Tulsa City Council Approves Budget For Next Fiscal Year

Friday, June 18th 2010, 7:56 am
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- After a marathon session to discuss and vote on the City of Tulsa budget for next year, the Tulsa City Council approved the document late Thursday.

Councilors GT Bynum and Chris Trail successfully made two amendments to the mayor's budget plan.

Read Councilor Bynum and Councilor Trail's amendments

"Mayor Bartlett said if you can find other ways to do it, do it," Trail said. "And I think I did."

The money for the council's priorities is coming from cuts to employee travel, the mayor's office, and legal and consulting fees, but most of the money is what's expected to be leftover from cuts made this year.

The money is going into firefighter salaries, and cutting four of the furlough days for other employees. It's enough to buy fuel for the police helicopters and put money towards salt & sand, highway lights and pothole repairs.

6/15/2010 Related story: New Budget For Tulsa Police Is Good News For Tulsa Firefighters

"So to me it was more important to put the police helicopters into service than to give the mayor's office budget an increase," Bynum said. "Or to increase our funding for city employees to travel to conferences and stuff."

Mayor Bartlett argued the council shouldn't count on the money they were rolling into the budget and he still could veto the whole thing.

Read more about the mayor's budget.

"The mayor's revenue enhancements probably weren't going to pass," Trail said.

But Councilor Trail says the council is being conservative while counting on the latest positive news about city finances.

"If we just show minimum increases, the money will be there," Trail said. "If we just show a 1% increase, that's $2.3 million.

The mayor's office said Friday the changes are under review. The Mayor meanwhile is in Washington DC for the weekend and will return Monday. That's when the council plans another budget meeting to possibly make more changes.

6/17/2010 Related story: Tulsa City Council Approves Sexual Orientation Policy; Rejects Immigration Ordinance