Budget of Collaboration Reached in Tulsa

Mayor of Tulsa

I appreciate the kind support of the Greater Tulsa Reporter Newspapers to provide space for the mayor’s column to write monthly articles on city topics to help keep Tulsans informed of the many things happening at City Hall.

The Greater Tulsa Reporter is an excellent platform to let citizens know about the many facets of our government and how we are spending their tax dollars for everyday services and infrastructure.

Most recently, I submitted the proposed 2013 fiscal year budget to the City Council, which I named the “Budget of Collaboration” based on a collaborative effort by the Mayor’s Office and the City Council Office. Earlier this year, the City Council and I set goals and objectives for 2012 which were comprised of citizen priorities such as public safety, economic development, beautification, transportation and government efficiency.

When I first took office, Tulsa was in a budget crisis and sales taxes continued to be under budget projections, leading to layoffs and a furlough program for employees. In these dire straits, I knew we had to find a new way to do business more conservatively and have a sensible prioritization of spending. Soon after I took office, an audit was conducted on how the city could enhance efficiency, reduce costs and generate revenue.

After the report identified 61 percent of city services were not mandated or benchmarked for cost-effectiveness, the Management Review Office was created to take recommendations from the report and help implement changes within the organization.

After two years of enacting the various efficiency opportunities, I am proud to say in this upcoming budget we were able to responsibly absorb the increasing costs of doing our city’s business largely due to our conservative approach of sensible prioritization of spending and enacting our efficiency opportunities through the report.

As a result of the combination of revenue growth, conservative spending, and efficiencies, we will have the capability this fiscal year to absorb $2 million in expiring public safety grants, hold a police academy of 40 cadets this summer, open five city pools, provide more money for demolitions of dilapidated structures, and add nearly $2 million to the rainy day fund.

I look forward to the coming months and I urge each of you to continue to stay engaged with city events and news items, which can always be found on our website – www.cityoftulsa.org – or on Facebook (City of Tulsa) and Twitter (cityoftulsagov).

Updated 05-21-2012

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