Pretending to care what you think


Sandra Langenkamp has a guest op-ed in Sunday's Whirled outlining a process for developing a vision for the future of our region. She recommends first gathering the great and the good -- former public officials, Chamber officials, bureaucrats -- to reach a consensus about what needs to be done. When do ordinary citizens have a chance to be heard?

Once a level of consensus is gained through these early conversations a process then would be established to obtain broad citizen participation.

A steering committee would be selected from the four early participating groups, which would select chairmen for the issue areas and assign appropriate staffs. The individual topic group chairman and staff would invite citizen participation. A one-year deadline would be stated for development of a mission statement, recommendations, implementation strategy and assignment to the appropriate group for fulfillment of the goals.

In other words, once all the important decisions have been made, then we'll "obtain broad citizen participation," whatever the heck that means.

She goes on to promote the laughable idea that a committee of ex-chairmen of the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission could be formed to run the whole thing. Oh, and yes, that would include her. A bunch of developers and developers' toadies, who are there to ensure that developers get what they want, regardless of the impact on other property owners, would decide the future of our region with minimal public input. You betcha.

Call me old-fashioned, but I believe that the American way to make those decisions is through the elected representatives of the people. Let those running for Mayor and City Council and County Commission outline their visions of Tulsa's future. Let the voters vote for the candidates whose vision lines up with their hopes and dreams. Then the elected officials can debate, consider, propose, compromise, and make decisions. It's fashionable to say that such important matters should be removed from the realm of dirty old politics. Personally, I prefer politics, specifically representative democracy, to other methods of choosing between oppposing views. I think politics is much better than knives and guns, much better than oligarchy, much better than autocracy. It's much better than a bunch of unaccountable swells pretending to listen to us.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 20, 2004 1:54 AM.

Augustine v. Pelagius was the previous entry in this blog.

Service interruption is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.



Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed:
[What is this?]