TULSA - Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett has officially requested the city council to pass a resolution calling for a special election to resolve the impasse between the city and the police union regarding pay.
He sent a letter Thursday to City Clerk Michael Kier, saying "I request a special election to be held within the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma for the purpose of submitting to the registered voters, the last best offer of the City of Tulsa and the last best offer of the Lodge #93, Fraternal Order of Police, in the form as specified and required by law."
"By requesting the special election," the mayor writes, "I acknowledge the City is not in the financial position to support a permanent wage increase. Because of the relatively flat sales tax and additional reductions in programs and personnel in order to blance the FY 2014-2015 proposed budget, invoking this process is in the best interest and welfare of the City-wide departmental operations and obligations, and especially in the best interest and welfare of our taxpayers."
He wants the city council to set an item on its June 5th agenda a resolution calling for the special election.
FOP leaders have told KRMG they feel the city has treated them poorly in the contract negotiations.
The city has said the police union needs to understand financial realities which preclude a permanent raise for officers.
Councilor G.T. Bynum tells KRMG he find the entire situation "disappointing."
"This kind of combative behavior between the mayor's office and the Fraternal Order of Police, I don't think, serves any of us well," he said.
He said the council needs to determine exactly what its roles and responsibilities are, since it is not directly a party to the negotiations between the City and the FOP.
The resolution on a special election "is not a done deal," he added.