Fiscal Sustainbility Committee

Click here to read the Final Report of the Fiscal Sustainability Committee

During the Fiscal Year 2015 budget preparation process, there was a substantial amount of discussion regarding the City’s ongoing inability to generate sufficient revenues necessary to meet expenses and maintain the service levels the citizens of
Broken Arrow have come to expect.

Even with increasing sales tax revenues, since Fiscal Year 2011, projected General Fund revenues have been insufficient to cover budgeted expenses. As a result, fund balance has been used to balance the budgets for the current and prior fiscal years. Only through savings in operational expenditures has the City been able to minimize the impact on annual budgets. These revenue challenges have negatively impacted staffing levels, maintenance, operations, the ability to maintain competitive wages for some employees, and compromises the City Council’s Emergency Reserve Fund Balance policies.

The June 6, 2014, Budget Message stated, “there are serious financial challenges that will need to be addressed during Fiscal Year 2015.” To that end, it was proposed that a Fiscal Sustainability Committee be established with its primary purpose to investigate, identify and recommend to the City Council new and increased sources of revenue, as well as cost savings measures to improve the condition of the General Fund. The Committee was formally established by the Council on September 16, 2014.

It was determined that the makeup of the Committee would include an appointee by each City Council member, four (4) members of City Staff, representatives of the Fraternal Order of Police, the International Association of Firefighters, Build a Better Broken Arrow, and the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce. Appointments were made by the City Council on October 7, 2014. Those appointed to the Committee included:

  • David Boggs, Chief of Police
  • Tom Caldwell, Finance Director
  • Captain John Cockrell, President, International Association of Firefighters Sergeant
  • Thomas Cooper, President, Fraternal Order of Police Ted Cundiff, Citizen
  • Russell M. Gale, Acting City Manager
  • Russell Peterson, Build a Better Broken Arrow
  • Dawn Price, Citizen
  • Jeremy Rote, Citizen
  • Kenny Schwab, Citizen
  • Wes Smithwick, President, Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce
  • Rob Whitlock, Citizen
  • Beth Anne Wilkening, City Attorney

The Committee was broken down into three subcommittees: Revenue, Taxation and Expenses.

Of concern to the Fiscal Sustainability Committee was not only the current financial condition of the City, but also the declining reserve fund balances and the downgrade of the City’s bond rating. A variety of potential revenue sources and cost savings measures were identified and discussed. The Final Report of the Fiscal Sustainability Committee summarizes its research and recommendations to the City Council.

Report Highlights
  • Identify opportunities for sustainable programs in City construction projects, buildings and general operations and promote an environment that encourages conservation of energy and overall cost reduction.
  • Charge and collect for fire suppression and emergency medical services provided outside the City limits; actively oppose legislation that impacts the City’s ability to recover its costs for provision of these services.
  • Complete a cost of service study to assess opportunities for increased collection of both fire suppression and emergency medical services, as well as the feasibility of continued provision of emergency medical services and maintenance of a low Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating.
  • Perform a financial management evaluation.
  • Adopt an ordinance providing for an emergency medical services subscription fee at the rate of not less than $5.00 per month for residents and a reasonable monthly fee, as recommended by Staff, for non-residents.
  • Submit to the voters a sales tax increase in the amount of 6/10 of one (1) penny at the sunset of the Tulsa County Vision Tax, for the purposes of public safety, economic development, and capital projects.
  • Increase the Oklahoma Natural Gas (ONG) franchise fee to 4%.