Joe Kelley has posted his thoughts on why he is opposed to the renewal of the County's sales tax packages. Set for a vote tomorrow (Dec. 13), Kelley says he opposes any increase in taxes until such time that the elected officials prove they have cut everywhere they can. [You can read his blog posting here.]
I tried to respond to him using the comments feature on his site, but was told that I had a "Comment Submission Error." Why? Apparently "due to questionable content."
So, I'm posting my response here. Read it thoroughly and tell me if you can guess what the questionable content might be. This is your chance to join the list of they hyper-critical, giving you full license to not only disagree with my message, but also my spelling and punctuation.
While I strongly agree with you in general, I have spent the past three Summers pouring over our city's budget, trying to determine which basic services should be ended in order to balance our budget.
I've often said that if the city hadn't had its budget crisis, we'd have had to invent one, because it's the only way we've been able to get the city's beauracracy to seriously take a look at cutting costs. But at a certain point, you can cut so much fat that you begin to hit muscle.
We haven't been able to return pay cuts to city employees. We haven't been able to put water into the vast majority of the city's pools. We haven't been able to fund overtime for police officers searching for serial rapists. We haven't been able to fund code enforcement inspectors to keep our neighborhoods vital and safe.
Tulsa...the City of Tulsa...is in trouble. We need more police officers on the streets. We need to pay our officers a competitive wage to keep other cities from luring them away. We need street lights in high crime areas. We need community based policing to disuade crime before it happens. I wouldn't be pushing for a short-term use of any tax, if we didn't need to stop the bleeding of the last four years.
My proposal will be short lived. I will put renewal...if it is needed...back before the voters before my re-election bid...if wanted...in order to be answerable to the voters in delivering on my promises.
But we need change and need it fast. Tulsa is becoming unsafe to live, work or play.