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Greater Tulsa Reporter


Proposed Budget to Bring Citywide Improvements

From Tulsa's Mayor by G. T. Bynum
Mayor of Tulsa

On April 26, I presented the City of Tulsa’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget to the City Council. You may recall how the City Council and I collaborated in a joint retreat last December to form a strategic plan for our city. We unanimously agreed to set our sights higher and make Tulsa a globally competitive city once again.

Like most cities, Tulsa has seen its share of hard times. However, we will no longer stand idly by while our population and revenue growth remains stagnant. We will no longer accept low employee morale in the workplace or allow for an inadequately-staffed police department. We will take decisive action to make Tulsa a better city for all of us.

My proposed budget includes covering employee health care increases, performance increases for qualifying employees and a significant increase in pension contributions to put the city back on track to meet its long-term commitments.

In this plan, we will hire 90 police officers (the largest single-year increase in Tulsa history), add 35 firefighters, and replace apparatus and safety equipment that is more than a decade old.

For the first time in Tulsa Transit’s history, we will offer Sunday bus service. We will install new playgrounds throughout our Tulsa Parks system. Vision Tulsa funds will provide better streets for economic development projects and major street construction projects. We will add more staff in street maintenance and traffic engineering.

We will provide funding for the operation of a Public Inebriate Alternative, a substance abuse alternative program to free up police manpower, decrease municipal court’s caseload and help people with substance abuse. Also, an innovative pilot program called “A Better Way” will offer a solution to panhandling, by partnering with local organizations to place panhandlers in beautification work programs. This will help connect individuals with much-needed services, mirroring the City of Albuquerque’s “There’s a Better Way” program.

This fiscal year’s total budget equals $268.9 million. It represents a shift from talking about the kind of city we want Tulsa to be to acting on it this year.

The City Council has until June 7 to finalize the budget prior to the fiscal year’s start on July 1.

Visit cityoftulsa.org. to read my full budget speech.

Updated 05-31-2017

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