TULSA, Okla. - Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett has instituted a hiring freeze after lower than expected sales tax collections.
Bartlett sent an email to all city employees just before noon Monday informing them of the change.
In that email, Bartlett cautioned that temporary employment services and overtime should not be used to get around the freeze.
The freeze is expected to last at least through the end of the city's fiscal year which ends June 30, 2013.
Here is a copy of the email Bartlett sent to city employees:
Dear City of Tulsa Employees,
Many of you may already be aware the General Fund FY13 Sales Tax collections are not meeting projections. At this time, it is estimated the General Fund total revenues collected for the year will be less than the projected amount of $261.1 million. Additionally, two of the past three month’s sales tax revenue amounts have been less than the revenues received for the same months last year.
As a precaution, and to be prudent, it is necessary to implement plans to limit expenditures. A hiring freeze will be effective immediately to help with that effort. The freeze will cover all fully or partially funded general fund positions where more than 15 percent of the position is charged to the general fund. Consistent with this limitation, temporary employment services and overtime should not be used to circumvent the freeze.
If, in your judgment, leaving a position vacant will create an emergency or severe adverse condition, exceptions may be made. Department Heads requesting an exception should complete the attached form and send it to Personnel Director Erica Felix-Warwick. Department Head and Mayoral approval is required after consideration of both budget and service impact in order to fill a general fund position. You should expect the limitation will last for at least the remainder of the current fiscal year.
With your help, we will be able to get through this problem. We are certainly better prepared and organized to deal with revenue shortfalls. Please let me know where you can suggest methods of dealing with this shortfall.