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2024 Mayor/Council Retreat Recap

On Wednesday, January 24, Mayor Bynum and the City Council met to discuss their priorities to be added to the budget for this fiscal year. The discussion is held every year to present the needs of each district to the Mayor, who then allocates a portion of the funds to those projects. The final budget is then approved by the City Council during a public meeting.


“The Mayor/Council Retreat is something that we first started in 2011.” District 8 Councilor Phil Lakin said. “We put a whole bunch of ideas out on the table for consideration today. We’ll follow up in February to prioritize all those ideas, and then we’ll follow up again in May and June whenever we are going through the budget aspect of whether or not we have the ability to pay for some of the ideas.”


Councilor Jeannie Cue of District 2 also presented priorities for her district for the budget. She emphasized that each district has their own needs.


“I think there’s a lot of different needs throughout the city.” She said. “One district is not the same as the other and that’s important to hear from all councilors to serve all citizens.”


One of the items brought to the table was continuing the efforts to make Tulsa the central hub of arts and culture.


“We heard about needs to just underscore the fact that Tulsa has and is Oklahoma’s city of the arts or art city.” Councilor Lakin said. “We talked about Route 66 and its 100th anniversary and steps we need to take to prepare for that because we’ll have tens of thousands of visitors come through Tulsa.”


“At one time if you looked up America’s most beautiful city, it was Tulsa.” Councilor Cue said.


Councilor Cue expressed her excitement on the upcoming Route 66 Centennial, and how vital it is to bring life back to the districts that Route 66 touches, including her own.


“With people coming in from all over the world and we’re the capital of Route 66. We have to be ready.” She said.


Another topic brought to the table for discussion was the impact of certain elements to the budget and possible solutions.


“I think just overall budget impacts. So overtime is a big element of our annual budget.” He said.


Above all else, Councilor Cue said that the most important role they play as City Councilors is listening and understanding the needs of their constituents.


“We’re on the ground listening to our constituents. We represent them and that’s the most important of why I do this job, to represent the people of my district and Tulsa.”


The retreat allows for the City Council and Mayor to come together, voice their concerns and ideas, and discuss solutions and possible budget impacts.


“I’m really proud that everybody takes time to prepare for this. We go through a very deliberate process in getting everybody’s opinions out on the table and exchanging those ideas is real critical to the form of government that we have.” Councilor Lakin said.


The next phase includes Mayor G.T. Bynum drafting a budget and presenting it to the City Council for approval. Dates for the presentation and public hearings will be posted to the Tulsa City Council Website.


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