Thoughts from the Porch – Post #1

April 25, 2018

BACKGROUND: As I go through life, I try to grow in my self-awareness. It’s good to be honest about our strengths, weaknesses, motives and character qualities (good and bad). On the strength side, I’m a visionary who can take a concept and develop it into a reality. I love the challenge of taking a complex, long-term undertaking like Carlton Landing and boiling it down to sequential action steps so that it the vision can realized. When I’m honest about my weaknesses, I admit that I don’t communicate as effectively or as consistently as I’d like. I can get distracted with the details – lost in the weeds – and allow the workload to cause me to pull back and withdraw. Sometimes, my lack of communication leaves people in the dark in a way that fails to appreciate, weakens community, and reduces the level of involvement and ownership from others. I realize that and I am sorry. If you feel left out, and you attribute any of that feeling to my actions or inactions, then I’m sorry that I haven’t done more to keep you informed, to give you opportunities to become more engaged, to grow your commitment within Carlton Landing, and to know the truth that you are deeply appreciated. I want to be more intentional about proactive communication so that we grow more and more knit together as a community working towards the realization of a shared vision. I hope that having the discipline to communicate through “Thoughts from the Porch” will hold me accountable to do just that. INTENT: I named this post “Thoughts from the Porch” because I want you all to feel welcomed to our front porch on Park Street and Boulevard. If you were ever to see me sitting up there and just “popped in” as folks are prone to do, we’d probably talk about the weather and the latest Thunder game. If you wanted to talk about what’s happening in Carlton Landing, I’d give an update on long-term initiatives that are in the works and see what’s new for the community. If you stayed on my porch long enough, hopefully we’d get into a good discussion about more philosophical ideas of life, family, community, urbanism, governance, and culture – probably over a bottle of wine or some great food from Jen’s kitchen. I want these posts to help cover some of those issues. Often, these ideas are formed by or related to principles that guide our opinions and decision-making process as we seek to understand how to define and to pursue a life well-lived. When applied to a community of people who are willing to work through this together, these principles collectively can construct a shared values system which I’ll refer to as the “Carlton Landing Ethos”. Some of our principles are tied to universal human condition and therefore enjoy widespread acceptance and agreement. Other principles might not be so self-evident and require a process for dialogue in search of the best direction. In a community like Carlton Landing, though we enjoy a strong agreement on the core values of family, creation, and simplicity, I’m sure that there are times that we have differing opinions on the principles that direct the way we approach community, urbanism, culture, and governance. I think those differing opinions need to be invited and considered, not silenced and ignored. But the process for working through differing opinions needs to be done with honesty, transparency, respect, and civility. This past Sunday, as I drove home from the Tulsa Airport, I listened to a podcast from “Freakonomics Radio” with an interview of Ray Dalio (CEO of Bridgewater Associates, a hedge fund responsible for $160B in assets.) You can listen to it HERE. I like Ray and appreciate his approach to formulating his opinion on matters, both micro and macro. In the interview, Dalio contrasts the culture of most places – which seek to simply avoid disagreement which results in a lack of transparency – with a more evolved culture which appreciates disagreement because it provides an opportunity for civil discourse where we can see different viewpoints as an opportunity to listen and consider, to try to understand a different perspective, and to grow into a more enlightened version of ourselves through the process. This might seem more abstract or philosophical than you’d expect from a real estate developer but I believe the way we approach community, urbanism, culture, and governance is results from deeper motives and values that need to be uncovered, processed, considered, and at times debated. I hope these “Thoughts from the Porch” can serve as a platform for a dialogue where we can stay informed and feel connected. Over time, I hope you feel informed, enlightened, challenged, and appreciated. Having said that, here are some thoughts from the porch: Town Closes TIF Revenue Bond Offering. This past Saturday, the Carlton Landing Economic Development Trust (“CLEDT”) approved the selling of $1.6 million in Revenue Bonds. The payments related to these bonds will be covered by the tax increment coming from the Carlton Landing Tax Increment Financing (“TIF”) District. The bond investor is MidFirst Bank and we appreciate them recognizing the long-term value and credit worthiness of Carlton Landing. The $1.6 million in funding will be used for public infrastructure under the terms of the Carlton Landing Project Plan which was approved in April of 2015. If you’d like to see an overview on TIF – what it is, how it works, etc., just click HERE. Town Approves TIF Project Funding. Following the sale of the revenue bonds, the Town Trustees approved a slate of projects listed below. We will be putting together some online project summaries for each of these projects so you can know the project location, budget, and plans/design concept. The approved projects include: Alley Beautification. Around the neighborhood, we’ll be paving and landscaping the alley common area to enhance the community environment, control erosion, and reduce the amount of dust floating around. This project has been needed and desired for some time but was delayed until home construction on a given alley were 90% complete and a funding source (turns out to be TIF) was realized). Thank you for your patience! A New Playground. Located in the Carlton Landing Nature Center between Pavilion Park and the lakefront and in partnership with Carlton Landing Academy and the Developer, the Town will construct an amazing, fun, and adventure-centric playground. Academy Facilities. This past January, the Town made a long-term commitment to Carlton Landing Academy Charter School A New Park and Plaza for the Town Hall. Just north of Boulevard Pool will be the home of the Town Hall for Carlton Landing. The Town Hall will be the civic venue for meetings, meals, speakers, debate, and local governance. This will be an exciting project that comes into view in the near future. Lord willing, we’ll set the table for it in 2018 and realize the Town Hall in 2019. Public Infrastructure. lot development infrastructure related to new homesites which grow tax base Marina Center. infrastructure related to the upcoming Marina Center. This includes clearing the area of the future sports fields, improving the Water Street connection to the Marina Center site, and relocating the existing dock access walkway so that it’s located in a permanent location for courtesy docks for the Town Center. CLOSING: I hope you all have a great rest of the week. I’m looking forward to seeing you all for the Association Meeting and Cinco de Mayo weekend. All the best! Thanks, Grant[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]]]>


Featured Posts

More Posts

Carlton Landing