About Tulsa City Council

The City of Tulsa was incorporated in 1898, nine years before statehood. In 1908, Tulsa adopted its first city charter that outlined the processes of the city government. Under this charter, a board of commissioners including a mayor and four city commissioners enacted local policies for about 80 years. In 1989, Tulsans voted to change to a strong mayor-council form of government in an effort to create a more effective and representative city government.

Today, the elected officials of Tulsa include the mayor, the city auditor and nine city councilors. These separate offices allow for a checks and balances system that affirms responsible governance. Together, they serve the community's interests through adopting local laws, establishing and maintaining infrastructure and city funds and offering services and programs to benefit the public.

As required by City Charter, every ten years a City of Tulsa Election District Commission is formed consisting of five members appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. Based upon the latest data from the Federal Decennial Census, the Commission is charged with adjusting the boundaries of the City's nine City Council Districts so that they are as nearly equal in population as possible. The new Council Districts approved by the commission will take effect on December 5, 2022. View more information about redistricting here.

Tulsa's City Government Branches Overview

3 Independent Branches

Mayor G.T. Bynum

Administrative

MAYOR

Elected by the whole city

  • Manage all administrative departments

  • Manage the day-today operations of the City

  • Execute Municipal laws

  • Submit annual budget to the City Council

  • Appoint citizens to Authorities, Boards, and Commissions

Councilors sitting in Council chambers during a City Council Meeting

Legislative

CITY COUNCIL

9 members, elected by district

  • Adopt municipal laws and policies

  • Approve the City's annual budget

  • Listen to the concerns of the citizens

  • Evaluate the overall effectiveness of City operations

  • Confirm citizens to Authorities, Boards, and Commissions

Two employees reviewing paperwork on a desk

Investigative

CITY AUDITOR

Elected by the whole city

  • Provide government oversight

  • Ensure adequate protections are in place to mitigate risk

  • Serve as an independent eye on City operations and resources

  • Regularly review the City's financial activities

AUTHORITIES, BOARDS, & COMMISSIONS

Appointed by the Mayor, Confirmed by City Council

  • The advice from these groups helps create city policy and programs

  • Authorities acquire and manage or oversee the management of assets

  • Boards and Commissions review and recomend policy changes to the Mayor and City Council

THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS

Steps of the legislative process. 1: introduction 2:public meetings 3:voting 4:mayoral signing 5:law

City Council History

LEGEND:
*: Deceased
D: Democrat
R: Republican
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  • Term 1990-92: B.S. Roberts (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 5/8/90

  • Term 1992-94: B.S. Roberts (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/92

  • Term 1994-96: Joe Williams (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/5/94

  • Term 1996-98: Joe Williams (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/1/96

  • Term 1998-2000: Joe Williams (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/98

  • Term 2000-02: Joe Williams (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/3/00

  • Term 2002-04: Joe Williams (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/1/02

  • Term 2004-06: Jack Henderson (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/04

  • Term 2006-08: Jack Henderson (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/10/06

  • Term 2008-09: Jack Henderson (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/7/08

  • Term 2009-11: Jack Henderson (D)

    • Inauguration Date 12/7/09

  • Term 2011-012: Jack Henderson (D)

    • Inauguration Date 12/5/11

  • Term 2012-13: Jack Henderson (D)

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/12

  • Term 2013-14: Jack Henderson

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/13

  • Term 2014-16: Jack Henderson

    • Inauguration Date 12/1/14

  • Term 2016-18: Vanessa Hall-Harper

    • Inauguration Date 12/5/16

  • Term 2018-20: Vanessa Hall-Harper

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/18

  • Term 2020-22: Vanessa Hall-Harper

    • Inauguration Date 12/7/20

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  • Term 1990-92: Darla Hall (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 5/8/90

  • Term 1992-94: Darla Hall (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/92

  • Term 1994-96: Darla Hall (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/5/94

  • Term 1996-98: Darla Hall (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/1/96

  • Term 1998-2000: Darla Hall (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/98

  • Term 2000-02: Randi Miller (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/3/00

  • Term 2002-04: Randi Miller (R) 11/14/02 & Chris Medlock (R) 2/18/03

    • Inauguration Date 4/1/02

  • Term 2004-06: Chris Medlock (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/04

  • Term 2006-08: Rick Westcott (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/10/06

  • Term 2008-09: Rick Westcott (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/7/08

  • Term 2009-11: Rick Westcott (R)

    • Inauguration Date 12/7/09

  • Term 2011-012: Jeanie Cue (R)

    • Inauguration Date 12/5/11

  • Term 2012-13: Jeanie Cue

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/12

  • Term 2013-14: Jeanie Cue

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/13

  • Term 2014-16: Jeanie Cue

    • Inauguration Date 12/1/14

  • Term 2016-18: Jeanie Cue

    • Inauguration Date 12/5/16

  • Term 2018-20: Jeanie Cue

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/18

  • Term 2020-22: Jeanie Cue

    • Inauguration Date 12/7/20

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  • Term 1990-92: Dorothy DeWitty (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 5/8/90

  • Term 1992-94: Michael Patrick (D) 4/5/93 & Darrell Gilbert (D) 5/4/93*

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/92

  • Term 1994-96: Darrell Gilbert (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/5/94

  • Term 1996-98: David Patrick (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/1/96

  • Term 1998-2000: David Patrick (D)* 8/5/98 & Roscoe Turner (D) 11/12/98

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/98

    • Roscoe Turner was elected in November 1998 in a special election to replace David Patrick who resigned to run for state legislature. Roscoe Turner was sworn in on November 12, 1998.

  • Term 2000-02: Roscoe Turner (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 4/3/00

  • Term 2002-04: David Patrick (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 4/1/02

  • Term 2004-06: Roscoe Turner (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/04

  • Term 2006-08: Roscoe Turner (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 4/10/06

  • Term 2008-09: David Patrick (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 4/7/08

  • Term 2009-11: Roscoe Turner (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 12/7/09

  • Term 2011-12: David Patrick (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 12/5/11

  • Term 2012-13: David Patrick*

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/12

  • Term 2013-14: David Patrick*

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/13

  • Term 2014-16: David Patrick*

    • Inauguration Date 12/1/14

  • Term 2016-18: David Patrick* 9/14/18 & Karen O'Brien 10/3/18

    • Inauguration Date 12/5/16

    • David Patrick dies unexpectedly on Septembre 14, 2018. Interim Councilor Karen O'Brien, who served on the Sales Tax Overview Committee, was sworn in on October 3, 2018 to fill the vacancy. The appointment ensured the approximately 44,000 residents in the district were represented and provided the City Council the ability to continue to conduct business due to majority vote requirement. The Tulsa City Charter, Article VI Section 8 states, "If a vacancy shall occur in the office of a Councilor less than one year prior to the next general election, the COuncil, by a majority vote of the remaining membership of the Council shall appoint a qualified elector of the election district in which the vacancy exists to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term."

  • Term 2018-20: Crista Patrick

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/18

  • Term 2020-22: Crista Patrick

    • Inauguration Date 12/7/20

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  • Term 1990-92: Gary Watts (D)

    • Inauguration Date 5/8/90

  • Term 1992-94: Gary Watts (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/92

  • Term 1994-96: Gary Watts (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/5/94

  • Term 1996-98: Gary Watts (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/1/96

  • Term 1998-2000: Anna Falling (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/98

  • Term 2000-02: Gary Watts (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/3/00

  • Term 2002-04: Tom Baker (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/1/02

  • Term 2004-06: Tom Baker (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/04

  • Term 2006-08: Maria Barnes (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/10/06

  • Term 2008-09: Eric Gomez (D)

    • Inauguration Date 4/7/08

  • Term 2009-11: Maria Barnes (D)

    • Inauguration Date 12/7/09

  • Term 2011-12: Blake Ewing (R)

    • Inauguration Date 12/5/11

  • Term 2012-13: Blake Ewing

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/12

  • Term 2013-14: Blake Ewing

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/13

  • Term 2014-16: Blake Ewing

    • Inauguration Date 12/1/14

  • Term 2016-18: Blake Ewing

    • Inauguration Date 12/5/16

  • Term 2018-20: Kara Joy McKee

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/18

  • Term 2020-22: Kara Joy McKee

    • Inauguration Date 12/7/20

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  • Term 1990-92: Robert Nelson (R)*

    • Inauguration Date 5/8/90

  • Term 1992-94: Robert Nelson (R)*

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/92

  • Term 1994-96: Robert Nelson (R)* 10/31/94 & Mel Rive* 1/19/95

    • Inauguration Date 4/5/94

    • Robert Nelson dies unexpectedly in office on October 31, 1994. Mel Rice was elected following Nelson's death and attended his first meeting on January 19, 1995. He chose not to seek re-election.

  • Term 1996-98: Sam Roop (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/1/96

  • Term 1998-2000: Sam Roop (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/98

  • Term 2000-02: Sam Roop (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/3/00

  • Term 2002-04: Sam Roop (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/1/02

  • Term 2004-06: Sam Roop (R) 2/18/05 & Bill Martinson (R) 5/17/05

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/04

    • Sam Roop resigns effective 2/18/2005 to join Mayor Bill LaFortune's cabinet as Chief Administrative Officer. Bill Martinson was elected to the Council in a special election on May 10, 2005. Martinson was sworn in on May 17, 2005.

  • Term 2006-08: Bill Martinson (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/10/06

  • Term 2008-09: Bill Martinson (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/7/08

  • Term 2009-11: Chris Trail (R)

    • Inauguration Date 12/7/09

  • Term 2011-12: Karen Gilbert (R)

    • Inauguration Date 12/5/11

  • Term 2012-13: Karen Gilbert

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/12

  • Term 2013-14: Karen Gilbert

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/13

  • Term 2014-16: Karen Gilbert

    • Inauguration Date 12/1/14

  • Term 2016-18: Karen Gilbert

    • Inauguration Date 12/5/16

  • Term 2018-20: Cass Fahler

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/18

  • Term 2020-22: Mykey Arthrell-Knezek

    • Inauguration Date 12/7/20

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  • Term 1990-92: James Hogue (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 5/8/90

  • Term 1992-94: James Hogue (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/92

  • Term 1994-96: James Hogue (D)* 1/9/95 & Art Justis (D)* 2/21/95

    • Inauguration Date 4/5/94

    • James Hogue resigned after winning election as a judge. Art Justis replaced him by special election on February 14, 1995. Jusis completed the last 13 months of Hogue's term. 

  • Term 1996-98: Art Justis (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 4/1/96

  • Term 1998-2000: Art Justis (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/98

  • Term 2000-02: Art Justis (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 4/3/00

  • Term 2002-04: Art Justis (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 4/1/02

  • Term 2004-06: Jim Mautino (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/04

  • Term 2006-08: Dennis Troyer (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 4/10/06

  • Term 2008-09: Dennis Troyer (D)*

    • Inauguration Date 4/7/08

  • Term 2009-11: Jim Mautino (R)

    • Inauguration Date 12/7/09

  • Term 2011-12: Skip Steele (R)

    • Inauguration Date 12/5/11

  • Term 2012-13: Skip Steele

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/12

  • Term 2013-14: Skip Steele

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/13

  • Term 2014-16: Connie Dodson

    • Inauguration Date 12/1/14

  • Term 2016-18: Connie Dodson

    • Inauguration Date 12/5/16

  • Term 2018-20: Connie Dodson

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/18

  • Term 2020-22: Connie Dodson

    • Inauguration Date 12/7/20

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  • Term 1990-92: Joe Benjamin (R)*

    • Inauguration Date 5/8/90

  • Term 1992-94: Joe Benjamin (R)*

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/92

  • Term 1994-96: Joe Benjamin (R)*

    • Inauguration Date 4/5/94

  • Term 1996-98: Terry Doverspike (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/1/96

  • Term 1998-2000: Terry Doverspike (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/98

  • Term 2000-02: Clay Bird (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/3/00

  • Term 2002-04: Randy Sullivan (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/1/02

  • Term 2004-06: Randy Sullivan (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/04

  • Term 2006-08: John Eagleton (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/10/06

  • Term 2008-09: John Eagleton (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/7/08

  • Term 2009-11: John Eagleton (R)

    • Inauguration Date 12/7/09

  • Term 2011-12: Thomas Mansur (R)

    • Inauguration Date 12/5/11

  • Term 2012-13: Arianna Moore

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/12

  • Term 2013-14: Arianna Moore

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/13

  • Term 2014-16: Arianna Moore

    • Inauguration Date 12/1/14

  • Term 2016-18: Anna America 8/22/18 & Arianna Moore 10/3/18

    • Inauguration Date 12/5/16

    • Anna America resigns on August 22, 2018 to become the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department. Former Councilor Arianna Moore was sworn in on October 3, 2018 to fill the vacancy.

  • Term 2018-20: Lori Decter Wright

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/18

  • Term 2020-22: Lori Decter Wright

    • Inauguration Date 12/7/20

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  • Term 1990-92: Richard Polishuk (D)

    • Inauguration Date 5/8/90

  • Term 1992-94: Vickie Cleveland (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/92

  • Term 1994-96: Vickie Cleveland (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/5/94

  • Term 1996-98: Vickie Cleveland (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/1/96

  • Term 1998-2000: Vickie Cleveland (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/98

  • Term 2000-02: Todd Huston (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/3/00

  • Term 2002-04: Bill Christiansen (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/1/02

  • Term 2004-06: Bill Christiansen (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/04

  • Term 2006-08: Bill Christiansen (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/10/06

  • Term 2008-09: Bill Christiansen (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/7/08

  • Term 2009-11: Bill Christiansen (R)

    • Inauguration Date 12/7/09

  • Term 2011-12: Phil Lakin Jr. (R)

    • Inauguration Date 12/5/11

  • Term 2012-13: Phil Lakin Jr.

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/12

  • Term 2013-14: Phil Lakin Jr.

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/13

  • Term 2014-16: Phil Lakin Jr.

    • Inauguration Date 12/1/14

  • Term 2016-18: Phil Lakin Jr.

    • Inauguration Date 12/5/16

  • Term 2018-20: Phil Lakin Jr.

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/18

  • Term 2020-22: Phil Lakin Jr.

    • Inauguration Date 12/7/20

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  • Term 1990-92: Dewey Bartlett Jr. (R)

    • Inauguration Date 5/8/90

  • Term 1992-94: Dewey Bartlett Jr. (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/92

  • Term 1994-96: Robert Gardner (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/5/94

  • Term 1996-98: Robert Gardner (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/1/96

  • Term 1998-2000: Brady Pringle (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/98

  • Term 2000-02: Brady Pringle (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/3/00

  • Term 2002-04: Susan Neal (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/1/02

  • Term 2004-06: Susan Neal (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/6/04

  • Term 2006-08: Cason Carter (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/10/06

  • Term 2008-09: G.T. Bynum (R)

    • Inauguration Date 4/7/08

  • Term 2009-11: G.T. Bynum (R)

    • Inauguration Date 12/7/09

  • Term 2011-12: G.T. Bynum (R)

    • Inauguration Date 12/5/11

  • Term 2012-13: G.T. Bynum 

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/12

  • Term 2013-14: G.T. Bynum 

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/13

  • Term 2014-16: G.T. Bynum 

    • Inauguration Date 12/1/14

  • Term 2016-18: Ben Kimbro

    • Inauguration Date 12/5/16

  • Term 2018-20: Bem Kimbro

    • Inauguration Date 12/3/18

  • Term 2020-22: Jayme Fowler

    • Inauguration Date 12/7/20