An invitation for dinner at the governor's house led to what is thought to be the first joint meeting of the Oklahoma City and Tulsa city councils.
The city councils meet Thursday in Tulsa for a formal open meeting.
The dinner at the Governor's Mansion was earlier this year, and momentum for the meeting quickly gathered.
“Governor Fallin invited the mayor and councils from both communities to have dinner at the mansion just to kind of open up dialogue,” said Debi Martin, the Oklahoma City Council's chief of staff. “They thought, ‘You know, we really ought to be talking to each other more.'”
Items on the agenda include regional transportation, joint legislative goals and regionalization.
“We just chose some general areas that would allow that conversation to begin on topics that we're both certainly very interested in,” Martin said.
Some members of the Oklahoma City Council have advocated strongly for cities to ask the state to allow them more local control of election spending disclosure rules, which is likely to be among the more high-profile legislative topics to come up at the meeting.
Rail advocates in Oklahoma also have longed for a passenger train connection between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, along with commuter rail service in both metro areas. Planners hope rail infrastructure can accommodate such expansion.
More to come
Martin said Thursday's meeting probably won't be the last between the two cities. An invitation from Oklahoma City to host their Tulsa counterparts is likely to follow soon.
A theme at the meetings also will be a conscientious approach to the stature of the cities within Oklahoma, and the benefits of cooperation.
“There's really very little that we do at the local level that does not have an impact on (the rest of the) state,” Martin said.
AT A GLANCE
Joint council meeting
The Oklahoma City and Tulsa city councils have set a formal open meeting for 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Room 411 of the One Technology Center, 175 E Second St. in Tulsa.