You were kind enough to publish a piece I wrote in support of Vision 2025 several years ago and I hope you might also consider allowing me to share some ideas I expressed while recently completing the online PLANitulsa survey located at http://www.cityoftulsa.org/Community/Planning/CompPlan/Index.asp. The City of Tulsa is seeking input from citizens as they update the City's Comprehensive Plan. It might be a good way to encourage others to share their thoughts and ideas.
The City of Tulsa is seeking input from citizens as they update our Comprehensive Plan. I recently completed the online PLANitulsa survey and wanted to share my comments with your readers. I encourage everyone to log in and make their thoughts known: http://www.cityoftulsa.org/Community/Planning/CompPlan/Index.asp
Tulsa's three most important priorities:
(1) Identify new sources of revenue so that basic city services, including police and fire protection, public safety, parks and recreation, public utility infrastructure, and road construction and maintenance are always adequately funded. If federal and state governments need to make changes in the laws governing how communities finance city services, then lobby them until the necessary changes are made. Citizens cannot blame anyone but themselves if they are not willing to pay the costs associated with providing these basic services. Perhaps it is time to consider an additional 1 cent sales tax to finance improvements in city government and public education.
(2) If we need a branding concept or something to aspire to that will uniquely identify our community...how about striving to be America's cleanest city or even the world's cleanest city. If the citizenry would truly buy into this concept we would have to do precious little else to attract the businesses and population growth we seem to so desperately seek. Most everyone wants to live in a clean environment and with a proper community mindset the cost of achieving this goal would be miniscule in comparison to many of the other options being considered.
(3) Find the resolve to make Tulsa Public Schools competitive with the best urban and suburban school districts in the United States. The community as a whole must be educated to understand how the benefits of a first class public school system are so important...that adequate funding can be generated to finance the associated costs.
Tulsa's 3 most valuable assets:
(1) Tulsa has so many assets and opportunities it is difficult to identify the MOST valuable or important since it has... a diverse culture, friendly people, easy lifestyle, abundant recreational opportunities, manageable commute times, affordable cost of living, mostly mild climate, and so much more. If I had to choose a number one asset it would be Tulsa's enchanting natural beauty. If only we could clean up this town it would have few rivals in the beauty category.
(2) Tulsa's long history of excellence in the performing and fine arts is a great treasure but we cannot take this remarkable legacy and tradition for granted. Our rich heritage of local philanthropic donors, as generous as they are and have been, cannot be expected to carry the burden of meeting the escalating costs of these most valued institutions without more public support. It is time for the community to step up and make an investment in securing the future of Tulsa's prized artistic and cultural organizations.
(3) Obviously, the Arkansas River presents enormous opportunities for development of a huge natural resource.
With all of the talk, studies and debate over the years it is really puzzling how so little has been done in this area to date. Right, wrong or indifferent, let us come up with a suitable plan and implement it, NOW. This really isn't rocket science, just put water in the river and beautify the river banks... everything else will take care of itself.
Three most critical issues facing our city:
(1) It is clear that we must identify new sources of revenue to finance public education and city services. No one wants a tax increase but at present there is just not enough money to adequately meet all of the existing needs. We either settle for things the way they are with crumbling roads and filthy rights-of-ways, under achieving city services and unkempt city parks, poor performing schools and undeveloped natural resources, or be ready to pay for improvements to all of the above.
(2) The City of Tulsa has lost its swagger. Our community self image has been negatively impacted by years of neglect and doubt. While other cities have been proactive, we have been satisfied to rest on our laurels with no real goals for the future. Many long time Tulsans I know have confided to me that they have actually given up hope for Tulsa. Vision 2025 was a true turning point but only a beginning. It is time to stop complaining and start planning for the vibrant, growing and healthy community we all want. We need to stop listening to the naysayers and see some results from all of the momentum that has been quietly building the last few years. We must find a way to re-establish and restore a sense of community pride and resourcefulness.
(3) If the citizens of Tulsa will adopt a can-do attitude, and combine that attitude with a willingness to pay more in taxes for improvements in city services and public education then the other issues and concerns we face will be more easily confronted, like the need for a long term mass transit plan, adequate housing and healthcare for the poor and elderly and the infrastructure needs of the future. Let's start by cleaning up Tulsa.
Thank you! Someone actually thought maybe Tulsa needs to keep the existing arena in the existing convention center. I have no idea if a letter that I sent out to a large group helped change the most crazy idea that I have ever heard of to destroy the only major income producer. This if true will answer questions about where teams who were desiring to contract for that room again but told sorry its gone can now get in line and book that space. Again I have no idea who thought about the cost savings as a former contractor on commercial buildings any person who knows construction will say it is FAR cheaper to build a new ballroom from scratch than try and remodel and demolish an arena, so who ever did it , Thanks as a grandfather interested in the GREATER Tulsa.. Now who ever did it , PLEASE KEEP UP THE IDEAS, next try and get that audit of public works by an outside auditor, especially after the discovery of the weds and probably payment to the contractors " EVEN THOU THEY DID NOT MOW". You can save Tulsa a lot of money "IF" the council would request and demand that an audit be done on the entire Public works. God Bless you and again Thanks to who ever thought about adding on instead of demolishing the existing arena.
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