"It seems that Theron Warlick has a powerful constituency at UTW. The previous comment by TYProle is the third instance of over-the-top hype I have seen recently about Mr. Warlick published in UTW, the others being a number-two ranking in the Hot 100 (second only to Mayor Bartlett), and a Letter to the Editor from Mr. Jamieson selected for publication some months earlier.
It is not my intention to do a hatchet job on Mr. Warlick, but I feel it is important to counter some of the exaggerations the UTW has chosen to publish. The public might be interested to know that in reality Mr. Warlick is a mid-level staffer in a department that has been an afterthought at City Hall for at least a decade. In public meetings, he often appears ill-prepared, disorganized, and talks at great length on issues no one raised. In face-to-face discussions, he comes across as exactly the kind of amateurish, pie-in-the-sky ideologue that is anathema to the developers and business interests who are a core constituency for any effective planning official.
As for the PLANiTULSA effort, for which he is seemingly given total credit, Mr. Warlick was merely one participant on an enormous team that included an outside consulting firm paid 1.3 million dollars for their work, the Mayor’s staff, a co-project leader, the TMAPC, organized groups composed of leading citizens, and the general public. To imply that PLANiTULSA was somehow the sole creation of Mr. Warlick is not only inaccurate, but slights the contributions of these other parties, many of whom had a much larger role.
In my opinion, appointing Mr. Warlick as Planning Director would be roughly equivalent to promoting a mid-level programmer who worked on one significant project to be CEO of Apple. However, the question is probably moot, as the Administration has made it abundantly clear they want to bring in a “professional planner” from the outside, at great expense and effort. If they had wished to promote Mr. Warlick, or any other City employee for that matter, they have had years to do it. Instead, they have chosen to appoint … no one.
Perhaps with the selection of a qualified Director and a robust in-house planning function to replace the parasitical and biased INCOG, this era of neglect will now come to an end and Tulsa’s citizens will finally get the caliber of development-related services they deserve."