Jay Cronley: To be like OKC, Tulsa must clone Durant
BY JAY CRONLEY World Staff Columnist
Sunday, September 09, 2012
9/09/12 at 5:10 AM
You might have been led to believe that what this city needs is hidden under a rock and tons of sand in the Arkansas River.
But it's obvious what this city and others like it need: leadership.
But not any old City Government 101 leadership; cities need creative leadership.
In the absence of original leadership that has the skill set to adapt to change and problems unique to an area, what you wind up with is panic. And so in that regard, certain city officials and run-of-the-mill show-business people have come to have this in common: copying.
If you can't think of something original, do what somebody else did that made a lot of money. It's why there are so many lousy remakes and sequels.
Does copying a city beat doing nothing at the moment?
Reality check: According to the latest reports, some of our strategy for the future of this area could come from copying Oklahoma City.
This week, we had some OKC civic leaders up for coffee and groveling. All of a sudden, OKC is our "sister city." To them, we're probably a "little cousin."
When you copy a movie that made some cash, it takes about two years to get the product out.
Copying a city takes a l-o-n-g time and a lot of money.
Here's what has made OKC what some of our leaders have come to envy as a "destination" city.
1. It is the state capital.
It's pretty hard to mess up being the center of government. Jobs are automatic. If there is a way to copy being blessed with politicians on expense accounts, please call some city hotline.
Only universities remotely rival state capitals as gold mines.
2. It has a heartbreaking and stunningly gorgeous bomb memorial.
Millions have visited this site; millions more will.
3. It has Kevin Durant.
Star power: True, the MAPS project helped to rebuild downtown Oklahoma City.
But private enterprise got the NBA team from Seattle, with a great community support system.
An NBA city can become pretty average overnight without a mega-star - take Memphis and Sacramento.
Losers draw flies.
A high ankle sprain to Durant could shape Oklahoma City's future more than any civic genius.
Getting back to trying to mimic success stories - by the time you get around to copying somebody, it's usually too late.
Original Print Headline: To be like OKC, Tulsa must clone Durant