Tulsa Mayor Urges City Council To Accept Stimulus Funds

Sunday, August 2nd 2009, 3:46 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor was a guest on CNN Saturday Morning to say why the Tulsa can't afford to turn down $3.5 million dollars in stimulus money to hire police officers.

The money comes from a government grant funded by the president's economic recovery act. The $3.5 million will hire 18 new police officers for the city. The catch is the grant is for only three years but requires the city to fund the officers for at least one year after it expires.

Some councilors have objected to accepting the money because they're concerned the city won't be able to afford to keep the officers on the payroll when the government funding runs out. On CNN Saturday Morning, Mayor Taylor accused those councilors of playing politics and said the city needs to take advantage of government money when it can.

"It will barely, even without retirement, enable us to stay even, but public safety's a core service for us and it's important for us," said Mayor Kathy Taylor.

Tulsa City Councilor Rick Westcott opposes accepting the stimulus money.

 "It does not serve the citizens of Tulsa well that she went on national TV to make accusations about councilors motives rather than sit down and talk with us about the issue," Councilor Rick Westcott said.

Councilor Bill Christiansen he disagrees with the mayor's comment that it's all about politics but does support accepting the money.