Vision 2

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Tulsa County Commissioners approve a resolution affirming results of the April 5th Vision sales tax extension election. Even though approved by 64% of voters, the validity of the election was called into question because not all legal notices required had been published. Assistant District Attorney Doug Wilson has researched the law, and says the county is in substantial compliance.

The county portion of Vision is expected to raise $75-million over 15 years. The city of Tulsa and other municipal votes were not in question.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we are talking about the Vision program, which was recently approved by the Tulsa City Council in unanimous vote, and which is now slated to appear on the April 5th ballot. Our guests are City Councilors Karen Gilbert (of District 5) and G.T. Bynum (of District 9), who both describe the Vision program in detail why also explaining why they think it's vitally important for voters to approve this program.

The proposals for the City of Tulsa's Vision sales-tax extension are all now in, and those proposals are many and varied. Some are, indeed, visionary; others seem fanciful. Some are familiar; others seem quite novel. All of the proposals -- there were more than 130 in total -- address perceived needs of one kind or another in our community, and taken together, they tally more than $2 billion in spending. Now comes the difficult task of narrowing down the numerous needs, goals, and desires in these proposals to a coherent set of projects that will be put before voters in April of next year.

Our guest today on ST is Bill Leighty, executive director of the Smart Growth Tulsa Coalition, which was founded in 2014 as an organization "committed to creating healthy communities that work for everyone with strong schools, shops, and local businesses, improved mobility options, and jobs that pay well." A longtime Tulsa-based realtor and businessman who's been consistently active in community and professional development, and who has served on the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission as well as the city's Transpor


One Tulsa County official favors hiking rents and seeking commitments from airport tenants if they receive Vision 2 funds. Commissioner Fred Perry says he wants to have facilities to keep and attract companies, but if Vision improvements contribute to profitability, it’s fair to expect some return from businesses that benefit. He says that would include re-negotiating rents and seeking commitments to stay in Tulsa.

Proposition 1 of the Vision 2 plan would provide millions for airport building and infrastructure improvements.

Tulsa City Councilors are putting together a list of Vision 2 projects to be funded…should the measure pass in November. Council Chair G.T. Bynum says they’re asking for advice how to make the list as binding as possible. Since Vision 2 would tie up funding for 17 years, he wants to make sure commitments made now are honored by future elected officials.

He says there is concern future councils or mayors could ‘tinker’ with the list and make changes not wanted by voters.


Tulsa County leaders okay placing Vision 2 on a November 6th ballot.

After a public hearing at the courthouse, County Commissioners unanimously approve sending the Vision 2 tax extension to a vote in November. A dozen people spoke at the meeting, no one in opposition, although some changes were requested. The biggest chunk of the money requested by the county would go to replacing the Juvenile Justice Center. Chief judge Doris Fransein says the current facility just isn’t adequate. Money would also go for roads and bridges, Expo Square, parks, and river levees.