Council overrides Bartlett's vetoes
BY BRIAN BARBER World Staff Writer
Friday, July 02, 2010
1/25/11 at 10:26 AM
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Tulsa city councilors voted Thursday to override some of Mayor Dewey Bartlett's vetoes of their changes to his $555 million fiscal year budget.
In two 8-0 votes Thursday evening, councilors restored their funding of the two police helicopters; salt, sand and overtime for winter storm response; highway lighting; pothole repair; Fire Department benefits; and the elimination of four of the eight furlough days for nonsworn city employees.
Councilor Roscoe Turner was not present. The veto overrides required at least six council votes and came after little discussion.
The budget amendments total $2.9 million. Most of the money will come from what is expected to be remaining from the fiscal year that just ended, in addition to reductions to some city accounts.
Mayor Dewey Bartlett, whose vetoes were the first of his tenure, told councilors before their votes that while he supports all of the items on the list, he doesn't support paying for them with one-time contingency funds.
"We are not out of the woods yet with our economy," he said.
How much money is left from last fiscal year won't be known until all of the books are closed several weeks from now, Bartlett said. He urged at least a two-week delay.
"If we guess wrong, we will have to revisit layoffs, furlough days, cuts, things no one wants to do," he said.
After the votes, Bartlett said he was frustrated but that he's "going to hope things work out OK."
"We didn't win today, but that's how our system works," he said.
Bartlett said that if the city runs short of money, emergency hearings will have to be held to decide a course of action.
"I hope all of this has been wasted energy, but it's my job to protect the financial integrity of the city," he said.
By finding alternative ways to fund these city needs, councilors bypassed the revenue-enhancement ideas that the mayor had pitched to them.
Those included charging fees for fire service and raising fees for parking meters and burglar alarm permits.
Councilors did not seek to override the mayor's veto on taking $100,000 that usually goes to the Convention & Visitor's Bureau to instead be used for retail development.
They also did not yet try to overturn his veto on using $746,500 in trash reserve funds for mowing and graffiti abatement.
Original Print Headline: Council overrides Bartlett's vetoes
Brian Barber 581-8322