Tulsa, OK – Fresh on the heels of a City Council 5-4 vote to reject a City/County cooperation effort, the Tulsa County Commission immediately announced its unanimous support for redirecting such an effort to working with Mayor Bartlett's administration.
On Thursday night, the Tulsa City Council voted down a resolution brought forward by Councilor G.T. Bynum to create a committee of City and County representatives to evaluate opportunities to save money.
"We were disappointed in the vote last night, but dialogue continues informally with area leaders to find efficiencies between our governments. We welcome the input of the Tulsa City Councilors who understand the importance of protecting the dollars of our mutual taxpayers," said Commission Chairwoman Karen Keith.
"I think the concerns of the City Council are unwarranted. The people of Tulsa County are very interested in our working together. That is a frequent topic when I meet with citizens and groups. It just makes good sense. I would echo Commissioner Keith in our disappointment in the vote, but we would welcome the participation of Councilors Bynum, Eagleton, Westcott and Mautino, who voted in favor of cooperation," said Commissioner Fred Perry.
The City of Tulsa is currently undergoing an evaluation of its processes by a private firm, to discover waste and potential savings. County Government underwent a similar audit in 2008.
"We will be very interested in comparing notes, once their audit is completed, and seeing where the experts tell us we can become more efficient and streamlined," said Commissioner John Smaligo.
The audit is projected to be complete in June.
Mayor Bartlett expressed his concurrence with the Commissioners. "The fact that all citizens of Tulsa are also citizens of the County of Tulsa is not lost upon this administration and some members of our City Council. It is in all of our best interests to work together and find those common ways of saving money and governing better. I am appreciative of the County's willingness to cooperate and develop a positive relationship with our departments; I am confident that there are some logical relationships that we can take advantage of. We need to do this for the taxpayers," Bartlett said.