Mayor Kathy Taylor's Last Day Is "Business As Usual" - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Mayor Kathy Taylor's Last Day Is "Business As Usual"

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Mayor Kathy Taylor spoke with The News On 6's Leann Taylor before starting her final day as mayor. Mayor Kathy Taylor spoke with The News On 6's Leann Taylor before starting her final day as mayor.
A handful of Dewey Bartlett's staff surprised Taylor by stopping by City Hall. A handful of Dewey Bartlett's staff surprised Taylor by stopping by City Hall.
A new City Hall was one of Kathy Taylor's Accomplishments as Tulsa's Mayor A new City Hall was one of Kathy Taylor's Accomplishments as Tulsa's Mayor

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

Tulsa, OK -- As Dewey Bartlett celebrates his first few hours in office, former Mayor Kathy Taylor is packing up her boxes and saying goodbye to staff members.

The News On 6 asked her about words of advice for the new mayor.

Taylor says handling the city's historic revenue free fall was her biggest challenge as mayor and it will be an immediate test for Dewey Bartlett.

Former Mayor Kathy Taylor did not take it easy on her last day in office. She was up bright and early for an appearance on Six In the Morning.

Taylor said it was business as usual until two o'clock, then the blackberry went off, and then at four o'clock she had a meeting on education.

A few hours later, a handful of Dewey Bartlett's staff surprised Taylor by stopping by City Hall. She took time to schmooze, giving advice to Mayor Bartlett's new scheduler.

"I got some good advice; you never say no, just say not now. So that's your new slogan," said Taylor.

Kathy Taylor says Tulsa's unprecedented revenue decline has to be Bartlett's top priority.

"I expect we'll continue to see a downward trend, so it will be some very difficult decisions that will continue to be made," Taylor said.

Taylor's had to make some tough choices, as the city faced eight straight months of revenue decline. All city employees took eight unpaid furlough days. Around 160 vacant positions were left unfilled.

Taylor laid off more than three dozen city employees, including cops, most of whom were later hired back.

The picture is still bleak; Tulsa saw a 14% sales tax revenue decline in November compared to last year.

"He will have to figure out a way to decrease the budget and when the general operating budget is primarily made of salaries, it's hard to decrease that budget without impacting salaries, and that means people," Taylor said.

Two hours before she became the former Tulsa Mayor, Taylor attended her final news conference, a charity partnership to help the Community Food Bank of Oklahoma.

She received one final, round of applause. Taylor isn't taking any time off, Governor Henry appointed her as his Chief of Education strategy.

It is a full-time, cabinet-level position; she already had her first meeting this afternoon.

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