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Public safety unions discuss Bartlett's next term


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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 11/13/2013 4:33 pm Published: 11/13/2013 4:33 pm


Tulsa's two biggest public safety unions, the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Firefighters, both endorsed Kathy Taylor in the mayoral election.

Now that Taylor has lost, FOX23 News looked into how their failed endorsements will affect things at City Hall moving forward.

The FOP and IAFF leaders congratulated Bartlett and said they hope he will continue working with them and to improve their relationships and public safety.

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

Fraternal Order of Police President Sgt. Clay Ballenger said while the FOP thinks Kathy Taylor would have been more helpful to police and firefighters, nothing changed overnight after the election.

"Mayor Bartlett and I over the past few years have had a good relationship. 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," said Ballenger.

But while Bartlett said he isn't bitter over the FOP 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. It's way overboard, we can't afford it. And I'm not gonna allow that to happen," he said.

After going all in for Taylor, IAFF President Chad Miller told FOX23 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. "

And that's what Ballenger said the FOP 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. And that's what we're asking for," said Ballenger.

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

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


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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Unwashed Mass - 11/14/2013 5:26 PM
1 Vote
"But while Bartlett said he isn't bitter over the FOP 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." -- Thats the whole story right there. While Bartlett stood up to the FOP bullying, Taylor tried to buy them with money the city doesnt have. Now the FOP is telling KTUL that they fear retaliation. Crybabies.
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