Friday, December 31, 2004

Q: Why do you hate the suburbs?

A: Quite simply, I don’t hate the suburbs.

I don’t resent or envy them. In fact, if my positions with regard to the economic development efforts of the suburbs can be simply put, it would be to say that I admire their aggressive efforts to grow and benefit their respective communities.

What I have been advocating, is that Tulsa has arrived at a point in its municipal growth, that it can no longer thrive utilizing passive policies with regard to future economic development. Owasso has a little over 22,000 citizens, which is about half the size of the average Tulsa city council district.

Despite its diminutive stature in relation to a single Tulsa council district, Owasso has its own mayor, city council, city manager, economic development team, chamber of commerce, school system, police force and public works department. It takes little comparative effort to get all these respective groups to act in concert for the economic good of the City of Owasso.

The situation in Owasso is very much similar to the situations in Broken Arrow, Bixby, Jenks, Sand Springs, Glenpool, Sapulpa and Catoosa. With all of these communities acting in their own self interest, why is it suddenly so terrible that a handful of Tulsa city councilors begin asking the simple question, “why aren’t we using our city’s resources for the development of our own community, as aggressively as our suburban neighbors are using their resources?

When one thinks of Tulsa aggressively acting to compete with Owasso or Jenks, it understandably conjures up pictures of Goliath threatening little, helpless David. However, Tulsa’s population now makes up just under half of the total population of the Tulsa region. If one thinks of the suburbs as a collective population with far more economic development institutions working in competition against the future good of the core city, it is far easier to ask the question, “when will we open our eyes and realize that our future is going to be one of steady decline toward urban blight, if we don’t use our economies of scale and resources to protect our own future?”


Anonymous said...

Certainly, the City Councilors of Tulsa have a RIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY to strive toward what's best for Tulsa. That is why the citizens placed them in those positions of leadership! Now, the difference most of us see between Tulsa and the suburbs begins with a lack in a LEADERSHIP TEAM that all work TOGETHER, for the betterment of Tulsa. As mentioned, "Owasso has its own mayor, city council, city manager, economic development team, chamber of commerce, school system, police force and public works department. It takes little comparative effort to get all these respective groups to act in concert for the economic good of the City of Owasso".
It would be great to see Tulsa's respective groups act in concert!! Tulsa's leadership has been struggling among themselves,with issues. Among those issues are: "conflicts of interest", "status quo vs. reform", "unwarranted recall of councilors", "lack of professionalism", "disrespect toward citizens and each other", just to name a few. The questioning from some councilors and citizens deserves our attention and support. We have Tulsa's best interest in mind!!
We, the citizens, should be considered "PARTNERS" with our leaders, as we ALL WORK TOGETHER toward strengthening Tulsa as a CORE CITY. At the same time, a mutual respect with our suburbs is not too much to ask for.....none taking advantage of the other, for their own gain!! Let's all be FAIR, RESPECTFUL, HONEST and ACCOUNTABLE!!

Anonymous said...

It also does not help when the entities which control or direct Tulsa's development (Boards, Committees, Authorities such as TMUA, TIA, etc, etc) have been infiltrated by people who are actually representing their suburban interests over those of Tulsa's. And, rules which allow non-Tulsa resident persons to spearhead a recall effort are nothing short of ridiculous.

Even our vice-Mayor was until recently Director of Economic Development for Owasso. That pretty much depicts the situation, but is only representative of a widespread problem within our existing structure.

There's nothing wrong with a 'regional' approach, so long as Tulsa also bennefits in the deals rather than being purely the subject of resource or dependency.

What we see now is the simple sapping of our resources to benefit the region, even when regions of our own city could use the resource.

It just ain't right.

Anonymous said...

Dear Honorable C. Medlock;

Thank You for applying common sense in serving your district. In doing so, you are restoring faith in all of Tulsa's districts. Please don't let your love for Tulsa waiver. Your confidence in God and country is a breath of fresh air that we, the common hard-working taxpayer, have been missing for way to long in Tulsa government. Would you please consider serving the neglected common tax paying citizens of Tulsa as our next mayor?

Marc Nunley

Anonymous said...

Thinking far ahead as they have always done, Tulsa's Founder Families see that their next Fortunes will be made outside of the City of Tulsa.

Therefore, that is why the various captive boards, commissions and authorities, like the TMAPC and INCOG, are now using the resources under the CONTROL of the Tulsa CITY government to aid in the development of the incorporated suburbs such as B.A., Jenks, Bixby, Owasso, etc.

It's all about building the next fortunes of the local Founder Families: The Dozen.

Anonymous said...

It will sure be interesting to see what the ultimate outcome is, from the LARGE Waterline (A MAJOR 36" FEEDER LINE)recently approved for Owasso. Remember, Tulsa Taxpayers get to carry that burden too, while some of our Tulsans are still carrying water and doing without sewer lines! Just who is in line to financially gain from this waterline? Also, why was it placed on top of the priority list of projects, above other long time needs, within the city limits?? Those who establish the priorities and design the Water Projects Bond items should be held accountable. Or are they among the ones that stand to benefit financially?? Makes us hard-working, tax-paying citizens wonder! PLEASE, Councilor Medlock, continue with your efforts to re-assess the water issues, both rates and sources!