City Council Approves Budget

After weeks of wrestling with spreadsheets, the city finally has a budget.

"Very pleased with the council vote, now we can move ahead," said Mayor Bartlett.

The Mayor's budget proposal initially had cuts for services that the council was able to find funding for primarily through an increase in the alarm fees charged to businesses and homeowners.

"We identified about $800,000 in additional revenue that comes from fee adjustments, donations to the city," said Tulsa city councilor GT Bynum.

Saved from the chopping block? Crossing guards, bus services, and theater programs.

"Henthorne PAC is going to stay open because volunteers stepped up and said, 'You know what, you don't have to have somebody there for all the adult programs, we'll find volunteers to do that,'" he said.

And new this year, a list of priorities that the council intends to fund if and when additional revenues materialize.

"Number one, performance increases for city employees, number two a police academy, and number three is providing healthcare benefits for retired employees," said Bynum

Finally, of particular note, the functional relationship between the council and mayor when it came to hammering out a budget.

"We've had a very good working relationship with the mayor over the last year, that doesn't mean that we always agree," said Bynum.

"What's important for us is to always focus on let's find places we can agree upon and then all of us step into those places," said Bartlett.