Failed endorsements may affect things at city hall

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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 11/14/2013 10:17 am Published: 11/13/2013 8:31 pm

Tulsa's fire and police unions both endorsed Kathy Taylor in the mayoral election.
Now that Taylor lost, FOX23 has been digging into how their failed endorsements will affect things at City Hall.

Both unions said there are no hard feelings.

Leaders of both unions congratulated Mayor Dewey Bartlett and said they hope he will continue working with them and improve their relationships and public safety.

Bartlett told FOX23, though, he doesn't plan on changing a thing.

"Mayor Bartlett and I over the past few years have had a good relationship," President the Fraternal Order of Police Clay Ballenger said. "We have been able to talk about some issues, and I hope that continues. As far as I'm concerned, the relationship doesn't change."

After all Ballenger said, politics is politics.

But while Bartlett said he isn't bitter over the FOP’s endorsement of Taylor, he said the unions endorsed her only because they thought they could get more money and perks out of her, not because she could improve public safety.

"We simply cannot afford what the unions are wanting," Bartlett said. "It's way overboard. We can't afford it. And I'm not going to allow that to happen."

After going all in for Taylor, even painting a bus, the International Association of Firefighters Union President Chad Miller said in a written statement, "As we have attempted to do in his first term, we will continue to work with Mayor Bartlett and the members of the City Council to bring innovative and meaningful solutions to any issue that our members and our department face.”

Ballenger said the FOP also wants to have their voice heard in the Mayor’s office.

"We would hope that the mayor would see that the more people you have at the table communicating, the better," Ballenger said. "And that's what we're asking for."

Bartlett said there's always been a seat at the table for them to come speak with him.

"They've had a seat at the table ever since I've been Mayor of the City of Tulsa," Bartlett said. “Now what they hear sometimes is not what they want to hear."

It's important to remember there have been both police and fire academies during Bartlett’s term to increase numbers in both departments.

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