Tulsa City Council, mayor to name media area for late World reporter
BY KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Thursday, January 10, 2013
1/11/13 at 5:22 PM
City councilors and Mayor Dewey Bartlett agreed Thursday to name the City Council Chamber’s media area for former Tulsa World reporter Brian Barber.
Barber, 39, died Wednesday after a long struggle with heart failure and complications caused by anti-rejection drugs related to two heart transplants.
He became a reporter for the World in 1996 and started covering City Hall in 2004.
“I know that whenever I walk into this room, I always looked at that chair in that box to where he sat and did his work, his craft,” Bartlett said during Thursday night’s City Council meeting.
The mayor suggested that a plaque with Barber’s date of birth, date of death and the position he held with the World be affixed to the short room-divider wall that designates the area where journalists covering meetings sit, “to make note that this is Brian Barber’s box and chair.”
“I hope that we remember him — not we, but all of us who come into this chamber from here on,” Bartlett said.
City Council Chairman David Patrick began the meeting by saying the council had lost a dear friend.
“He will be sorely missed,” Patrick said.
Councilor G.T. Bynum also called Barber a “dear friend — which is saying something,” Bynum said. “Politicians do not usually have friendly relations with the press, and Brian did not pull any punches, but he was fair and he was a great guy.”
Bynum said what he will miss most about Barber is what he misses most about his own father, who is also deceased: simply being able to talk to him about the events of the day.
“My God, we are going to have a mayor’s race and a streets package and we are not going to be able to talk with Brian Barber about it,” he said.
“I don’t know how we are going to do that.”
Bynum said that when he was elected to the City Council, he never thought he would be thankful to know the guy who was covering City Hall.
“But I am, and I love him, and I will miss him,” Bynum said.
A memorial service for Barber will be held at 10:30 a.m. next Thursday at Redeemer Covenant Church under the direction of Moore’s Southlawn Funeral Home.
His family asked that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made in Barber’s name to LifeShare Transplant Donor Services of Oklahoma or to the American Heart Association.