May 2021: Following the swearing-in ceremony for incumbent City Councilor Debra Wimpee (Ward 1) and newly elected City Councilor Lisa Ford (Ward 2), the Broken Arrow City Council voted to elect Debra Wimpee as Mayor and Christi Gillespie as Vice Mayor at their regular meeting on Tuesday, April 20. Wimpee and Gillespie will each serve a two-year term in those roles.
Mayor Debra Wimpee
With Lisa Ford joining the Council, this is the first time in Broken Arrow history that three women (Ford, Wimpee, and Ward 3 Council Member Christi Gillespie) will serve on the City Council at the same time, according to City records.
This is also the first time in Broken Arrow history there has been a female Mayor and Vice Mayor holding office at the same time.
The City of Broken Arrow operates under a council-manager form of government. City Council members are unpaid elected officials. The City of Broken Arrow is divided into four wards, which are redrawn periodically such as after a Census year, in an effort to keep a fairly even population distribution in each. The Broken Arrow City Council consists of five councilors - one member from each of those wards and an at-large member. Each member is eligible to serve four years, with elections held every two years on a staggered schedule (Wards 1 & 2 are elected together, then two years later Wards 3, 4 & at large are elected). One unique aspect of Broken Arrow is that while the four ward representatives must live in their ward, all registered voters in the City are able to vote for each seat.
The primary role of the Council is to serve as the policymakers for the City. Its responsibilities include adopting local codes and ordinances, approving the budget and approving contracts for the City. The City Council is also responsible for hiring the City Manager, as well as hiring the Presiding Judge for the Municipal Court. The Council elects a mayor and vice mayor from among its own members every two years. One of the primary functions of the Mayor and Vice Mayor is to serve as the chairperson and vice-chairperson to the Council.
City Councilor Lisa Ford
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