An Eiffel Tower for Tulsa?

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A friend of mine seems to be a magnet for political survey calls, and she makes a point of e-mailing me when a new one comes in. This one is fascinating. Here's her verbatim account of the call:

Call early this evening, which I cut short after 15 minutes, and told we were only half-way through. He said he wasn't allowed to tell from where he was calling (I asked), yet chuckled somewhat knowingly to some answers. But then, maybe he called other KFAQ listeners...

First 3 questions dealt with approval or not of 1-City Council 2-County Commission 3-mayor

Next several dealt with city heading in right direction, view of city (small regional like Wichita, Springfield, etc.), large regional (KC, San Antonio, JAX !!!), large national (Dallas, NYC, Seattle), international (Paris, etc.) Unbelievable...Then asked if Tulsa was any of the aforementioned in its glorious past.

Should Tulsa be known for something i.e.. energy rather than oil OR something like an Eiffel Tower, St. Louis arch, Golden Gate Bridge (I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP!)

Then it got into pushing the need for younger residents, higher-paying jobs, downtown dev. to fight crime, things to do in Tulsa, city center more imp. than the burbs, utilizing the river...

RIVER-the main point of the call-need for development to combat all the problems of the city.

Vision of restaurants, parks, recreation...making a lake with an island in the middle with housing for 10k residents, sailing, concerts. A very large canopy (LANDMARK LIKE THE EIFFEL TOWER-NOT MAKING THIS UP!!) Great detail on the canopy over the island which would keep temp to 80 in the summer, warm in the winter, put Tulsa on the tourist map...

TAXES-how much would I be willing to pay? Another penny on the salestax or $140 (not sure may have been $114) on each 100k of assessed value of property.

At this point he lost me & I was late leaving, so thanked him and said good-bye. Hope someone tapes the whole interview for you. There were voices in the background going over the same questions.

Caller ID: out of area

So -- whoever is behind the call was testing the water for higher taxes to pay for doing something dramatic with the river.

Here's an idea -- stop work on the arena, use that money to pay for river development infrastructure (low water dams, bank stabilization, etc.), and leave the skeleton of the arena as a monument to politicians and special interests who pushed their own vision and pushed the people's vision off into the distant future.

(By the way, if ever you get a survey call on political subjects, write down all the details you can and e-mail them to me at blog at batesline dot com. It's a good way to get an early warning of the trends that are headed our way.)


Honestly "J" said:

Imagine that!! I've already speculated about a new river tax. This is even better than I thought! The GOB's will stop at nothing!! Why don't they just come right out and ask for a nickel, or a dime. Would that cover all the GOB projects from here to 2025? LOL

Paul Tay said:

Santa will be rolling "STOP THE ARENA SCAM NOW" shortly. Keep yer cameras handy. But, DON'T try to pix and drive. DAT'S soooooo WRONG.

Pull ahead into a parking lot. Wave a dollar bill. And, Santa will accommodate your pix request.

S. Lee said:

For those that argue that increasing taxes to pay for tourist things will bring in tons of money and new residents, I would direct their attention to the cities of Cleveland and Cincinnati. A perusal of travel sites like
will show quite a selection of touristy stuff as well as big-time sports teams. However, recent statistics seen here:
show Cincinnati and Cleveland are among the fastest shrinking cities in the U.S. My brother lives in Cleveland, and just about every phone call with him includes a complaint about the taxes in Cuyahoga county and how people are moving out.

Speaking of Cleveland, I read an interesting item on Eminent Domain Watch about the Flats. Last time I was in Cleveland was May 1992, and the Flats were considered an urban revitalization success story, an entertainment district with chain restaurants. (We ate at TGIFriday's that night.)

Now (according to this story I read) the Flats appear to once again be a rundown and crime-ridden area, and some people believe that only eminent domain and redevelopment as a mixed use area can bring it back.

It makes me wonder about any area redeveloped solely as an entertainment district, like Laclede's Landing in St. Louis and Bricktown in Oklahoma City. There is housing redevelopment going on near Bricktown, but Bricktown itself is still pretty much a monoculture of nightclubs and restaurants.

The most interesting places for tourists to visit are the places that are popular with the locals.

Michelle said:

"OR something like an Eiffel Tower, St. Louis arch, Golden Gate Bridge"

Don't you think they may be talking about the giant Indian? I'm sorry. I wouldn't flock to go see a giant Native American. I may go when it is built, but I wouldn't fly in to Tulsa from somewhere else to see it. "Great. Now we've seen the giant Indian. What do we do next?" I think the answer to that would be, "Go to Oklahoma City!" and even that's pushing it. There's just not a lot of tourist-y things to do around here.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 17, 2006 11:11 PM.

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