A new report landed on the Tulsa mayorâ€™s desk Wednesday - that says the city could save millions - and even make millions of dollars by applying good business practices to government.
News on Six Reporter Emory Bryan says Mayor Bill LaFortune asked some outsiders to help review city operations. They came up with a report - and if everything in here actually works - it would make city government work better - and cost less.
â€œI think at this point the ball is in my court.â€ Before a crowd of people who helped review city government - the mayor said their recommendations would not sit on a shelf.
Consultant Ron Howell oversaw the project. "Several million dollars in energy savings, a tremendous amount of uncollected fines and as you go through the report, there is a number of $100,000 here, $200,000 there."
The recommendations include an increased effort to collect nuisance abatement fines - a way to get $200,000 a year. Collecting more unpaid parking fines could generate $137,000 dollars a year.
On the savings side - replacing contract computer workers with regular city employees would save more than $300,000 a year. A review of public works turned up a possible $12-million a year savings - by delaying the expansion of a water plant - through conservation.
The mayor says the report found some unexpected ways to improve the city's bottom line. "There are places where you have to and positions to save money, and that may seem hard to understand but in terms of fine collections if you add some officers who can get after it, the money you pay them in salary may actually be a lot less than the money that's saved, or the increase collections that's generated for the city."
The mayor says many of the recommendations will become policy - in hopes of saving money the city can't afford to waste. This review covered the most expensive part of city government - public works - but didn't cover the police or fire departments.
A review of those departments is coming.