|Updated: 1/17 5:34 pm
||Published: 1/17 3:59 pm
Some shuffling today at City Hall as the city of Tulsa added two new departments and eliminated several others.
Mayor Bartlett announced the combination of several departments, made the 911 center part of the Tulsa Police Department instead of its own department and handed over control of the airport to the Tulsa Airport Trust, all part of ongoing efforts to pinch pennies.
These efforts began long before the city was facing a nearly $7 million budget shortfall, but the timing couldn't be better.
"We are always looking for efficiencies, and if we can make changes, make things more efficient, save the taxpayers money, obviously that makes our budget more affordable," said Bartlett.
The key word is efficiency; some changes are the result of an efficiency study the city paid for several years ago.
"Those recommendations, we're still putting those into play. The asset management department is a good example of that," said Bartlett.
It combines things like fleet management, parking enforcement, security and property acquisitions into one department.
The mayor also created the office of economic development, which will bring several people all doing different elements of the same job into one single department, to make efforts to attract business to town more coordinated.
"It'll become very, very visible," he said.
And the Tulsa Airports Trust will operate the Tulsa International Airport and Jones Riverside Airport, which will cut costs and save the city an estimated half million dollars a year.
And though these changes become official today, seeing the actual effects, "Some will be realized immediately, and some won't be realized for another year or two," said Bartlett.
The mayor said these changes are possible without having to cut any jobs, except some at the airport, but those workers aren't losing their jobs, they will just no longer work for the city.