River Opponents React To New Incentives
With the river tax vote two weeks away supporters are now courting the north side of Tulsa, where some community leaders have blasted the plan for neglecting black Tulsans. On Wednesday, Mayor Kathy Taylor held out a carrot worth millions of dollars for a yes vote. News On 6 anchor Latoya Silmon reports on the reaction to the promise of pools and playgrounds on the north side.
Many North Tulsa residents vowed to vote no, but river tax supporters are moving north to change their minds.
"I'm not surprised because divide and conquer has always been one thing used in the north side of Tulsa," said Dr. Warren Blakney, Minister of the North Peoria Church of Christ. "If you can divide the vote than perhaps you can get what you need."
The city says Tulsa needs a developed river, so to help make that happen Mayor Kathy Taylor says she's sweetening the deal. She wants to dedicate $5 million of the river development money to parks and recreation.
"A significant number of those parks that were ID'd are in the North Tulsa community," Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor said during a press conference Wednesday.
It's a promise City Councilman Jack Henderson doesn't take much stock in.
"To me, that's broken promises, because those promises have been made before," City Councilman Jack Henderson said. "How long will we sit back and just keep listening to the same thing."
Dr. Warren Blakney with the North Peoria Church of Christ agrees.
"I applaud the mayor for doing something that's positive about North Tulsa, however I think jobs are essential," Dr. Blakney said.
Dr. Blakney says unless more economic development is part of the mayor's plan he will still encourage north Tulsans to vote against the tax.
"We still have an empty spot down there for a grocery store. A lot of schools that are in trouble. We need businesses and we need jobs for North Tulsa more than anything else because that answers a lot of our problems," said Blakney.
The mayor has until October 9th to change his and other's minds.
"There's still time enough to salvage the vote in North Tulsa, but it's going to have to be more than that," Dr. Warren Blakney said.
City Councilor Jack Henderson and Dr. Blakney say they want the mayor to put her plans for the north side in writing before they can seriously consider them.