Terms of Office For City Councilors on Agenda for May Unit Meetings

Heather News

In 1989 the City of Tulsa changed its form of government from electing at-large commissioners to electing a mayor and city council. Under that city charter the nine district councilors served two-year terms.

In 2009, the City Council proposed a change to the city charter, passed by voters, which lengthened the terms of city councilors from two years to three-year terms beginning with the 2011 elections, and set in place a rotating schedule of district elections every year. The nine council seats were divided into three groups for purposes of transitioning to the new system. In the 2011 election, terms of office would be different for each group. Beginning in 2012, three council seats are up for election each year. Districts are grouped as follows:
•Districts 1, 4 and 7 – Elected Councilors serve one year until a 2012 election for three-year terms.
•Districts 2, 5 and 8 – Elected Councilors serve two years until a 2013 election for three-year terms.
•Districts 3, 6, and 9 – Elected Councilors serve three year terms ending in 2014.

One of the petitions circulated Fall 2010 by Save Our Tulsa called for changing the term of office for City Councilors from three-year staggered terms back to two-year terms and for the elections of city councilors to coincide with the Federal/State election schedule (November of even numbered years). This petition has been validated by the City Clerk and will appear on the November 2011 ballot unless it is successfully challenged or the election date is set sooner (as has been requested by Save Our Tulsa).

To complicate things further, on Easter weekend the City Council released a draft proposal for their own changes to the City Charter including, among other things, that their terms of office be as follows revert back to the original two-year terms.

We need to talk! Attend a unit meeting in May.