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November 21, 2017, 09:52:22 am
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Author Topic: Sell me on voting yes for the Vision Public Safety package.  (Read 4658 times)
davideinstein
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« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2016, 04:52:16 pm »

I'm not even going to the Dive Bar meeting tonight. Pointless.
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RecycleMichael
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« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2016, 06:50:19 pm »

I went. Blake spoke highly of vision.
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davideinstein
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« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2016, 09:32:01 pm »

I went. Blake spoke highly of vision.


Shocker.
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davideinstein
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« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2016, 09:32:38 pm »

He should get on here and sell us on the public safety tax.
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TeeDub
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« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2016, 06:47:34 am »


They know better than to speak in a forum where people can voice their true opinions.  Un-moderated discussion with strongly anti establishment views will never turn out well.
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cannon_fodder
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« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2016, 07:49:03 am »

Put me down as a firm NO.

1) The budget has already been grossly inflated over historic trends.

In 1969 the City of Tulsa had a population of about 330,000 people. The police & fire budget was $44.6 Mil including capital equipment (in 2008 dollars the numbers the report used, real dollars it was $7.7mil).  Each citizen of Tulsa spent $135 on police and force.

Today the population is nearly 400,000. The police and fire budget in 2008 was $150mil excluding capital equipment. Each citizen of Tulsa spent $375 on police and fire, plus more money for trucks, cars, guns, computers, etc.

Are we getting three times the service? The excuse seems to be that we need to "keep up with the Joneses." If Little Rock is spending more money, we better do it too! Now, that statement doesn't care about results, and for certainly doesn't apply to education... but gimme more!

Better yet - in 1969 we had 1200 officers and firemen. In 2008 we had 1600. Number of warm bodies went up 33%. Budget went up ~3000%. The money isn't going to more bodies, it sure isn't going to more efficiency, and crime statistics don't show it is having any effect.  But don't worry, this time the money will go to more patrol officers.

2) Low correlation between officers and crime.

The same report shows that there is, at best, a 26% correlation between crime and police budgets. In other words, it is a small fraction of the explanation for a crime rate. Yet, we commit almost all of our resources to it. (education level, unemployment level, and youth service had a much higher correlation. In Tulsa, 76% of the variance can be explained by the unemployment rate between 1995 and 2007)

In 2010 Tulsa laid off 120 officers. Yet the crime rate did not change. When we worked to add most of those officers back to the force, the crime rate didn't change. it is hard to draw any correlation from the data.

So the data suggests there is little correlation between officer numbers and the crime rate. Our own recent experience shows that there is no noticable correlation... but this time when we add officers crime will go down!

3) Fire department slush fund

Do we have a rash of structure fires that I'm not aware of? Are there sections of town and factories burning down that just aren't making the news? With EMSA as our EMT service, TFDs primary responsibility is to fight fires...and serve as first responders in a more vague roll for everything else. The vast majority of their calls are for rescue/EMS, many of whom are responding to car wrecks and sweeping up glass and soaking up fluids (recall EMSA is the primary EMT). The second highest category is false alarms. Structure fires are way, way, way along the bottom of the list.

Obviously a fire department is a key component to public safety. Not only for fires, but also for hazmat situations and as backup EMT if we decide to continue using EMSA. But in our system, fighting fires is their primary purpose. There are 6-700 structure fires per year in Tulsa, causing about $16,000,000 in property damage.

If you take their budget and spread it out to each structural fire they fight, it comes to nearly $80,000 per structure fire. We have 1 fire station for every 12,000 residents.  Since 1980, the number of structure fires decreased by 30%... yet we have increased fire department runs by 400%! Albuquerque has 130,000 more people and 10 less stations. Ft. Worth has nearly twice the people and 8 more stations.

As we saw above, the budget has grown faster than any other city budget. We've been given no real reason as to why they need more money, more staffing, or more anything. I'm sure there are anecdotal reasons - but is their really a problem?

4) Salary and benefits are just fine

One of the key gauges to tell if you are offering the right salary and benefits is to check the number of qualified applications for open positions.  Even with a low unemployment rate, more than 200 people apply for each open fire fighter position in Tulsa.  The average salary and benefit compensation for TPD is $85,000 per employee. For Tulsa Fire department the number is $78,500 per employee. For everyone else in the City of Tulsa it is $52,000.

In some instances, it may not matter that much. You pay someone, but that someone lives in your community. So the services they provide coupled with the economic impact of them pumping that money back into the economy helps wash it all out.

But more than 50% of Tulsa Police officers and more than 60% of Tulsa Fire Fighters don't live in Tulsa. Many cities require police to live within the city limits if they want to serve the City. Others add the requirement that the applicant must live in the City for a year before even applying, and must live there after applying. Still others offer incentives for officers to live in the City by giving housing subsidies to spread police out over the city or by adding seniority points if you live in the City. The result?  More police presence and localized lower crime rates.

5) Wrong Tax.

I disagree with the argument that we need to "properly fund" public safety.  While I'm sure we can improve our services, I don't think the data supports the notion that we need a massive increase in both police and fire. Nor do I believe the data supports the notion that it will have the desired effect.

But assuming I bought into all of that, proper funding for public safety is not VISIONARY. It is a mundane City service like sewer or water. It should be built into our core tax base. We should fund what we can of it from property taxes and as little as possible from sales taxes.
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2016, 08:33:42 am »

Put me down as a firm NO.

1) The budget has already been grossly inflated over historic trends.




I am "no" for this, too, but not sure which parts you are talking about as grossly inflated...?  Looked like all the numbers kinda followed inflation, but I may have missed that.


Interesting point was how unemployment affected property crime.

And how huge the increases are with Fire Department making ambulance runs.  Seems like it may be counterproductive to send an FD every time an ambulance goes....



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« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2016, 09:53:13 am »

I am "no" for this, too, but not sure which parts you are talking about as grossly inflated...?  Looked like all the numbers kinda followed inflation, but I may have missed that.

The numbers were adjusted for inflation:

1969: $7.7mil, including capital expenses (adjusted for inflation it would be $44mil)
2008: $150mil, EXcluding capital expenses

In other words, if the budget was following inflation it would be $44 million and it would include capital expenses. After adjusting for inflation, there is another $90mil in the police budget.

Flipping it around, the City would have had to spend $26mil in 1969 to equal the purchasing power of the dollars we spend today.
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RecycleMichael
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« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2016, 11:50:10 am »

1969: $7.7mil, including capital expenses (adjusted for inflation it would be $44mil)
2008: $150mil, EXcluding capital expenses

In other words, if the budget was following inflation it would be $44 million and it would include capital expenses. After adjusting for inflation, there is another $90mil in the police budget.

Flipping it around, the City would have had to spend $26mil in 1969 to equal the purchasing power of the dollars we spend today.

It is much worse.

The city budget for this year for Police and Fire is $181.8 million.

https://www.cityoftulsa.org/media/426340/02%20Executive%20Summary.pdf

But if you break it out by population...We pay a little over $450 per person per year. I have a family of four which means I pay $1,800 a year. It works out to about $5 a day for my family to be protected by police and fire.
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heironymouspasparagus
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« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2016, 01:27:14 pm »

The numbers were adjusted for inflation:

1969: $7.7mil, including capital expenses (adjusted for inflation it would be $44mil)
2008: $150mil, EXcluding capital expenses

In other words, if the budget was following inflation it would be $44 million and it would include capital expenses. After adjusting for inflation, there is another $90mil in the police budget.

Flipping it around, the City would have had to spend $26mil in 1969 to equal the purchasing power of the dollars we spend today.


Got it.  Yep, I missed that one.

Shows there is a lot more graft/corruption going on than before.  And I thought it was pretty bad in 1969!!
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“When you wage war on the public schools, you're attacking the mortar that holds the community together. You're not a conservative, you're a vandal.”    - Garrison Keillor

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What you do speaks so loud, I cannot hear what you say.
Conan71
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« Reply #40 on: March 22, 2016, 01:48:04 pm »

It is much worse.

The city budget for this year for Police and Fire is $181.8 million.

https://www.cityoftulsa.org/media/426340/02%20Executive%20Summary.pdf

But if you break it out by population...We pay a little over $450 per person per year. I have a family of four which means I pay $1,800 a year. It works out to about $5 a day for my family to be protected by police and fire.


Buy a gun and a bigger water hose.
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Vashta Nerada
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« Reply #41 on: March 22, 2016, 06:11:58 pm »

Put me down as a firm NO.

But more than 50% of Tulsa Police officers and more than 60% of Tulsa Fire Fighters don't live in Tulsa. Many cities require police to live within the city limits if they want to serve the City. Others add the requirement that the applicant must live in the City for a year before even applying, and must live there after applying. Still others offer incentives for officers to live in the City by giving housing subsidies to spread police out over the city or by adding seniority points if you live in the City. The result?  More police presence and localized lower crime rates.




That is due in part to the union fear-mongering that paints a picture of cops running into someone in the grocery store that they last encountered at the bottom of a 6-cop dogpile.   Fear the community, and do whatever you need to do to make it home (in Jenks, Wagoner, Muskogee, etc).

The culture of police has changed to the breaking point.


And yes, Vision Tulsa is an advertiser with all the local TV stations.  Some have stricter policies than others about advertisers dictating news content.
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carltonplace
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« Reply #42 on: March 24, 2016, 01:22:25 pm »

Mayor Businessman should know that we can hire a bunch of police using the OT we are already paying to the existing force.

I am a no on this as well.
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AquaMan
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« Reply #43 on: April 03, 2016, 09:22:15 am »

By design, this proposal is like a House bill. Enticed by features I support and I think are economically good for Tulsa but balanced off by so much pork, spin and gob features that it becomes difficult to weigh the negatives vs the benefits. This thread has made it even more difficult to support. Here's what I deduce.

     -We spend too much for police here. And the increase in funding isn't guaranteed to put more police on the street.

     -It is not a tax neutral proposal. It takes a temporary economic stimulator tax and makes it permanently fund police, fire and roads. That is a tax increase. Be honest with the voters and bring those up separately.

     - It is the same people who bellied up to the bar that always do. There were some amazing innovative ideas that got tossed or underfunded so the big boys could get their needs met.

     -It is complicated when simple would have had overwhelming support. The Gathering Place is a great reason for enhancing Zink Lake. Jenks didn't help build the dam. Build your own. Assuming the contributions of the casino was a typical, tragic oversight. A few simple, well defended proposals would easily pass.
   
     -Inclusion of roads and bridges was throwing bacon into the dog pen. Of course everyone hates our roads and the bridges are dangerous. Is this the right and best way to fund them? This was conceived as an economic stimulus and has been co-opted into a carnival of funding for deferred maintenance.

     - The councilors have done an admirable job of making sausage and presenting it as steak. Really, they believe in what they've done as a fair process with great potential for improving our community. Good salesmen. But there is some cognitive dissonance in the public perception.

Lastly, and what makes me likely support only one of the proposals, if any, is what I see every time I cross the 11th street bridge (the 66 bridge for the under 50 group). An ugly group of 5 bridges that screams out the confusion in the Tulsa political/industrial complex.
    
     1.The 1880 era railroad bridge which is historical, useful, and built to withstand over a hundred years of heavy usage. Probably a hundred more.
     2. The boilerplate 244 bridges that carry high speed traffic and will likely be worn out in 20 years.
     3. The old 11th street/66 bridge that is structurally unsafe even for pedestrians, is not being restored and serves as housing in some capacity for young drug users.
     4. The current 11th street/66 bridge that is useful, if not heavily travelled, as a link to west Tulsa and connection with rt 66 tourism.
     5. A blue and white canopied, well lit narrow bridge that was built with v2025 funds to, iirc, provide a light rail link from West Tulsa to downtown. Since completion it is unused, being blocked off from pedestrians, bikes, runners....all the folks who paid for it. And of course, no light rail. In short, it seems to be a boondoggle. Please, help me to understand why. And no one ever mentions it. Taxpayers don't even know they paid for it. It is a shining example of what these huge proposals can hide beneath their trenchcoats while offering candy to the peasants.

Then I think of what could have been done. Remove the stink factory at the I-44 bridge. Make preparations for a train to run below Turkey Mtn. and another to run into downtown from Sapulpa/OKC using a depot near Brady. Removal of the old 11th st/66 bridge. Exposing the creek that runs through Veterans park. Covering, removing or redesigning the east leg of the infamous IDL. And the other sweet little ideas that typically make up an organically grown community that didn't make the cut because they weren't connected to big players.

So much energy expended. So little return.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2016, 09:26:13 am by AquaMan » Logged

onward...through the fog
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« Reply #44 on: April 03, 2016, 10:25:13 am »

By design, this proposal is like a House bill. Enticed by features I support and I think are economically good for Tulsa but balanced off by so much pork, spin and gob features that it becomes difficult to weigh the negatives vs the benefits. This thread has made it even more difficult to support. Here's what I deduce.

     -We spend too much for police here. And the increase in funding isn't guaranteed to put more police on the street.

     -It is not a tax neutral proposal. It takes a temporary economic stimulator tax and makes it permanently fund police, fire and roads. That is a tax increase. Be honest with the voters and bring those up separately.

     - It is the same people who bellied up to the bar that always do. There were some amazing innovative ideas that got tossed or underfunded so the big boys could get their needs met.

     -It is complicated when simple would have had overwhelming support. The Gathering Place is a great reason for enhancing Zink Lake. Jenks didn't help build the dam. Build your own. Assuming the contributions of the casino was a typical, tragic oversight. A few simple, well defended proposals would easily pass.
   
     -Inclusion of roads and bridges was throwing bacon into the dog pen. Of course everyone hates our roads and the bridges are dangerous. Is this the right and best way to fund them? This was conceived as an economic stimulus and has been co-opted into a carnival of funding for deferred maintenance.

     - The councilors have done an admirable job of making sausage and presenting it as steak. Really, they believe in what they've done as a fair process with great potential for improving our community. Good salesmen. But there is some cognitive dissonance in the public perception.

Lastly, and what makes me likely support only one of the proposals, if any, is what I see every time I cross the 11th street bridge (the 66 bridge for the under 50 group). An ugly group of 5 bridges that screams out the confusion in the Tulsa political/industrial complex.
    
     1.The 1880 era railroad bridge which is historical, useful, and built to withstand over a hundred years of heavy usage. Probably a hundred more.
     2. The boilerplate 244 bridges that carry high speed traffic and will likely be worn out in 20 years.
     3. The old 11th street/66 bridge that is structurally unsafe even for pedestrians, is not being restored and serves as housing in some capacity for young drug users.
     4. The current 11th street/66 bridge that is useful, if not heavily travelled, as a link to west Tulsa and connection with rt 66 tourism.
     5. A blue and white canopied, well lit narrow bridge that was built with v2025 funds to, iirc, provide a light rail link from West Tulsa to downtown. Since completion it is unused, being blocked off from pedestrians, bikes, runners....all the folks who paid for it. And of course, no light rail. In short, it seems to be a boondoggle. Please, help me to understand why. And no one ever mentions it. Taxpayers don't even know they paid for it. It is a shining example of what these huge proposals can hide beneath their trenchcoats while offering candy to the peasants.

Then I think of what could have been done. Remove the stink factory at the I-44 bridge. Make preparations for a train to run below Turkey Mtn. and another to run into downtown from Sapulpa/OKC using a depot near Brady. Removal of the old 11th st/66 bridge. Exposing the creek that runs through Veterans park. Covering, removing or redesigning the east leg of the infamous IDL. And the other sweet little ideas that typically make up an organically grown community that didn't make the cut because they weren't connected to big players.

So much energy expended. So little return.

Everything the glossy mailers and prime-time TV ads promise, we either already have, or have the apparatus for, or would if we were using existing funding properly.  This measure not only breaks promises but rewards incompetence.

Was there ever a disclosure of who the deep-pocket backers are?
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"Tulsa will lay off police and firemen before we will cut back on unnecessarily wasteful streetlights."  -- March 18, 2009 TulsaNow Forum
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