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Government of Tulsa, Oklahoma

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The Tulsa City Hall, formerly known as One Technology Center, houses most city government functions.
The Tulsa City Hall, formerly known as One Technology Center, houses most city government functions.

The City of Tulsa has a mayor-council form of government. This form of government has been in place since 1989, at which time Tulsa converted from a city commission form of government. The mayor is elected by the entire population and each of the 9 Councilors are elected from districts based on population.

Tulsa is the county seat for Tulsa County. Within the boundaries of the city and surrounding county are tribal lands belonging to and governed by various Native American nations.

Discover more about Government of Tulsa, Oklahoma related topics

City commission government

City commission government

City commission government is a form of local government in the United States. In a city commission government, voters elect a small commission, typically of five to seven members, typically on a plurality-at-large voting basis.



In many countries, a mayor is the highest-ranking official in a municipal government such as that of a city or a town. Worldwide, there is a wide variance in local laws and customs regarding the powers and responsibilities of a mayor as well as the means by which a mayor is elected or otherwise mandated. Depending on the system chosen, a mayor may be the chief executive officer of the municipal government, may simply chair a multi-member governing body with little or no independent power, or may play a solely ceremonial role. A mayor's duties and responsibilities may be to appoint and oversee municipal managers and employees, provide basic governmental services to constituents, and execute the laws and ordinances passed by a municipal governing body. Options for selection of a mayor include direct election by the public, or selection by an elected governing council or board.

County seat

County seat

A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is in use in Canada, China, Hungary, Romania, Taiwan, and the United States. The equivalent term shire town is used in the US state of Vermont and in some other English-speaking jurisdictions. County towns have a similar function in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, as well as historically in Jamaica.

Native Americans in the United States

Native Americans in the United States

Native Americans, also known as American Indians, First Americans, Indigenous Americans, and other terms, are the Indigenous peoples of the mainland United States. There are 574 federally recognized tribes living within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. As defined by the United States Census, "Native Americans" are Indigenous tribes that are originally from the contiguous United States, along with Alaska Natives. Indigenous peoples of the United States who are not listed as American Indian or Alaska Native include Native Hawaiians, Samoan Americans, and Chamorros. The US Census groups these peoples as "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders".

Elected officials


The current mayor of Tulsa is Mayor G. T. Bynum, a Republican, who was first elected in 2016.[1] The mayor is responsible for the day to day operations of the city and preparing a budget. The mayor names the police and fire chiefs.

In August 2021, Mayor G. T. Bynum announced he would appoint Cassia Carr to be Deputy Mayor of Tulsa on August 30th, 2021.[2]

City Auditor

The current auditor of Tulsa is Cathy Criswell. The auditor is elected independently of the City Council and Mayor to ensure the auditor can act in an objective manner. Criswell was elected in 2013. The city auditor serves a term of two years.


The 2018-2021 Tulsa City Council [3] has a historic super majority of women.[4] The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Tulsa City Council are one year appointments which are nominated and elected by the Councilors each December. All 9 seats on the Council are nonpartisan and are elected by the voters of Tulsa in August (General Election) or November (Run Off Election) every other year.[5]

Name[6] District Year First Elected Council Chair/Vice Chair Appointment
Vanessa Hall-Harper District 1 2016 2021 Immediate Past Chair
Jeannie Cue District 2 2011
Crista Patrick District 3 2018 2022 Vice Chair
Kara Joy McKee District 4 2018
Mykey Arthrell-Knezek District 5 2020
Connie Dodson District 6 2014
Lori Decter Wright District 7 2018 2022 Chair
Phil Lakin, Jr. District 8 2011 2020 Past Chair
Jayme Fowler District 9 2020

City Hall

Tulsa's City Hall in the Civic Center until 2007.
Tulsa's City Hall in the Civic Center until 2007.

Until 2007, City Hall was located in the civic center, a sector of downtown that included most governmental services, including the Federal Courthouse, Tulsa County Courthouse, Tulsa City-County Library, and The Convention Center. In 2007 Mayor Kathy Taylor proposed to move City Hall from its civic center location to One Technology Center, on the northwest corner of Second Street and Cincinnati. Taylor argued that a recent study showed the move would save $15.2 million over a 10-year period. Most of the savings would come from the new energy efficient building.[7] The move then allowed the former City Hall property to be redeveloped into a new Aloft Hotel,[8] to support the BOK Center. The conversion was completed in 2013.[9]

On July 12, 2007, the Tulsa City Council voted 8-1 to move the City Hall to One Technology Center.[10]


Tulsa's first city office building was a two-story brick building constructed in 1906 at 211 West Second Street. Primarily intended as a fire station, it included administrative offices and a police station. The city jail was in the basement.[11] The city quickly outgrew that facility and began renting office space in the privately owned Reeder Building.

text Tulsa Municipal Building (1917-1977)

In 1917, Tulsa government offices moved into a much larger facility at Fourth and Cincinnati, formally called the Municipal Building, to house city services. This served the city until the 1960s, when the Civic Center building was opened.[12] The Municipal Building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion C on July 18, 1975. Its NRIS number is 75001574.[13]

Source: "Government of Tulsa, Oklahoma", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, August 22nd),,_Oklahoma.

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  1. ^ Griffin, David. "GT Bynum Defeats Incumbent Bartlett For Tulsa Mayor".
  2. ^ Canfield, Kevin (8 August 2021). "Cassia Carr to serve as Tulsa's next deputy mayor". Tulsa World. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Tulsa City Council".
  4. ^ World, Kevin Canfield Tulsa. "When six women are sworn in as Tulsa city councilors on Monday, history will be made". Tulsa World.
  5. ^ "City of Tulsa".
  6. ^ "Tulsa City Council".
  7. ^ P.J. Lassek (2007-06-13). "Mayor: City Hall move is crucial". Tulsa World. Archived from the original on 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2007-06-13.
  8. ^ "Hot Tulsa hotels make for great holiday staycation | Tulsa World". Archived from the original on 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
  9. ^ Lowrie, Lacey (April 11, 2013). "Get A Preview Of New Downtown Hotel In Old Tulsa City Hall Building". News on 6. Accessed July 5, 2015.
  10. ^ P.J. Lassek (2007-07-13). "City Hall move OK'd, with conditions". Tulsa World. Archived from the original on 2007-08-11. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
  11. ^ "A Chronological history of Tulsa, 1836 - 1950". Tulsa County GenWeb site.
  12. ^ "The Many Homes of City Hall". Tulsa Gal Website, February 19, 2010
  13. ^ "Tulsa Municipal Building". Tulsa Preservation Commission. Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine
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