Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Are "The Channels" All But Dead?

Very quietly, at two meetings of Tulsa's Chapter of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies, the death knells were sounded for the proposed $700 million river development known as “The Channels.”

The November guest speaker at the Republican Assembly meeting was newly elected County Commissioner John Smaligo. During his presentation, he said that he very much doubted that The Channels would ever be brought to a vote of the people due to cost and an overall lack of support.

Last night, during the December meeting of the Republican Assembly, guest speaker Fred Perry echoed Smaligo’s assertion, stating that he “very much doubted” a vote would ever take place.

Beside myself, others of note present at the meeting were former City Councilor Jim Mautino and current District 7 City Councilor John Eagleton. Both meetings were video taped, so it would be very awkward for either commissioner to back track on statements made before a group of conservative activists that make up a large part of their base.

Given it only takes two votes to kill The Channels, and given these two commissioners’ very public remarks, you can pretty much take it to the bank.

J-K Warren’s “The Channels” will remain the pipe dream of a few mid-towners who meant well, but weren’t in tune with what the public wanted.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I live out of town now, but grew up in Tulsa. Their idea is honorable just a little unrealistic.

I would invite them to apply their energy to a project that would bring downtown back...faster.

imponderable amanda said...

The Channels is the worst idea i have ever heard of, and I swear if it happens, my family and i are going to move to mexico. i am originally from lexington kentucky, and when rupp arena was built lexington also thought an upscale "festival market" would revitilize it's downtown district. a few years later would prove this notion wrong, i know that in 1986 it only had 1 resteraunt and about 50 vacant store fronts. going back 20 years later the downtown district had revitilized a bit but it was focusing on rehabilitation of historic homes and buildings, revamping theaters, catering to a college crowd ect... i was really impressed and, if i did not have close family here, that is where i would live.

The Channels, if it goes through, will be the bane of tulsans and the folly of lafortune and taylor.

Anonymous said...

The proposed $700 million tax payer bill, lumped on Tulsans, by the proposal of the Channels, would far better be used opening the local pools during the summer months, providing additional summer camps for the youth, opening and renovating the public libraries, fixing and maintaining the city streets, and hiring additional police officers, amid a myriad of other city services that the tax payers of Tulsa desperately need and deserve.
I applaud the Warrens for their vision, however, when tax payers are not getting the basic services needed to lower crime, enhance the standard of living by having their property and lives protected by the police, and this city's children are resorting to crime and gangs because the lack of city services to provide alternative activies for them, it seems very foolish indeed to propose such a grand development.
City Hall needs to focus on bringing outside developers and corporations to Tulsa to provide additional employment and to increase the tax revenue for the city, not further dip into the pockets of property owners and established businesses to foot the bill for something of this magnitude.
Let Broken Arrow, Owasso, Jenks, and Bixby serve as a lesson for all those who backed the Channels. Tulsans are fleeing to these communities because of the services provided by these municipalities, and with the poplulation of Tulsa, re-locating to these communities, where citizens feel safe and services are provided by the cities, and the businesses are following suit.
The Channels are not a case for "Build It and They Will Come", instead the motto should be "Fix It and Then They Will Come".