|Posted on April 6, 2010 at 3:25 PM|
I was honored to have Robert Johnston, OML Board of Directors President, and Cheryl Dorrance, OML Director of Research join me for two goodwill visits. One of those was to the City of Tulsa and the other to the City of Sand Springs where we met with City Manager Doug Enevoldsen.
Much of the conversation evolved around a topic on the mind of many city managers these days – city and town finances. Doug indicated a growing interest among the Sand Springs metro area cities in collecting their own sales tax.
Mr. Enevoldsen discussed with us the great communications benefits he thought OML could provide to cities and towns through various electronic and remote training and telecommunication centers. He thinks remote training from OML could relieve cities’ cash-strapped travel budgets.
Enevoldsen was instrumental in the introduction of HB 3054 to this year’s legislation. This law would require a financial impact statement before any legislation could be passed that would have a significant financial impact on cities and towns. If the statement revealed the financial impact was greater than $10,000, the bill would be introduced in an odd year and passed the following year. The year study time would allow legislators to actually review the implications of the bill, and not rush to judgment or a vote.
Doug also serves on the recently-formed OML Municipal Revenue & Efficiencies Task Force. The second meeting of the Task Force will be Monday, April 5 and will be provided with information obtained from several meetings held with the Oklahoma Tax Commission.
Mr. Enevoldsen has offered suggestions for OML to improve the GRIPs that are so integral to OML’s critical communications requesting quick actions on the part of cities and towns. He suggested streamlining the GRIPs with a “click button” allowing municipal officials the ability to personalize the information they present, and immediate access to their representatives. OML continually strives to progressively improve our services and communications to our members, and we will certainly look at revamping the GRIP format.
Doug’s suggestion for more face time with the media was accomplished with a hugely successful press conference held in conjunction with the Mayors & Municipal Officials Day at the Capitol on Monday, March 22. A press conference was held on the opposing SB 1328 which threatens to eliminate sales tax on groceries. Our Forum received television media coverage from all local channels in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, as well as others around the state, and was reported in print media from many, many local and out-of-state newspapers. You can view all of this on the OML website at: www.oml.org. Just go to the front page, click on the “grocery bag,” and you will have it.