Tulsa City Council decides against closed-door mediation, votes for public meetings to hash out differences with mayor

The public's need to know prevailed in Tulsa on Thursday.

City councilors -- in a series of 7-2 votes -- decided against mediating their legal disputes with the mayor in a closed-door executive session, the Tulsa World reported.

Instead, the council invited Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr. to participate in a series of public meetings to resolve their differences.

Bartlett indicated he would participate but warned that in public discussions "people have a tendency to posture."

On Wednesday, this blog argued against using that as an excuse for conducting the public's business behind closed doors. Certainly these elected officials can speak openly, honestly and candidly like adults in front of voters.

Councilor Roscoe Turner, who had signed FOI Oklahoma's Open Government Pledge during his 2009 campaign, voted against the closed mediation.

"Transparency is ultimate," he said. "We're not going to solve anything by doing it in secret."

Amen, brother.

Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Media and Strategic Communication
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the commentators and do not necessarily represent the position of FOI Oklahoma Inc., its staff, or its board of directors. Differing interpretations of open government law and policy are welcome.