City Hall report
BY ZACK STOYCOFF & KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writers
Friday, January 18, 2013
1/18/13 at 2:36 AM
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Read continuing coverage of Tulsa’s City Council.
City councilor salary increase proposed: City Councilor Jack Henderson on Thursday proposed increasing councilors' annual salaries from $18,000 to $24,000.
The proposal also calls for annual cost-of-living increases or the creation of an independent commission to periodically review council salaries.
Henderson, who has long pushed for the salary increase, said before Thursday's meeting that providing cost-of-living increases to councilors, who are part-time employees, would eliminate the need for any future discussion of councilors' salaries.
In 2007, he proposed making the councilor salary $52,500 - half of the mayor's $105,000 salary.
Councilors' pay was last increased in 2001, from $12,000. It was the first time councilors had received a raise since the City Council was formed in 1990.
Meter deal questioned: Two city councilors may be reluctant to privatize maintenance of the city's parking meter system as part of a deal to upgrade the system, they said Thursday.
Mayor Dewey Bartlett has said he will ask the council to consider raising downtown's parking meter rates to up to $2 per hour and extending their operating hours to improve enforcement and fund a five-year deal with American Parking, which would take over the system's maintenance and replace hundreds of meters.
Officials have argued that the higher rates would also put Tulsa in line with peer cities, create needed space turnover and encourage downtown workers to leave curb spaces for visitors.
Councilors Jack Henderson and Jeannie Cue asked at a committee meeting Thursday whether the city could handle increased maintenance. Henderson said he would like a "full-blown presentation" on the matter.
"I think it could get us in trouble to continuously outsource everything we do," he said. "Pretty soon we'll find a way to outsource the City Council."
Michael Brink, a city efficiency consultant, said the projected $530,550 cost of the American Parking deal would be similar to that of increased in-house maintenance, but he has said a private company could maintain the meters more efficiently than the city.
Councilors Blake Ewing and G.T. Bynum said they strongly support the proposed deal.
Brink said the City Council will be asked to consider the proposal in the coming weeks.
Appointments: The council approved the appointment of Stacy C. Kymes to the Tulsa Stadium Trust. He succeeds Stan Lybarger. The council also approved the appointment of Rebecca Marks-Jimmerson, succeeding Katherine McKinley-Atkinson.