Editors Note: In his own words, Tulsa City Councilor Rick Westcott (Dist. 2) speaks of his three terms in office and why he will not run again.
I am announcing, today, that I am not seeking reelection to the Tulsa City Council. Serving the citizens of District 2 for the past three terms has a great honor and privilege. I’m grateful for the strong support that I’ve received from a lot of people over the years. But, I am most grateful for the unfailing support that I have received from my son, Brandon and my daughter-in-law Bekah, and my wife, Tammy. Some people may not understand the important role that a strong family plays in public service. I’ve been blessed to have them by my side. But, I believe that it’s time for me to devote more of my attention to my family and my law practice.
Over the past five years, with a lot of help from a lot of people, we’ve accomplished a great deal in District 2.
We’ve seen some major street reconstruction and rehabilitation all over District 2, from Southwest Boulevard to the Tulsa Hills area to South Lewis. We’ve just seen the completion of Tulsa’s first non-emergency twenty-four hour construction project at 71st & S. Union Ave. The South Lewis street project, from 61st to 73rd streets, which had been planned for years, finally began construction a few months ago and will be completed this year.
We’ve seen organized, responsible, quality development, both residential and commercial, in Tulsa Hills and the surrounding area. Several projects have already been built and several have been approved and will soon start construction. Commercial development means new jobs, not just for those who live in District 2 but for all Tulsans. Residential development means that new residents, new families are moving into the area.
The strength of our police force is on its way back to where it should be. After our financial troubles of the past year, one of the biggest rookie classes in years in currently training at our police academy. We aren’t yet where we need to be, but we’re making progress.
With your help, we were able to help secure the approval of House Bill 1686, which is a major step towards extending passenger rail service from Oklahoma City to Tulsa. My grandson, Noah, and I attended Governor Fallin’s ceremonial signing of that bill yesterday.
With a broad-based response from residents of District 2, we were able to persuade Mayor Taylor to retain ownership of our golf courses and hire Billy Casper Golf to manage them for us. That has proved to be a great success.
We were able to help Red Fork Main Street secure its accreditation and funding for the first three years. It is now a strong, viable group of business owners who are successfully working to revitalize the economy along Route 66 and are creating new jobs while restoring the historic architecture of the area.
With the help of numerous Southwest Tulsans, Councilor Bynum and Mayor Bartlett, we recently issued a Request for Proposals for the development of the west bank of the Arkansas River, a project that has been discussed for years.
I have met so many people in District 2 over the past five years, people whom I didn’t know before but who have now become good friends. I am confident that those people, those hard-working neighbors who volunteer their time for so many activities, will continue the successes and the progress that we have seen.
I am announcing, now, that I am not running for reelection so that, perhaps, one or more of those hard-working neighbors may consider stepping up and running for City Council. I will continue to work, as a private citizen, to help make District 2, all of Tulsa and all of Oklahoma a better place to live. And to the next Councilor from District 2, I will offer to you whatever support I can to ensure we keep moving forward.