Opposition Emerges To Tulsa Vision 2 Project

Monday, September 3rd 2012, 6:02 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Opposition emerges to the Vision 2 package. The project would be funded by a $ 750 million sales tax extension.

8/31/2012 Related Story: City Leaders Hold Second Public Forum On Vision2

The majority of the money would pay for improvements to the industrial park at the airport. And the rest would fund unidentified "Quality of Life" projects across Tulsa County.

The opposition complains it's wrong to prop up one industry with tax money; and that "Quality of Life" projects could be the focus of the whole thing.

Bill Leighty is a realtor, member of the planning commission, and longtime community volunteer. He says it's extraordinary for him to oppose Vision 2.

"I hate to be against anything that's going to better my town, but this thing just has too many holes in it," Leighty said.

Leighty says that Vision 2 is flawed because the spending would largely support the aviation industry with no guaranteed return; when instead, it could focus on what citizens want, as expressed through "PlanITulsa" and the comprehensive plan.

"We don't have any history on this Vision 2 proposal. It's just quickly being put together and it's reactionary. It doesn't serve a long term strategy of where we need to invest our money, our precious tax dollars," Leighty said.

Some Tulsa County Republicans feel the same way. The party's leadership opposes Vision 2.

"This was thrown upon us by the powers that be in the County," Rep. Mike Ritze said.

Representative Mike Ritze is asking for an Attorney General's opinion on the legalities of extending a tax that far in the future, while the grassroots organization "Tulsa Now"opposes Vision 2, and is also suggesting it focus on improvements to infrastructure that everyone can us.

Leighty says Vision 2 should be more like Oklahoma City's MAPS projects .

"They invested in arenas, their libraries and their transportation system and schools. That's where we should be investing our money. We will get people to move to Tulsa if we invest our money in things that improve the quality of life for all Tulsans," Leighty said.

The list of projects for the airport has been carefully developed over the last year. The list for quality of life projects is undefined and will come out public meetings scheduled in the next few weeks.

The next one for the City of Tulsa is Wednesday at noon on the OU - Tulsa campus.

Supporters of Vision 2

Opponents of Vision 2