John Benjamin: The last transformative event wasn't transformative enough

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John Benjamin, the former Tulsa City Councilor who left town for Bixby, the prototypical member of the Cockroach Caucus, on the wrong side of nearly every local issue (most recently pushing for the recall of Jim Mautino and Chris Medlock), has spoken out on the river tax. No surprise here; he's voting yes, evidently because all the money we spent on Vision 2025 didn't do the trick.

Fellow Tulsa County voters, greater Tulsa is drifting and needs a transformative event to trigger our resurgence. We need economic stimulus, infrastructure improvement and restoration of our sense of community and pride in our physical appearance.

I can't find where Benjamin made this argument four years ago, but plenty of other spokespeople did, and I don't recall Benjamin speaking up at the time to say that Vision 2025 wouldn't be sufficiently transformative.

Reminds me of something Randi Miller said at a Republican club meeting last month, as reported by Steve Roemerman:

One of the things I've heard her say on this and other occasions is "I wanted to do the river during Vision 2025, but we did not have a plan in place." She is admitting that she knew, in 2003, that development of the river is what was needed to spur Tulsa's growth. She knew that our real vision for Tulsa was the river, but she decided to support 2025 anyway. It was said that something had to be done, and that this was our opportunity to help Tulsa grow, and this was the tax package to do it. But now she is trying to sell us on the idea that 2025 was some how deficient and the river is the real opportunity for growth? I now hear the same rhetoric as before: something has to be done..this is our one opportunity and if we don't pass this tax Tulsa wont grow. Well excuse me if I don't buy it. If Randi knew this needed to be done in 2003, she should have shown real leadership and fought Vision 2025. I have to say it would be a much easier sell if we were not already over-burdened with the 2025 sales tax.

Benjamin gets a bit off-message in trying to minimize the cost to a typical household:

As voters we can make great strides in our river development by approving a limited seven year, 0.4 percent tax increase that each month amounts to about the price of a movie ticket for a family of four.

I think he meant to say that a family of four would sacrifice the price of a single movie ticket each month, but it comes across as, "You're going to have to cancel your monthly family movie night so you can pay for this tax." It's not as bad as that -- the family can still go, but dad will have to stay home.

I wasn't familiar with this idiom with which he starts a paragraph:

Least I mention Oklahoma City?

Anyone want to parse that for me?

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 8, 2007 6:22 PM.

Roscoe Turner to Tulsa's "socially challenged" was the previous entry in this blog.

All Souls Unitarian Church river tax forum is the next entry in this blog.

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