|Updated: 1/09/2013 9:36 pm
||Published: 1/09/2013 8:20 pm
On Wednesday, FOX23 talked with Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett about the violent start to 2013 in Tulsa. Already, there have been eight murders in eight days to start the New Year. Beyond the homicides, Mayor Bartlett was very candid about solutions he believes can help to clean up the area near 61st Street and Peoria Avenue where a quadruple homicide happened at Fairmont Terrance apartments. The Mayor says whatever solutions are put into place, they won't come overnight and they won't come without hard work from everyone involved.
“I am irritated. I am mad. I am disgusted. I've had it; we've all had it,” Mayor Bartlett told FOX23.
Mayor Dewey Bartlett has reached his breaking point with the area of Tulsa near 61st Street and Peoria Avenue. An area he says soils Tulsa’s image.
“(Crime has) been going on in the same part of town for thirty years, and nothing has changed, other than (the problem) getting worse.”
One idea the mayor has would be the city fining property owners in that part of town that have complexes that violate city code and are known criminal hotspots.
“I know a few days ago I said we should see if this is a nuisance, and that we can do something from a legal standpoint, (but) probably it will difficult,” The Mayor said.
Difficult because in the past, only abandoned complexes like the Oakwood Apartments, only a few blocks away from Fairmont Terrace, have been declared public nuisances. That happened three years after Oakwood closed. Mayor Bartlett knows the city can't afford to wait that long anymore.
“If we talk amongst ourselves and you say, ‘Do you think this place is a nuisance?’ Absolutely, absolutely it is. It might not be a legal nuisance, but it's a nuisance for the quality of life in our city.”
The Mayor plans to analyze why police are in this part of town so often, and he wants to find solutions that stick.
“I ask the public to please cut them some slack; the police are doing an outstanding job.”
One other solution the mayor has, job creation. He wants to get people to work in downtown, in south Tulsa, in north Tulsa. He says if there are more jobs in the city, and more people being put back to work, the crime rate will drop as a result.
The Mayor says he'll be meeting with public safety directors, code enforcement, and city councilors in the coming days to discuss implementing some of these ideas.