduct the investigation. Eagleton has posted the petition on his personal website.
Political drama, as we are seeing in Tulsa, creates disruption in the day -to -day workings of the city. While it is important to pursue accountability in public service, Eagleton’s remarks seem to show that politics may be more important to him than policy.
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