POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 28, 2011:
Mayor gives rosy State of the City speech
Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr. gave the annual State of the City speech to more than 850 business leaders.
He presented a rosy outlook on everything from job creation to core services. "I'm standing here today to tell you that Tulsa is moving in the right direction," Bartlett said.
To establish his point, Bartlett said, "By the end of fiscal year 2011, we began to put the city together again, restoring services to customers and increasing our investment in core services such as public safety and code enforcement."
He also highlighted signs of revitalization downtown like the approaching completion of the Boulder Bridge, a "Renaissance" in the Brady District and waiting lists for downtown apartments.
The mayor struck down the need for changing city government structure. Instead, Bartlett said Tulsa needed to implement recommendations from the KPMG, a global management consulting firm, plan "to determine the cost and size of a strategic restructuring of government operations."
The Tulsa Community Foundation funded the KPMG analysis.
With the $8 million saved from implemented recommendations, Bartlett said, his administration has "doubled mowing cycles on city properties; we are holding police and fire academies; we put two graffiti crews back into service and expanded resources for tearing down blighted abandoned structures."
On the job front, Bartlett presented an equally sunny outlook. "The Chamber reports that 40 Tulsa companies are expanding and 3,700 new jobs are slated for creation, with 80 percent coming from existing companies in Tulsa.
Bartlett also touted the progress of PlaniTulsa, the city's first comprehensive plan in 30 years, with the anticipated hiring of a planning director.
He also mentioned the Across the Generations summit, the first of its kind in the nation.
More mixed-use development underway
A new $100+ million mixed-used development project, One Place (Phase 2), broke ground last week. One Place faces the BOK Center downtown.
The project is an approximately 57,000 square feet five-story office and retail building. The anchor tenant is Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, a company currently located at 71st and Yale.
Once phases 2, 3 and 4 are complete, One Place will feature a hotel, residential, office, retail and restaurants. The development is currently acclaimed as one of the top 20 new construction projects of this size in the U.S.
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