City Councilors Split on Pay Raise Proposition

One proposition on the ballot this Tuesday involves whether or not Tulsa city councilors should receive a pay raise or not. That proposition raised differing opinions among the city councilors, themselves.

"I think it should've been raised 20 years ago." District 1 city councilor, Jack Henderson says after 11 years, it is time for a pay raise. "$18,000 is probably the smallest salary of any city employees. That does not make sense to me," Henderson said.

Proposition 1 will allow voters to decide if the city councilors' salary should increase to $24,000.

City councilor, G.T. Bynum of District 9 is opposed to the raise. "I think our pay right now is exactly where it should be and there is absolutely no reason to be increasing it."

"Well, G.T. said that he would give it back. Okay, if you don't want it, give it back. But, there are some councilors that need it," Henderson said.

Passage of the proposition would not only give councilors a 33% increase in pay, but it would also take away the council's ability to raise their own salary in the future - something Bynum says has never been done before and, likely, never would. "At a time when we're trying to identify every nickel and every dime that we can at the city to increase police manpower levels, we shouldn't be giving city councilors a pay raise," Bynum said. He and Karen Gilbert of District 5 are the only councilors opposed to the increase, according to Bynum.

"If this passes, nothing changes, except that the citizens of Tulsa are paying city councilors more money for doing a job that they were going to do anyway," Bynum added.

"It requires a lot of time, a lot of effort - it's a full time position," said Henderson.

Voters will see the proposition, along with two others and the candidates for mayor, on the ballot November 12.