151 Band

Monday, June 21, 2010

Clarification From Mayor Mick

Sometimes, you read stories, quote from stories only to find that the stories themselves don't tell the whole story.  After I posted my commentary this morning (MAPS3:  Paying The Price), I received a call from Mayor Mick who promised to send me some data regarding that which appeared left out of the story from the Oklahoman (quoted).  Here is what the Mayor sent:

Use tax is the companion to the sales tax.  It is applied to purchases made on out-of-state goods, and is generally paid by businesses. 

Prior to the December 8 vote, City leaders promised to apply the MAPS 3 use tax to fund 30 public safety positions.  With the passage of the FY2011 City budget on June 15, the MAPS 3 use tax is now in fact funding 100 public safety positions.  

If MAPS 3 had failed, the use tax would not exist, and the City would have no choice but to lay off those 100 uniformed public safety officers who will be paid in FY2011 by the MAPS 3 use tax.    Though some vacant positions will be cut, no officers currently in place will lose their jobs.

The City has made an offer to the public safety unions to restore some or all of the vacant positions if the unions will accept some reasonable adjustments in pay and benefits.   Those negotiations will continue, but with the start of FY2011 approaching on July 1, the City had no choice under state law but to go ahead and adopt a budget in the meantime that cut those vacant positions.  If the unions accept the offer, even if all adjustments come in salary, both police and fire will still receive average gross pay in excess of $70,000 annually (not including benefits).
I appreciate Mayor Mick sending me some additional information.  Let me know your thoughts.