What Happens Next With City's TARE Funding Request?
By Emory Bryan, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- It was a showdown vote after three hours of discussion. With a capacity crowd of spectators, the city council listened as dozens of speakers laid out the impact of layoffs and salary cuts.
"We end up punishing people for their achievement and successes," said Deputy Chief Mark McCrory, Tulsa Police Department.
The overflow of demonstrators was outside in the cold, as councilors debated using what's called the "TARE" fund - it's money collected from trash service.
"The people who feel we're stealing money, we don't have the right, they have the right to their opinion, but in my opinion we're using money to protect the same people who paid it in," said City Councilor Jack Henderson.
"We overcharge you, and we're going to turn around and spend what we overcharged you on something else. I think that's wrong," said Councilor G.T. Bynum.
City Councilor Maria Barnes said, "It would be wrong for me not to do this."
The vote to request TARE transfer the money was split 6 - 3.
Councilors Turner, Barnes, Trail, Mauntino, Christiansen and Henderson voted yes. Councilors Westcott, Eagleton and Bynum voted no.
The crowd burst into cheers as one of the councilors approved requesting the transfer of funds.
The vote sends a request for the money to the TARE Board.
It has seven members, including Mayor Dewey Bartlett. All are appointed by the mayor, though the current board carried over from the previous administration.
The Police and Fire departments - and all other City departments - are still planning layoffs until another option comes forward. For fire - that's 116 layoffs; for police 120 layoffs.
If the TARE board approves the transfer, the money could be approved Thursday by the City Council - and at least it could put off the layoffs that are now planned for the next day.
Several sources tell The News On 6 that the TARE board is likely to approve it - sending it back to the council, and ultimately the mayor, for final approval.