This has been an anxious past few months for many in Tulsa's arts community. That community was very much caught off-guard by the decision of Mayor Bartlett's office to eliminate most of the City of Tulsa's arts funding. Alarming proposals to cut staff positions at the Tulsa PAC Trust, the Waterworks Community Arts Center, and both the Heller and Clark Theatres effectively galvanized supporters all over town, and these supporters quickly spurred the City Council to oppose the Mayor's proposals.
The Tulsa City Council is now moving forward on a $919 million capital improvement project that would continue this community's Fix Our Streets sales tax and property taxes for an additional 5 to 5.5 years in order to fund continued street construction, rehabilitation and widening projects, and a number of other capital improvement projects. Capital improvement, you ask? Well, it's not money for more police officers or more fire-fighters, as our guest notes today, but more money for the cars, trucks, and other equipment these city employees need to do their job (as but one example).
The opening prayer will be delivered by an atheist at Thursday night’s Tulsa City Council meeting. Dan Nerren, a founder of the Humanist Association of Tulsa, says it’s a ‘first’ as far as he knows. He says he will not be praying to a deity, but instead will address the invocation to the councilors themselves.
He says several groups for years have attempted to get the council to halt sectarian prayers. Failing that, Nerren says councilors have agreed to allow an invocation from his non-theist group.
In the midst of this drought, a flood control project is dedicated in memory of a former Tulsa City Councilor. Today, the mayor and other city officials honored the late Dennis Troyer at a large stormwater detention facility in the 6th District. His widow, Nancy, was on hand for the ceremony. She says he would be very proud of this gesture from the city he loved.