$877 million "Vision" plan unveiled


Well, it's out there -- unveiled at a meeting of the Dialog / Visioning Leadership Team this afternoon at the Central Library. Tulsa Today has the details.

KTUL and KOTV both have stories posted as well. KTUL's story has this surprising detail:

Even the chairman of the Aerospace Alliance of Tulsa has doubts about the Boeing price tag.

"Spending 350-million dollars on 12-hundred jobs, I'd like to see the economics on it," says Dick Clark. "That's over 300-thousand dollars per job."

You suppose local businesses might feel a bit jealous of that kind of treatment? And that $350 million doesn't include a much larger amount that the State of Oklahoma reportedly included in the offer.

Biggest pleasant surprise: The three packages will run concurrently -- 4/10 of a cent, 4/10, and 2/10 -- so voters can choose to impose a lower tax increase on themselves by rejecting one or more of the packages. The rumored plan had the taxes running concurrently, so rejecting one or more package would cut the number of years, but we'd be stuck with an additional 1% regardless.

Biggest disappointment: They are tying incentives for American Airlines to a new Sports Arena and expansion and improvement of the convention center -- the proposals will be part of a single ballot item, and voters won't have the chance to pick and choose among them. The incentives are designed to encourage AA to move jobs from their other maintenance bases to Tulsa, jobs we have a good shot at getting. But the AA package is only $22 million, while the arena and convention center will cost $183 million.

Suppose I went to the supermarket to buy a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk, and they told me, "We won't sell you the milk and bread separately. You have to buy a package that includes milk, bread, and a big-screen TV." My response would be "no sale". Essentially that is what they are asking Tulsans to do by lumping AA, higher ed money, and the old Tulsa Project projects into one ballot item.

The convention center and arena have been on the ballot twice, grouped together with other proposals. Many people think we would have had convention center improvements in 2000 if the voters would not have had to swallow a new arena as well. The right thing to do is to let the items stand on their own merits as separate ballot items.

(There is a way to expand the convention center as needed without demolishing the existing arena, but I'll take that up at a later time.)

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 25, 2003 11:35 PM.

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How to improve the convention center without building a new arena is the next entry in this blog.

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