ROI with IOT?
In the Tulsa tradition of naming sales tax ballot measures, city councilors selected "Improve Our Tulsa" as the name for the $918.7 million package set to go before voters on Nov. 12.
"The name is the icing on the cake," Councilor David Patrick said in an online announcement of the name.
And the cake ingredients? The proposal calls for the extension of a one cent portion of sales tax going to the city, what's for years been known as the "third penny" tax to support infrastructure needs.
The ballot proposal also calls for the continuation of a smaller, 0.1 cent sales tax amount going to the city that is actually a reduction in what's being collected currently, as it's expected that county leaders will pursue their own ballot proposal next year for the remaining 0.067 cent tax amount.
These two taxes will be bundled as one $563.7 million ballot option. Another option will be presented separately to voters, a $355 million package based on the issuance of general obligation bonds, which are secured through property tax revenue.
In an Aug. 27 meeting, Patrick emphasized the importance of having the name on the ballot in education efforts, so people can quickly recognize the proposal when voting.
Local Tulsans serve as hosts in a series of new web-based programs spotlighting events and news in the city.
The TulsaFeed is a new venture featuring a variety of programming; a show titled I Heart Tulsa, featuring local designer and DJ Steve Cluck, for example, showcases Tulsa's nightlife. Another program, Feed Tulsa Now, has local chef Amanda Simcoe as host, highlighting various culinary endeavors around town.
Jon Peyton and Chris Ransdell are business partners behind the venture.
"We first started the idea of the TulsaFeed about a year ago,"' said Ransdell. It wasn't until the spring, however, that the pair began working on making the short videos -- most are between two and five minutes -- into reality.
Peyton and Ransdell said they work in social media and video production with their studio, Ballyhoo Creative Group, and that their TulsaFeed effort -- while seeking sponsorships -- is at its heart about showcasing the city.
Ransdell said it's not only a local show, but one able to potentially reach a wide audience.
"The internet's a great way to let obviously local Tulsans know, but also put us on the map," he said.
New place for a familiar face.
Longtime political player Terry Simonson has joined the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office.
Simonson serves in a newly created position, director of governmental affairs, according to Maj. Shannon Clark.
"He is an employee of the sheriff's office," Clark said.
The position was not advertised, but Clark noted Simonson's skill as a lawyer and experience.
Tulsa County operates the local jail facility and will soon be entering negotiations with the city of Tulsa regarding jail payments, with Simonson expected to play a role in those negotiations.
Simonson served as Mayor Dewey Bartlett's chief of staff for close to two years before resigning amid questions regarding Simonson's role in his son's selection for the Tulsa Fire Department's training academy.
Clark said that along with Simonson's help in negotiating contracts, "he will be doing lobbying" at the state capital to benefit the sheriff's office and Tulsa County.
Simonson has also earlier held positions within Tulsa County government, including a stint as director of governmental affairs for the Tulsa County Commission. At Urban Tulsa Weekly, Simonson contributes a weekly column on local politics and public policy.
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