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Local & Regional

Bynum, Councilors, Auditor Sworn in at City Inauguration

Matt Trotter

G.T. Bynum was sworn in Monday as Tulsa's 40th mayor.

He's the third-youngest person to take the office. Bynum said that's not a hurdle to doing great things, as Tulsa's youngest mayor, James Maxwell, had a hand in creating the library system, tripling the city's geographic area and desegregating city government.

Bynum said a community effort now can accomplish just as much.

"Working together, first and foremost as Tulsans, we will accomplish great things," Bynum said. "So, let's come together. Let's work hard. It's time to build the city of our dreams."

Bynum wasn't the only new city official sworn in Monday. All nine city councilors, including two new ones, and re-elected City Auditor Cathy Criswell also took the oath of office. Vanessa Hall-Harper represents District 1. She wants to strengthen civic participation among north Tulsans.

"When you consider Vision 2025, for example, if you look at numbers, District 1 did not vote for Vision 2025, and I think a large reason for that is that they weren't involved in the process," Hall-Harper said.

Ben Kimbro replaced Bynum as District 9 councilor.

"Though I've got big shoes to fill, I'm going to partly get to fill those shoes working with the guy that just vacated the office," Kimbro said.

The councilors' first regular meeting is Wednesday, but the inauguration wasn't strictly ceremonial.

Councilors met immediately afterward to elect second-term District 7 Councilor Anna America as this year's council chair. America said this council and administration are starting out with a strong sense of camaraderie, illustrated by Bynum's pledge to attend council meetings.

"So, we've got a spot for him, and we're going to try to really make that more collaborative," America said. "And that's kind of symbolic, but I think it will be reflected in how we work together."

In other business, District 3 Councilor David Patrick was elected council vice chair, and Bynum's temporary mayor list and organizational changes were approved.