The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

1 September 2005

Vision, schmision

There is rivalry, and there is utter silliness. Tulsa Mayor LaFortune, speaking at the groundbreaking of T-town's new downtown sports arena, flirted with the line of demarcation, and then flopped right over it:

[Voters who supported Vision 2025] recognized that Tulsa had to build, invest, invest in our infrastructure, to remain competitive with similar cities. They recognized, those citizens who voted yes, that Tulsa had to build to provide facilities that would serve as the foundation for Tulsa's future economic growth. Those citizens, with their foresight, recognized that Tulsa had to build facilities and amenities that would serve us for decades to come. For us, but most importantly as I said — and we should never tire of this theme — for our kids and our grandkids, those same citizens rejected the negativism of some, those same individuals who were content with the status quo, content to go by decade after decade with no major public facility improvement, all the while watching almost every other comparable city, including Oklahoma City, move past us, leaving us in their construction dust.

But today I say to you: No more! No more to Oklahoma City, no more to Des Moines, no more to Omaha! Tulsa is alive and well!

Michael Bates calls this dementia exactly what it is:

"Fie upon you, Des Moines and Omaha, and fie, fie upon you, Oklahoma City! Your vaunted convention centers will be brought low and shall be no more! Not one stone will remain standing upon another. Your downtowns will run with blood! We will loot your concert tour dates, kill your men, enslave your women and children, and sow your fields with salt. My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings! Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"

Look back over that quote. What a paltry vision: Remain competitive with similar cities by building an arena. Nothing about developing our workforce, encouraging risk-takers to start new businesses, accommodating the needs of the elderly and disabled, rethinking our approach to urban design. Nothing about becoming a great city, just making sure Cher has a place to perform when she brings her Frankensteinish carcass to town.

Believe me, with Bill LaFortune running the show in Tulsa, Oklahoma City doesn't have a thing in the world to worry about — except maybe Des Moines.

Posted at 7:36 AM to Soonerland

TrackBack: 11:24 PM, 6 September 2005
» Arena: An ungracious beginning from BatesLine
UPDATE 9/6/2005: Bobby has reorganized and purged Tulsa Topics, so with his permission, I've taken his audio of the speech, reduced the fidelity to radio quality to get the size down, and uploaded it here (4 MB MP3). And don't miss the commentary on th......[read more]