Many Tulsans', including me, have lamented over the tone of the current mayoral campaign. Looking at it objectively it is hard to second guess the political consultants and strategists who design these campaigns when a significant percentage of the electorate is too busy or indifferent to spend the time to get to know the candidates or their views. They want simplistic answers to complex problems, so campaign coordinators come up with the 30 second sound bites that dominate the broadcast media.
That unfortunately leaves the more involved and informed voter seething with disgust over the resulting negative campaigning tactics and many of them threaten to cast a protest vote for the independent, or worse yet, stay home. There is a more intelligent option and this is why you should care: During the next four years the policies of Tulsa's mayor will not only guide our community's economic growth and development, they will personally affect all citizens in their everyday lives.
So, we are left to consider the wisdom of trying to make a statement with our vote, or the more sensible alternative to have a real voice in which policies and ideas are the best choice to govern us. I suggest we all grit our teeth, take a collective deep breath, then go to the polls and vote for the candidate who is the most qualified.
With all due respect to Mr. Perkins, he is not presently qualified to be mayor of this city and short of a miracle of biblical proportions he has no real chance to win. He simply has not paid his dues. He would be well advised to stop complaining about being left out of debates and join the two party system. Unless you are a superstar like Arnold Schwarzenegger, there are no shortcuts in politics.
Now let us evaluate the qualifications of the two major candidates and determine which is best suited to lead us. Who has the best ideas? Who has demonstrated the best leadership skills? Who has the most relevant experience? Who has the temperament? Who has the best vision for Tulsa?
Dewey Bartlett's ideas are consistent with our local conservative values.
Typically, our best ideas are hatched in the incubators of our guiding principles. I view Dewey Bartlett as an old school conservative with a modern outlook to the future. When I say "old school," I am talking about Dewey's ambitions for our city which are guided by Main Street sensibilities, Main Street economic principles and Main Street common sense.
This is what Dewey is about: smaller, more efficient, more modern government for the 21st century grounded in timeless Main Street sensibilities. With the current economic crises facing Tulsa's next mayor, it is Dewey Bartlett's bipartisan, common sense approach to problem-solving that will guide us through the storm.
Dewey supports a limited role for government in a multicultural society, while protecting the individual's rights and the minority's rights under our Constitution. Dewey believes in the privacy of the individual over the state, the equality of the individual before the law, and the chance for each person to succeed on their own merits and hard work.
Voters also need to know that Dewey Bartlett can reach across the ideological divide to support justice for those who have been denied simply because of their skin color or lack of money. When it comes to public spending, Dewey will actively work to create a fair and level playing field on which to compete. Dewey will work to insure that our governmental policies are fair and unbiased, avoiding economic disparities in the awarding of city contracts.
When it comes to leadership skills, Dewey Bartlett's body of work is well documented on many fronts. Great leaders are generally tolerant of ambiguity and remain calm, composed and steadfast to the main purpose. Storms, emotions and crises come and go and a good leader takes these as part of the journey and keeps a cool head.
Today's economic crisis, like every other in our history, will in time pass. But the pressures of funding municipal government will still be at the gates. Whom do we need on the parapet? Answer: a leader who can tactically maneuver around the economic tsunami that crashed on Tulsa's beach in the fall of 2008.
So again, I ask, who do you want answering the phone when and if the budget crisis worsens? A man who's been cramming on these issues for the past year, one who's never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a small business, let alone a city employing over 4,000 people, a municipal government novice with little or no administrative experience whatsoever? Or do you want a seasoned business professional, with an advanced degree in finance, multiplied by more than three decades of effective management experience and practices.
A competent leader needs to function in an orderly and purposeful manner in situations of uncertainty. People find reassurance and security when their leader portrays a positive demeanor. If Dewey Bartlett is elected I believe you will see a refreshing new approach to cooperation between the administration and the City Council. On the other hand, Tom Adelson has been shown to have a combative nature and appears to be instinctively inclined to stir things up. He has had lapses in judgment as evidenced by his outbursts and rancorous behavior over a disagreement with Governor Brad Henry. His temperament alone convinces me Dewey Bartlett is the best man for the job.
-Bill Leighty is a Broker Associate with McGraw Realtors, a member of the Tulsa Metropolitan Planning Commission and the Mayor's Land Use Task Force.
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