Hundreds expected at Tulsa mayor's Vision Summit

Sunday, July 7th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ This week begins the planning of Tulsa's future, Mayor Bill LaFortune said.

LaFortune will keep a campaign promise by holding a ``vision summit'' in his first 100 days in office. It is scheduled to begin Tuesday -- his 100th day -- at the Tulsa Convention Center. Anyone can attend for a $25 cost that includes lunch.

``This event has generated a lot of excitement. I have already received a dozen specific ideas and plans from the community,'' LaFortune said.

He said the summit will focus on listening to national experts directly involved in urban revitalization and gathering ideas from the community.

Rodger Randle, a former Tulsa mayor and University of Oklahoma professor of studies in democracy and culture, is the summit coordinator.

``We won't be dealing with specific projects. That's not where we need to begin,'' Randle said. ``We need to begin first by raising our own horizons of what is possible _ getting a new sense of initiative about being in charge of our own future.''

LaFortune said he foresees a city-county, public-private initiative that includes a downtown revitalization aspect.

``Time is of the essence,'' he said. ``When you look at other cities and are continuously reminded of the Oklahoma City example, you see that they are passing us by.''

LaFortune said he also wants to come up with projects that will keep Tulsa's brightest and best residents from leaving town.

Both Randle and LaFortune believe the city's success is important to the success of eastern Oklahoma.

``A lot of people live in the smaller cities but work in Tulsa and understand the need for Tulsa to be successful and provide exciting recreational and entertainment opportunities,'' LaFortune said.

LaFortune said a written report will be produced from the summit. Randle said the report will lead to specific goals.