Tulsa City Council Overrides Some Of Mayor Bartlett's Budget Vetoes

Thursday, July 1st 2010, 9:25 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- After tackling the investigation of the mayor's right-hand man Thursday night, the Tulsa City Council took on the mayor's budget.

7/1/2010 Related Story: Tulsa City Council To Hand Over Simonson Report To City Prosecutor

Mayor Bartlett vetoed last week $3.2 million worth of budget amendments added by the council. Thursday night, they put most of that money back.

6/23/2010 Related Story: Tulsa Mayor Vetoes City Council's Budget Changes

This is the first time in Tulsa history that a city council has overridden a mayor's veto. And the decision was unanimous.

The council voted to restore:

  • Salt and sand for winter street cleanup
  • Lights on the highway
  • Fixes for the potholes
  • The two Tulsa Police helicopters 
  • A pay increase for fire fighters
  • Eliminating furlough days for city workers

That's what the city council wanted put back in the budget. A weary and hoarse Mayor Dewey Bartlett says he'd like those items too.

"The purposes we have absolutely no disagreement at all," Mayor Bartlett said. "Where we have disagreement is the source of the money."

Councilors estimate we have saved enough money from previous budget cuts to bring these budget items back. But the mayor argues we won't really know the balance of city accounts until late July or August.

"I think we put ourselves in the situation where we will be revisiting, once again, the budget amendments, the loss of people, the layoffs, the furlough days," he said.

The source of the money was a sticking point for Councilor John Eagleton last week.

"If the revenue we anticipate receiving doesn't come in we'll have to come back and visit this, he's right about that," Councilor Eagleton said. "But the money is there and so I will be flipping my vote."

6/30/2010 Related Story: Tulsa City Council Plans Override Veto