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City Announces Michael Skates as New Director of Development Services

This article was archived on 9/5/2021

Today, the City of Tulsa announced Michael Skates as the new Director of the Development Services Department. 

Skates has served as interim department director since March 2021 following the retirement of Yuen Ho.  

Skates is a licensed professional engineer, certified building official and certified floodplain manager. He started with the City of Tulsa in 2000 in Public Works where he served until May 2005. Directly following, he served as Development Services Director for the City of Broken Arrow for 14 years. As director, he was involved in day-to-day operations for commercial and residential development projects, which including planning, engineering, licensing, code enforcement and inspections. 

After re-joining the City of Tulsa in 2019 as a Senior Engineer in Development Services, Skates has been involved with projects such as Saint Francis Hospital additions, the OKPOP Museum, Greenheck, Santa Fe Square and many other commercial and residential projects.   

With Skates’ experience in project management and code administration, Mayor G.T. Bynum says Skates is the right person for the job.  

“Long before he joined our team at the City of Tulsa, I heard from leaders in our development community about what an incredible job Michael Skates did in Broken Arrow making investment in that city easy, common sense, and safe,” Mayor Bynum said. “He is broadly respected by investors and regulators alike. As we seek to grow Tulsa’s economy and build a world class city, I am excited that we will have Michael leading our Development Services team at the City of Tulsa. The Development Services Department is responsible for the implementation of the City’s permitting processes, including infrastructure, and building plan review and inspection services for all private development within the Tulsa city limits.”  

The Development Services Department was created as a separate department under Mayor G.T. Bynum’s Proposed FY 18-19 Budget that focused on improving the development process and experience for those who wish to invest in Tulsa.  

Skates will oversee 63 Development Services staff, which is comprised of accounting and permit specialists, plans examiners, architects, engineers, inspectors and support staff.  

“I am very excited about the opportunity to be the Development Services Director for the City of Tulsa,” Skates said. “I look forward to being a part of Tulsa’s excellent leadership team. I get the opportunity to work with and lead a great staff as we continue serving the public in both residential and commercial development focusing on ‘great customer service’ and ‘how can we help’ culture.”  

Skates holds a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from Oklahoma State University and a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering from the University of Oklahoma.