Analysis: It is ironic that America overwhelmingly voted populist in 2016, but for Mayor the City of Tulsa went elitist in the election of G. T. Bynum. Of course, the daily rag and other leftist attempts at journalism hail the result, but during the campaign, Bynum (Republican) became angry at any suggestion that former-mayor Democrat operative/money bags Kathy Taylor supported his campaign. Whatever, Kathy Taylor is now Chief of Economic Development for the City of Tulsa. Surprise. Bynum lied straight up.
Yes Taylor, the one that drove Tulsa near bankruptcy. The pushy memo writing attorney that left us a city hall we couldn’t afford and promised to sell unused city property that never sold. You know – the DemoRAT tool of big money and union bosses, Kathy Taylor, Tulsa’s mayor from 2006 through 2009.
What is funny is that even an aggressive rewriting of history shows Tulsa headed for more trouble. Take the recent blog “Frontier” (Bobby Lorton’s folly first a pay-site and now a non-profit site likely to fold next year) story by Kevin Canfield.
Any doubt Taylor runs the place is disproven as she got her old office back (without the nameplate of Mayor on the door of course), but the critical economic development issue of greatest concern to Tulsans is a focus on the development of more retail space in the city.
Canfield writes, “Taylor, 61, said the city will continue to pursue ‘new to market’ retail establishments, but that the focus will be on creating an easy and reliable environment for local developers to do their work.
“’Developers are really the ones that attract retail, they are the ones that have the spaces, and we’re not in the business of retail development,’ she said. ‘We certainly want to have a presence, be supportive of developers and make sure that they know Tulsa is a good place to put retail.’
“In keeping with Mayor Bynum’s approach to problem solving, Taylor plans to reach out to organizations and entities to partner with City Hall to help solve problems and spur development.'”
In plain speak:
- Wealthy powerful developers favored by Taylor/Bynum will receive help in long term profit for building retail space. (LoopNet.com shows 135 retail spaces available for lease in Tulsa at this posting.)
- Retail mostly provides lower-wage employment. This does not benefit educated, skilled or professionally experienced Tulsa workers.
- “New to market” retail often competes with locally owned retail thus more small businesses in Tulsa will likely close as big box retail expands.
- Retail sales tax, however, is Oklahoma’s primary way to fund municipal government so the more retail sales tax generated, the more money local government can spend. Thus, government prospers as people are imperiled.
In the spirit of full disclosure, this writer is not known as a fan of former-mayor Kathy Taylor. While I find her and her family both intelligent and charming when they want to be, her personal ambitions are unlimited and I believe a danger to the community.
I appreciate that Mayor Kathy Taylor identified me publicly as an “equal opportunity aggravator.” I accept that title. In one face-to-face conversation during her first term I remarked that I did not expect a Republican to run against her if she filed for a second term. Taylor asked why and I answered, “Tulsa has never had a mayor from a three jet family before – who would want to run against that?” As history unfolded, Taylor did not run for a second term immediately after her first.
Taylor did later run again for mayor against incumbent Republican Dewey Bartlett and lost. During that race, this writer crafted an analysis that won a national award for Bartlett’s campaign consultant as the “best earned media” during that election cycle. The 2013 story may be found by clicking here for “Totalitarian Taylor stalks Bartlett.”
Tulsans can hope for success from G.T. Bynum and Kathy Taylor, but all should carefully monitor results. Some local economists suggest the pair focus on manufacturing, corporate headquarters, distribution centers or other development that could provide higher paying employment than that offered in retail establishments.
Many local Republicans note that if they had wanted Taylor in the mayor’s office they would have voted for her when she ran and for Bynum to appoint her after his race suggests a disturbingly low level of character in his elite entitled approach.
In answer to email: additional retail does not equate to economic development as more places to spend money does not mean more money will be spent. The Bynum/Taylor target of “new to market retail” is just competition for existing retail. This approach is disingenuous and unlikely to improve the regional or city economy.
If they really wanted to create jobs, they would solicit manufacturing, processing and distribution companies currently being driven out of California by high taxes and inane regulation.