TULSA - A lot goes on at Tulsa's city hall. News conferences with the mayor, meetings with city councilors, calls from citizens.
But to keep business going, the building has to keep going. That's where John Comer comes in.
He's in charge of building operations.
"It's exciting. Every day is almost the same, but it's different," said Comer.
The former New Yorker has been with the city for years. He even worked at the old city hall.
"The way I look at it is, everything over there was analog, old school and everything here is digital, new school," said Comer.
But earlier this year, he wondered if his days at the new city hall were numbered.
"I was one of the people that (was) worried. Am I going to have my job? Lose my job?" said Comer.
That's because members of his group, building operations, had to bid for their jobs.
The KPMG study recommended that some city employees compete against bids from the private sector. While Comer went over his group's budget looking for ways to cut back, other cost saving plans were in the works.
One of those recommendations was to consolidate the Mayor's Action Center with the utilities and refuse call center. The was able to eliminate a vacant position and through the end of September we confirmed they'd already saved $10,500.
Then the city looked at its fleet and found 600 vehicles that have been underutilized. They plan to sell them at their first auction Nov. 5.
"It will reduce our maintenance and on-going fuel costs. Not to mention the gain on the sale of the assets," said Vicki Brewer, with the Management Review Office for the city of Tulsa, the group that overseas efficiencies.
But not everything the study recommended proved successful, like outsourcing street maintenance jobs.
"As we did that review, we realized that our street maintenance crews were primarily pothole fillers and there weren't a lot of firms, really any firms we identified that strictly filled potholes," said Brewer.
So instead the city asked crews to examine themselves and found that a four-day work week may get the job done better, that's something that the city is currently looking at.
Meanwhile, city officials did identify savings in other parts of public works through reorganization. They've eliminated six vacant positions and so far have saved $143,000 with a projected an annual "$571,000 saving just by eliminating those vacant positions and restructuring to a streets and storm water department, an engineering services department and the water and sewer department," said Brewer.
Plus, there are many plans for the future too, like cost saving in the Tulsa Police Department. They're looking at taking officers in administrative roles out of the office and putting them into the field to increase manpower.
Also, there are plans to revamp workers compensation and the time card system.
As for Comer, his group won its bid. They were able to save by cutting back on vehicles and getting into a more energy efficient building. His efforts could literally pay off. If they come in under projections, employees will get rewarded at the end of the year.
"It's like a little Christmas bonus, and I look through the budget almost daily making sure we're under and all that so we get our Christmas bonus," said Comer.
While the study came out last September, the group that's examining efficiencies has only been in place since March, and it will be years before everything is implemented.
Watch this story Thursday in Segment 2 on 2NEWS at 10 p.m.
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