"Rose District" recommended as nickname for downtown Broken Arrow
BY ZACK STOYCOFF World Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
10/10/12 at 8:47 AM
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BROKEN ARROW - If Broken Arrow's downtown gets a nickname, it likely will be the Rose District.
The city's Downtown Advisory Board voted 6-1 Tuesday to recommend that name to the City Council, reversing a previous decision to let councilors decide between it and the Old Town District as a second option.
The council expects to vote at its Oct. 16 meeting, said Councilor Jill Norman, who is a member of the advisory board.
Norman said she asked the board to reconsider its previous decision because she thought choosing one name would give board members more control.
City officials envision the mile- long stretch of Main Street as an arts and entertainment district.
The name would be used for marketing purposes and would appear on downtown signs and in city publications, officials have said. Main Street would not be renamed.
"I think it's time to move forward," board member Ernest Redwine said. "Either one of (the names) could be a good marketing tool for downtown."
Board member Michelle Bergwall said she has not always favored the Rose District name but voted for it because the majority of the board chose it after extensive discussions.
"I can agree with the majority of the committee," she said.
Mike Barron, who cast the lone dissenting vote, said he believed that the board initially supported the name Old Town District over the Rose District.
He pointed to an informal survey of board members at a Sept. 11 meeting, where that name collected more informal votes than other finalists, including the Depot District, Elam District and Red Brick District.
Board members decided at that meeting to recommend their top two choices because they feared that the City Council would reject their first choice.
However, the Old Town District was not necessarily the favorite because the survey counted board members' first, second and third choices, board member Greg Graham said.
"If those votes had been weighted, ... Old Town would not have won," he said.
The Rose District refers to the city's first half-century, when it promoted itself as "the city of roses and sparkling spring water."
Officials have said various groups are trying to revive that image.
The Keep Broken Arrow Beautiful Committee has led that effort and has offered to plant rose bushes downtown and elsewhere around the city if the Rose District name is adopted, Norman said.
The city is amid a downtown-revitalization effort that began in 2005.
The Downtown Advisory Board was created to oversee the effort and make recommendations to the City Council.
Original Print Headline: BA may be coming up roses
Zack Stoycoff 918-581-8486