Enviable place to be

The Oklahoman Editorial Modified: January 23, 2009 at 4:07 am •  Published: January 23, 2009
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Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett gave his 2009 State of the City address on Jan. 15. Below are excerpts from the speech:

Let’s think back to the 1980s: Things in the local banking industry weren’t so good. In Oklahoma, over 100 banks closed their doors. There was no massive federal bailout for us. In this current economic crisis, banks have failed around the world. But the number of failed banks in Oklahoma City as a result of this crisis is zero. The number of failed banks in the state of Oklahoma as a result of this crisis is zero.

Now, with the rest of the world dealing with such severe economic issues, it is only fair for us to acknowledge that our envious position should be valued and protected. And at City Hall we are asking those in charge of our city government’s finances to maintain the same conservative principles that got us here. But these repercussions are being felt at city halls around the nation.

This month, there are dozens of mayors standing in front of assemblies much like this one, explaining to their constituents why they must cut back on services or raise taxes. Fortunately, I am not giving that speech today. So, the question before us is this: In a Golden Age for our city, while our economy is more than holding its own, while most of the rest of the country, in both the public and private sectors, is dealing with massive debt and in many cases bankruptcy, what do we do?

As I said, other cities will cut back or raise taxes. They are, in many cases, going to close parks and stop investing in their infrastructure. Their progressive ideas about public transit and green initiatives will drop down the priority list.