G.T. Bynum

Nearly two dozen business, nonprofit and health leaders will help plan the reopening of Tulsa’s economy after the COVID-19 threat begins to decline.

The Mayor's Economic Recovery Advisory Committee in partnership with the Tulsa Regional Chamber will look at steps other cities and states are taking to come up with a phased approach for Tulsa.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Updated April 17, 2:10 p.m.

The City of Tulsa will furlough around 1,000 employees for half-days every Friday beginning May 3 through the end of 2020.

Mayor G.T. Bynum said high unemployment and low oil prices are expected to cause a dramatic drop in sales tax collections, the city's only source of operating funds.

Much like during last year's spring storms when the city decided to warn people to brace for a flood event on par with 1986, officials decided it would be best to prepare now for the worst-case scenario.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Oklahoma is expecting a budget shortfall this year, and now so is the City of Tulsa.

Finance Director James Wagner said the latest sales and use tax distribution from the state is slightly above budget estimates but covers the period before the city’s safer at home order to limit the spread of COVID-19 took effect.

Courtesy

Mayor G.T. Bynum said Tuesday he will follow the Tulsa Health Department’s guidance on when to start lifting restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19.

President Donald Trump wants to reopen the U.S. on May 1, which health experts have warned may be unrealistic.

Bynum said he will only act after infection and hospitalizations rates start declining, and restrictions will be loosened slowly.

Our guest is James Wagner, the Chief of Performance Strategy and Innovation for the City of Tulsa. He leads a team in Mayor Bynum's office that aims to use data both effectively and intelligently in order to reach goals, remove barriers, find solutions, and foster community throughout Tulsa. Wagner joins us to discuss the results of a newly announced data-driven study that Tulsa has completed with the aid of the Gallup polling organization.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the City of Tulsa's just-announced plan to "build a resilient and welcoming city that embraces immigrants and fosters opportunity for all." Our guest is Christina da Silva, the City's Director of Community Development & Policy, who just last week unveiled (alongside Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum) the so-called New Tulsans Initiative.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the City of Tulsa's in-depth and multifaceted efforts to address issues of resilience, equity, and racial disparity across various demographic and geographic sections of our community. Our guest is DeVon Douglass, who was recently appointed by Mayor G.T. Bynum as Tulsa's Chief Resilience Officer. Before this appointment, Douglass served as the Economic Opportunity and Poverty Policy Analyst for the Oklahoma Policy Institute.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we welcome Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum back to our studios. He was sworn in as Tulsa's newest mayor in December, having previously served as a member of the Tulsa City Council since 2008. (Mayor Bynum's great-great grandfather [1899-1900] and maternal grandfather [1970-1978] also served as mayors of Tulsa.) The Mayor joins us to talk about what he's accomplished in his mayoral tenure thus far as well as what he has planned for the immediate future.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak with James Wagner, the Chief of Performance Strategy and Innovation in Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum's newly formed administration. Mr. Wagner was previously the principal transportation planner for the Indian Nations Council of Governments (or INCOG), and he appeared on this program several times in that capacity.

On today's installment of StudioTulsa, we offer a discussion with Tulsa City Councilor G.T. Bynum, who is running for mayor. (Tulsa's mayoral elction will occur on June 28th; we spoke with Mayor Bartlett, who is also running, on yesterday's program.) Bynum was elected to the Tulsa City Council in 2008; he still serves on the Council, representing District 9. As noted at the G.T.

After some 18 months and a previous series of public meetings, the Tulsa City Council's Arkansas River Infrastructure Task Force now has a draft proposal for funding a series of low-water dams on the Arkansas River. The $298 million proposal calls for three new low-water dam sites as well as a rebuild of the existing Zink Low-Water Dam, a maintenance and operations fund to ensure upkeep of all these facilities, and money for levee rehabilitation. (The levees in Tulsa County have been deemed among the most at-risk in the U.S.) Our guest on ST is the chairman of this Task Force, G.T.

From public transportation to park spaces, from educational opportunities to crime stats, from ethnic diversity to urban density, how does Tulsa measure up to other cities of its kind throughout the nation? In mid-January, the Tulsa City Council was presented with the annual Quality of Life Report for our city. This report -- per the City Council website, where you can read all of it -- is "an objective analysis of our community, compared to 20 peer cities.

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