FACT CHECK: Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett defends his campaign ads in 2013 mayoral race
8:31 PM, Oct 11, 2013
3:19 PM, Nov 6, 2013
TULSA - You almost can't turn on the television without seeing an ad for the mayor's race.
Current Mayor Dewey Bartlett has ads that call into question his challenger Kathy Taylor's record when she was mayor.
"Overspending weakened our city."
"Our emergency reserve fund had been depleted from 12 million down to about 2 million. We had no money in our Rainy Day Fund and we were spending more money than we were taking in. And at the rate we were spending money, we would have been out of cash by April of 2010," Bartlett said.
All of which is true, but Taylor was mayor through December of 2009, which was the heart of the Great Recession. Jobs were being lost, and the City of Tulsa counts on sales tax for revenue. If people are not spending money, the city suffers.
"Mayor Bartlett never stopped fighting for us. Today Tulsa has 9,000 new jobs, financial stability."
Current Mayor Dewey Bartlett claims in his ad that due to his leadership the city has financial stability. But the city is currently seeing a drop in revenue.
A budget shortfall was announced last Friday, so how does the mayor account for it?
"Well, it does appear there is a slight shortfall. That to me is not necessarily good but it's something we can deal with. It's a relatively small amount," Bartlett said.
During the campaign, there has been a lot of talk about public safety. Mayor Bartlett's ad points out Taylor laid off police officers.
The truth is when Taylor was mayor, 21 officers were laid off. Eighteen were rehired. When Bartlett took office, 124 officers were laid off. When the economy turned around, most were later rehired.
Bartlett says his biggest accomplishments while in office are restoring solvency to the city and improving public safety by adding police and firefighters.
And he says if he is reelected his focus will be the same as it was four years ago. He will focus on workforce development and concentrate on our assets -- the oil and gas industry, healthcare and aviation. He believes he's the right person for the job.
"By workforce development we can give young adults, teenagers, high school graduates, we can give them an opportunity to get that very first job. That's going to solve a lot things," Bartlett said.
Mobile readers can go to http://youtu.be/ffTjRICdqpE see Mayor Bartlett's ad.