Mayor Taylor declines to run again

Friday, 05 June 2009
Analysis:  Mayor Kathy Taylor announced at a well prepared press conference Thursday that she will not run for a second term.  This decision comes four months after a re-election event at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame where she said, “I’m passionate about continuing to serve for another term.”

A campaign styled television commercial is scheduled to begin today promoting Taylor’s current decision.  Taylor’s campaign web site this morning says, “Together, we have accomplished great things. Even though I have made the decision to not seek another term as Mayor, I will continue to work on several initiatives we started together as a private and actively engaged citizen.”

Mayor Taylor has pushed many changes in Tulsa.  She has raised the cost of doing business (fees and permits) in the city by an estimated 12 percent and she has been combative in many of those efforts.  While even her most severe critics credit her multiple successes, when she angers an opponent – they stay angry.  Political polling shows Mayor Taylor draws negatives approaching 50 percent.

Most famously fighting Tulsa County (the smallest division of State Government) Mayor Taylor has most often been described as “aggressive” rather than as a consensus builder.  However, even pit-bulls are good and loyal dogs – if they are your pit-bulls.  Mayor Taylor’s passion for Tulsa can not and should not be denied.  

However, her well-timed and scripted press conference, multiple appearances on morning talk shows, television commercial, and web site promotions suggest that at some point in the future, then former-Mayor Taylor will run again for public office.

Last year at a luncheon meeting of the Tulsa Republican Club, this writer asked a panel of Republican city councilors which type of mayor they preferred and thought best for the city – a friendly Republican former-Mayor LaFortune type that didn’t like nor make tough decisions well or an aggressive Mayor Taylor type that made decisions with little regard to the outrage generated?

Of course their answer did not favor the Democrat Mayor Taylor, but the question was not directly addressed.  The point of the question was that Tulsa’s City Council has publicly; whined, complained, griped, protested, objected, dissented, and bellyached beyond reason during both the LaFortune and Taylor administrations – Republican and Democrat – passive and aggressive.

There is a difference between legislative and administrative public service.  As part of a council or legislature, a public official is one of many.  In an administrative position, especially a mayor, decisions carry direct responsibility.  People angered remember the reason and nothing is more personal to a citizen than city government which they deal with daily in issues they feel personally such as streets and public safety.

In many ways, serving as mayor for a major American city is a thankless job for anyone regardless of personality.  It is a job unavoidably ordained to be distained.  

In this case, Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor spent a million dollars to get the job and refused a pay check while in office.

As a creative conservative pundit that often disagreed with Mayor Taylor’s positions on public issues … I thank her for fighting for what she believed best for Tulsa in her service to our city.

About the author:
David Arnett began his career in professional journalism in 1985 and has published Tulsa Today online since 1996 – years before Al Gore invented the Internet.  He has won two national awards as a First Amendment Publisher.  Arnett is an idea guy, a Constitutional Republican, a Conservative Media Critic and a proud pain in the political derriere of the disingenuous. This analysis may be reproduced without charge with proper attribution.  

Arnett is available for interview by recognized media and may be reached by e-mail at

Last Updated ( Friday, 05 June 2009 )