Delayed Study Results
Officials from an Austin, Texas-based firm that has been hired to produce a sustainability study for the city will be in Tulsa June 29-30 to meet with city employees and convene all the working groups that are involved in the project.
Brett Fidler, the director of the Office of Sustainability, said the URS Corporation has been under contract with the city since the middle of May to produce the study, which is intended to help the city identify opportunities to save money and resources, reduce its environmental impact, improve air quality, promote a green economy, provide sustainability education and outreach to citizens and businesses, guide decision making and policy making, and help Tulsa become a regional leader in sustainable government.
Tulsa officials originally expected to have the study in their hands by June 30, the end of the city's fiscal year, but minor contract issues between URS and the city kept an agreement from being signed until last month. Now that the contract is in place, Fidler said, work is proceeding rapidly. URS submitted a bid of $277,000 to perform the work.
"We expect to have everything finished by the end of September," he said.
Fidler said the study will provide the city with a roadmap in regard to how to move forward with its sustainability efforts, particularly over the next five years. Part of the work will include the installation of new software that will allow the city to monitor its energy and water use, thus enabling it to draw comparisons and determine how effective its sustainability efforts are.
District 4 Race Heating Up
Even though the filing period for municipal offices doesn't open until next month, the race for Tulsa's District 4 City Council seat already is shaping up as perhaps the most contentious one.
Public relations executive Liz Hunt has become the latest candidate to announce her intention to seek the seat held by incumbent Maria Barnes. Hunt, a Republican, will square off against previously announced candidates Rocky Frisco, a musician, and businessman Blake Ewing for the GOP nomination in September.
Barnes has yet to draw a challenger for the Democratic nomination.
Hunt is a New York native who moved to Tulsa in 1999 to work for Williams Communications. She now owns and manages her own PR firm, which she established in 2001. She serves as the co-chair of the Tulsa Parks Marketing Committee and previously served as a member of the Vision 2025 Sales Tax Overview Committee. She also serves on the board of the Tracy Park Neighborhood Association.
Hunt said she was motivated to announce her candidacy out of a sense of frustration.
"I am frustrated by the lack of vision, leadership and at times, professionalism, demonstrated by many members of our current suite of elected officials," she stated in a press release. "To disagree, in a respectful manner is healthy for progress -- Lack of cooperation and collaboration is detrimental to growth. Tulsa can no longer afford to miss growth opportunities."
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