Vision2 proponents push jobs aspect of proposal
BY WAYNE GREENE World Senior Writer
Friday, November 02, 2012
11/02/12 at 4:53 AM
Read more about the proposal and the status of Vision 2025 projects.
Without going into the details of the Vision2 proposal, two of the campaign's leading voices boiled the issue down to one word Thursday - jobs.
The entire two-part, $748.8 million proposal going before Tulsa County voters is about getting new jobs for the area and supporting the jobs that are already here, Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett and Tulsa County Commissioner John Smaligo said at a luncheon speech to supporters at the Tulsa Press Club.
Tulsa airport industrial complex manufacturers supported by Vision2's economic development package have some 15,000 employees and support another 10,000 jobs in the Tulsa-area economy, Bartlett said.
"That's 25,000 families," Bartlett said. "Those families contribute a huge amount to this community."
American Airlines - whose city-owned facility is targeted for the lion's share of the economic development funding - represents more than $500 million a year in payroll, he said.
"You can always hear the naysayers," Bartlett said. "We're looking at the positive. What can we do to make sure those 25,000 jobs are supported by our community?"
The loss of the airport's aerospace complex would be economically and socially devastating to the city, and at least some of those jobs seem sure to be taken from the community if Vision2 fails, Bartlett said.
"Twenty-five thousand families - that's the decision we get to make," Bartlett said.
Smaligo made brief remarks on the second half of the Vision2 package, the so-called quality-of-life portion, which includes money designated for low-water dams along the Arkansas River, an extension of the Gilcrease Expressway, and improvements to the Tulsa Zoo and libraries.
Those investments are just as much about jobs as the economic development package is, he said.
If employers and potential employers look at the community and see no vitality - no opportunities for fun - they will take their jobs elsewhere, he said.
"We have to keep our investment going into our community," Smaligo said.
Bartlett and Smaligo urged supporters to maintain their efforts through Tuesday's vote.
"We are in the home stretch," Bartlett said. "Next Tuesday is the big day."
Original Print Headline: Vision2 proponents push jobs aspect of proposal
Wayne Greene 918-581-8308
Mayor Dewey Bartlett (left) and County Commissioner John Smaligo: Both men urged support of the Vision2 propositions on the ballot for creating and supporting jobs in Tulsa