City names Vision oversight committees


This news is from early last week, but in the interest of completeness, here it is. The Mayor has named two oversight committees, with more to come. The first committee is for oversight of all Vision 2025 projects that will be built and managed by the City of Tulsa. The second committee is specifically to oversee the design and construction of the new arena. You can follow the link, but here's the list for your convenience:

Vision 2025 Oversight Committee
Charles Hardt, Tulsa Public Works director

Steve Sewell, Tulsa deputy mayor

Mike Buchert, Tulsa Public Works assistant director

David Patrick, Tulsa City Council chairman

Mike Kier, Finance director

Willie George, pastor of Church on the Move

Karen Keith, Tulsa Mayor's Office

Charles Norman, Norman, Wohlgemuth, Chandler & Dowdell law firm

Rex Ball, retired Tulsa architect

Larry Silvey, retired, OU Tulsa

Bob Smith, Poe & Associates.

Events Center Design Committee

Karen Keith, Mayor's Office

Joan Seay, TulsaNow

Wayman Tisdale, Tisway Productions

Suzann Stewart, Tulsa Metro Chamber Convention and Visitor's Bureau

John Scott, Performing Arts Center & Maxwell Convention Center

Linda Frazier, Tulsa Arts Commission

Tulsa City Councilor Tom Baker.

Some positive elements: I'm very glad to see two TulsaNow leaders on each committee. Larry Silvey, Rex Ball, Linda Frazier, and Joan Seay will add some fresh thinking and will challenge conventional wisdom. (Last year, Joan led a group which researched best downtown revitalization practices in other cities. Linda Frazier was also a part of that group. You can read their report here.)

I have heard that another TulsaNow leader, Jamie Jamieson, was to have been named to a couple of oversight committees (including one to oversee spending of the downtowns and neighborhoods project, a proposal which he helped design), but he was dropped for not being an enthusiastic and public supporter of the Vision 2025 sales tax. Whoever decided to remove him from the committees is guilty of spite (another example of the sore winner phenomenon) and has deprived the city of the involvement of one of our city's most creative thinkers about inner-city revitalization. I'm sure Jamie will find a way to get his two cents in, anyway -- I hope the committee members will listen.

At the other end of the creative thinking spectrum are the two councilors named to the committees: David Patrick and Tom Baker. Since Baker has said that it's not his place to question the judgment of the professionals, one wonders what the point is of giving him a seat at the table. Just give him a rubber stamp; that should keep him amused. Republicans are wondering why the Mayor would overlook members of his own party and name two Democrat councilors to these committees. Cynics would respond that the two councilors are members of the Mayor's party -- the Chamber, Developers, and Establishment party that the Mayor's chief policy adviser, Clay Bird, said he wishes he could join.

Chris Medlock would have been a better choice, as he's capable and willing to spend the time to understand complex issues and come to an informed, independent decision. This is probably why he was not named to these committees, and why he was dropped from the Route 66 committee, despite his leadership in formulating that proposal and selling it to the Dialog/Vision leadership team. Medlock's crime -- he supported the whole vision plan except for the Boeing tax. Naughty boy!

The list of city employees is not surprising, as their departments will have to implement whatever plans are developed.

Charles Norman is an interesting choice. Norman, the city's leading zoning attorney, who wrote the zoning code when he was City Attorney, was Mayor LaFortune's boss for several years. LaFortune quit as DA to become a developer's attorney in Norman's law firm, remaining there until he entered the mayoral race.

Willie George was a key ally in LaFortune's primary victory over Terry Simonson and remains a loyal supporter.

I guess that Wayman Tisdale is there to represent the concerns of the sports community in the construction of the arena, which is fine, but shouldn't someone connected with the Talons and the Oilers be on the committee? They will get the most use out of the facility; they ought to be consulted.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 24, 2003 12:06 AM.

Boeing: Will 7E7 leading edge work invoke tax? was the previous entry in this blog.

A reading comprehension test for the City Council is the next entry in this blog.

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