Members of Urban Tulsa Weekly's Hot 100 list represent what's noteworthy about the region. Several who made the list in January offered up their opinion on the Vision2 proposal, which would extend a sales tax hike through 2029 to fund economic development (that's Proposition 1) and community projects (Proposition 2).
All Tulsa County voters can have their say at the Nov. 6 election, but here are comments gathered from one group noteworthy for its diversity, among other things:
Michelle Allen, senior marketing and media relations manager for Tulsa's city government: As a city spokesperson I cannot comment on how I will vote, but can say I will be voting and urge others to vote on November 6. Only we can decide how our city moves forward!
Ken Busby, executive director and chief executive officer for the Arts & Humanities Council of Tulsa: Yes, I will be voting FOR Vision2. It's important to build on the great work of Vision 2025 ... It's critically important that we invest in our aerospace infrastructure and maintain facilities for current needs and future growth since it's such a major industry for us! ... With Vision2, we're finally going to have consistent water in the Arkansas River, which is truly one of our region's best assets. Vision2 doesn't add any tax burden, it only extends our current tax.
Dan Cameron, proprietor of Okie Alchemy craft juice and teas: I am still undecided how I will vote for V2. In truth, I support many of the facets that appear to be covered with the measure, especially work along the river ... Former councilors and current councilors have registered concerns about how quickly the measure has been moved and that is a red flag for me ... One thing I would like to add is that I do not see how the fact that our river is considered a "No Contact River" is being addressed. I am all for fixing the dams and holding water. However, if the water is just going to make us ill, I do not see the point. (Note: According to River Parks Authority, "primary body contact" activities like swimming are prohibited in Zink Lake, the pool near Zink Dam at East 29th Street)
Todd Cunningham, executive director for Tulsa Project Theatre: I am voting for the Vision2 proposal. Hell, I'd vote for Vision6, 7, & 8 if they were proposed. Tulsa is an amazing community and for decades was at the forefront of cosmopolitan living in a less-than-giant city. Following the energy bust and the great corporate exodus to the cesspool they call Houston, Tulsa seemed to freeze in time in so many ways. We have some catching up to do in order to reestablish ourselves as that shining city on a hill (that's a Reagan reference but I'll be voting for Obama while also voting for Vision2).
Kara Fleege, Mrs. Broken Arrow 2011 and community volunteer: I am planning on voting yes for the Vision2 proposal. I believe that you should invest in the things you love, and my family loves Tulsa! When I look at the proposal I see jobs and Tulsa needs that. So many people move to other cities to get more. Why not invest in the beautiful city we have and improve it?
Russ Florence, president and chief operating officer, Schnake Turnbo Frank: I'm strongly in favor of Vision2. In my view, it's critical for a city to invest in itself, in order to put it in the best possible position for growth and progress. (Note: The public relations firm is doing work on behalf of Vision2 proponents.)
Jeremy Geiger, actor: I definitely plan on voting for the Vision2 proposal. Our little Tulsa needs all the help it can get and if we don't have to increase anything and we can just keep doing what we're doing with the tax rate I think that is a great way to build some capital so we can make some improvements in our town.
Tara Hughes, owner of In The Raw, Resurrect Boutique and Line Of Shine: This city needs to keep growing! The construction of course has been frustrating, but everything they have done has made this city so much more beautiful! Our city is in such need to grow! We have been owners in various companies and have seen the ups and downs. We must keep heading in the right direction ... Taxes are hard on everyone, but this is our city! I want to continue living here, raising my kids. For us living in mid-town, we will continue to lose people to the suburbs if this doesn't pass. I want to stay right here!
Jamie Jamieson, developer, chair of the Transportation Advisory Board and member of the Pearl District Association: Visionless2 is trying to apply strategies that failed in the 20th century, so it beats me why anyone thinks they will work in the 21st. Advocates of Visionless2 should read (i) anything written by Richard Florida, who more than anyone has influenced the development strategies of US cities this century, and (ii) Tulsa's Comprehensive Plan, which is excellent, and which seems to have been largely ignored by the City's administration, the County and the Chamber.
Rev. Marlin Lavanhar, senior minister at All Souls Unitarian Church: I plan to vote yes because I see Tulsa experiencing a renaissance and Vision 2 has many plans and projects to keep that positive progress going.
Brian Paschal, executive director of Tulsa's Young Professionals: I do plan on voting for Vision2. I feel in large part that I am a product of Vision 2025, and what I mean by that is, I grew up in Tulsa. I left when I was 18 years old and spent 14 years in Los Angeles. ... I didn't know what Vision 2025 was but I did notice that the City of Tulsa in the last few years after 2008 had started to get its swagger back. ... A lot of things ... in terms of development that had taken place in my absence were in large part due to Vision 2025. It's for that reason that I'd like to keep the momentum going.
Isaac Rocha, member of various community boards, employed by The Bama Companies, Inc.: I'm definitely voting yes.
Gary Shaffer, chief executive officer of the Tulsa City-County Library: Gary Shaffer plans to Vote Yes on both Vision2 proposals. (Note: The library would receive $10 million in Vision2 funds.)
John Silva, chief executive officer, Morton Comprehensive Health Services: In building and maintaining a strong community structure, a collaborative relationship needs to exist between business, government and residents. Periodically, opportunities will present themselves that obviously benefit all parties. Vision2 is such an opportunity. ... I have become convinced that both propositions proactively address the present and future priorities of Tulsa County. Vision2 is good for business, good for government and good for the residents of Tulsa County. (Note: Morton would receive $400,000 in Vision2 funds for an industrial generator to be utilized in case of a power outage.)
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