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Thread: Tulsa continues to go backwards...

  1. #1

    Default Tulsa continues to go backwards...

    After this, I don't see how Tulsan's can still claim to be superior over it's bigger, forward thinking brother OKC.


    Oklahoma's next big city
    October 9, 2007

    In a move frighteningly reminiscent of the Oklahoma State Aquarium deal, Tulsa voters decided that a premier plan to develop the Arkansas River wasn't worth and extra four cents of sales tax for every $100 spent. That's right, four-tenths of one percent, or a whole extra dollar when you drop $2,500 on that new plasma screen you've been eyeing.

    Tulsa could have had the aquarium, named the state's best attraction, but took a pass and let Jenks have it. Jenks also, therefore, got the retail development along the river and the property and sales taxes that go with it.

    The No River Tax people are no doubt celebrating with Michael Bates, because they'verted all that wasteful government spending and they'll be able to use the money they've saved to fix a few potholes.

    Saying that view is short-sighted would be an understatement on the order of Noah saying, "Hmmm. Looks like it might sprinkle."Look first at who was on which side here: The folks who know how to turn a buck were not only unanimously in favor of it, but private industry pledged substantial investment to bolster the public's four-tenths of a cent on the dollar. The hand-to-mouth crowd was opposed. The latter perhaps doesn't understand the economic priciple of multipliers or returns on investment.

    Take a look at what happened a decade or so ago in Kemah, Texas with Landry's Corp., Tillman Fertitta and some run-down restaurants in a run-down fishing village. Residents of Kemah said they might like to have their waterfront developed, and they got the Kemah Boardwalk. It might bring in some money. Those residents now enjoy some of the lowest property taxes to be found in the area. The city coffers are full, so the police department has a new station, state-of-the-art equipment and plenty of officers. Infrastructure problems are almost non-existent because the city has plenty of money to take care of repairs and maintenance. They're so well off, in fact, that Kemah residents get free garbage service because City Hall can't quite spend all the money that comes in from that waterfront development.

    Fixing a few more potholes makes your drive to work easier, and when you're done you have filled potholes. Fixing a waterfront, on the other hand, comes back ten or a hundred or a thousand-fold in hotel taxes, sales taxes, property taxes and new jobs that pump still more money into the economy. And that would have paid for more potholes than any city can make.

    The short-sightedness of Tulsa voters doesn't hurt only Tulsa, it hurts the state, which already suffers from a reputation for a lack of vision.

    Newsflash: Tulsa is no longer the center of the energy industry. That distinction belongs to Houston. It's not coming back. With all the momentum of Vision 2025, the Arkansas River plan could have been the biggest diamond in the crown. Ask Idaho. Or San Pedro, Calif. Or Portland, Ore. Or Knoxville, Tenn. Or Sacramento, Calif. Or any of the countless U.S. cities that have figured out one simple truth: People like to be by the water and they're willing to pay for the privilege.

    But fear not, Jenks might find a way to pick up the ball. It will seve them right -- just look how poorly they're doing over there with that silly aquarium. After all, the city's slogan is Everything's going our way. Yep. And be sure to thank the 67,026 short-sighted Tulsans who voted against the river development measure for that

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tulsa continues to go backwards...

    That's a shame. It sounded like they really had great things planned for the river. I think it'd be really great if OKC and Tulsa both had great downtowns that were tourist destinations.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Tulsa continues to go backwards...

    It seems that the Tulsa proposal was extremely tilted towards enriching a few well-connected individuals. Perhaps if there were a more open process, real, open, competitive bidding perhaps? It'd work out next time.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Tulsa continues to go backwards...

    Nearly everything that Maps in Okc has done has enriched a few well-connected individuals.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tulsa continues to go backwards...

    Look for Jenks and the Creek Nation to try to get something together so they can get water in their area of the river. My family owns a store in the Riverwalk Crossing and have been involved in the city meeting in both Jenks and Tulsa. They said at the Jenks meetings there have been reps from the Creek Nation casino talking about the benefits to both areas if the river was full.

    The new entertainment area in Jenks, south of the turnpike, will desperately need water in the river to draw some of the big named retailers that they were in talks with. These retailers said they will be happy to place their stores there IF the river will have water.

    Jenks will have the best shot at getting something done with Mike Tinker as the City Manager. He's a very progressive leader, for example, he is trying to get funding for a new fiber optic light display across the Jenks Pedestrian Bridge so that the bridge will change colors with the seasons, giving it a very modern look. And the Creek Nation will want water in the river so they can go through with their water taxi idea that would connect their casino/hotel with the retail, restaurants, and other future development on the west side of the river.

    Just thought I'd throw my two cents in.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Tulsa continues to go backwards...

    Quote Originally Posted by Midtowner View Post
    It seems that the Tulsa proposal was extremely tilted towards enriching a few well-connected individuals. Perhaps if there were a more open process, real, open, competitive bidding perhaps? It'd work out next time.
    They need an OCURA. Ha! Well-connected individuals profiting from Bricktown/Downtown Oklahoma City is what it's all about. Forget splinter, open eye and remove plank.

    Seriously, I think it's sad that Tulsa didn't approve this. Jenks is going to become the real city before long. Seems everything is moving and building there.

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