Tulsa World Candidate Questionnaire

Roscoe H. Turner

Office sought: City Council District 3

Political affiliation: Democrat

Age: 77

Occupation: Retired City of Tulsa employee

Marital status: Married, seven grown children

Civic organizations: Downtown Kiwanis

Resided in district: Lifetime

Previous political races: City Council 1998-2002, 2004-2008, won.

Education: Booker T. Washington HS, 1949

How do you think the city should finance the estimated $1.6 billion in street improvements necessary to bring them to an average grade?

While it might be popular to believe we can make street improvements in our city without raising taxes, the truth is that we would only pull funding away from other services to support street improvements, thereby leaving a gap in funding other needed city services. I would like to see a return to paving districts. Each neighborhood could vote itself a paving district and work with Public Works to determine the costs for the streets they want repaired in their community. With this method we would use tax dollars to finance the street improvements while allowing taxpayers to recoup with deductions on their income taxes.

What do you think the city should do to further development along the Arkansas River and how should it be funded?

Any development along the Arkansas River should consider the diverse wildlife seen along the banks, atop the trees and in the water. We always want to develop without considering the consequences of change not just upon wildlife, but upon human life as well. I would enjoy dinner at a restaurant overlooking the beauty of the river but not at the expense of the fox, the bald eagle or the many other wildlife species that make the Arkansas River their home. As for funding, I believe an increase in the entertainment tax provides a user-based method for funding such development.

Would you support/not support public financial assistance to further downtown commercial development that could include a baseball stadium for the Drillers team? Please explain your position.

I would agree with public financial support to further downtown commercial development in the form of an entertainment tax. While many basic needs and services remain in my city council district I cannot support a method of funding which taxes those who are not able to afford to utilize many of the facilities that are planned for downtown commercial development. Again, this provides a user-based method for funding such development.

What would be three goals you would like to accomplish if you are elected?

I would like to see our city find alternative ways to fund city services. The city has a lot of land that could be used for harnessing wind energy potentially saving the city thousands of dollars in energy expenses while also creating revenue from the sale of said energy and improving our environment. I would like to see a restoration of services in the north community aimed at bringing back the middle class. Countries like Japan and China have growing economies because they have a growing middle class while the United States has a shrinking middle class and so goes our economy. This would not only include a grocery store but also more funding for public parks/recreation centers and community policing efforts.

What do you see as personal strengths that you would bring to the position?

The many years I worked as a city employee provide me with an insight into the operations of our city that is unmatched by any other current councilor. I also have the courage to stand up and ask tough questions and stand firm until I'm satisfied that I have been given accurate and complete information on many of the important matters and concerns in our city.