Tulsa Mayor: Sorry, But I Don't Foresee Any Options Besides Cuts Or Layoffs
TULSA, OK -- Mayor tells employee he's sorry about the situation, but he does not foresee any options besides pay cuts or layoffs.
The mayor of Tulsa appealed to union members during his press conference Wednesday afternoon. If the firefighters and police officer union members will agree to the City's proposals for departmental reductions, Tulsa can avoid layoffs, he said.
"We strongly are encouraging and pleading with the union membership to support this view," Bartlett said. "It would be horrible if our employees are laid off."
The mayor said if anyone believes there is still fat in the city government, they should know it has been cut. The city must make budget cuts in order to save the estimated $10 million shortfall that is indicated by falling city tax revenues.
He gave unions until next Wednesday to vote on the proposals. If the proposals are not accepted, he says the city will lay off 135 police officers and 135 firefighters.
Bartlett meet with city employees at the Tulsa Convention Center beginning at about 1:30 p.m.
Mayor Dewey Bartlett met with the police and fire union leaders first, because they represent 80% of city employees.
The city of Tulsa is facing a $10 million budget shortfall and with only five months left in the fiscal year, Bartlett says there are only two choices.
"It's really in the court of the union leadership. We've told them from the beginning, we will give them a list of opportunities to make some decisions from and lessen their salaries, or if they decline that, then they will receive layoffs," said Mayor Dewey Bartlett.
The city of Tulsa's Authority for the Recovery of Energy is also meeting Wednesday at 3:00 PM. to take up a request by the city council to transfer $4.5 million from the TARE account to the city's general fund.
The council approved the move last week in help balance the city's budget.