The Tulsa City Council approved the City of Tulsa fiscal year 2015-2016 budget Thursday. The motion passed by a vote of 8 to 1. The budget totals $760 million, up about 7 percent from the previous year.
The Council's amendments to the Mayor's proposed budget totaled $941,000.
"This year's budget process was relatively problem-free. We worked well with the Mayor's Office and worked collectively as a Council. We ended up with a few modifications, which are minor but important," said Council and Budget Committee Chair Phil Lakin.
"Three amendments stand out for me. The civilianization of roles staffed by police officers could mean more officers on the street. Increasing mowing cycles will make the city more presentable and prove to our citizens we can take care of their city, as they must take care of their own lawns. And putting a list of priorities in place for when revenues become available ensures that we live within our means, which is rare for governments," Lakin said.
Amendments will be funded not by raising the budget, but through reductions in other areas, resulting in $941,000 in revenue. These reductions will fund the following:
The CIC, a juvenile intake and referral center, is allocated $280,000 in the budget, but was in danger of not having any staff due to current cuts at the state level.
The biggest change to the proposed budget is the addition of $327,000 to implement a process to civilianize positions in the police department. These desk positions are currently staffed by sworn officers, but over the course of the Council's plan, will be replaced by civilians at a significant cost savings.
Reductions in the budget come from the following decreases:
In conjunction with the budget, the Council adopted a resolution to express policy objectives relating to future budget priorities if revenues become available. These priorities are, in order: