Stillwater News Press

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March 22, 2013

Transcript of Stillwater Chamber of Commerce's City Council forum Friday

(Continued)

STILLWATER, Okla. — Weaver: "Stillwater is really in a unique position right now. We are seeing growth. Things are going well. We've made a number of decisions recently. I just hope this year that we have some exciting announcements to make as a city like we had last year. And you bet we worked hard. Sen. Halligan, Cory (Williams), everyone at City Hall and the public schools; everybody was all over trying to get ASCO to come to Stillwater and we were successful. What a huge hit that was. Bringing jobs to town and improving our economic base and that's really what it's about for me. If we get the community to grow in a measured way, in a thoughtful way, that adds things to the community, then we're going to be in a better position. So, I'm certainly open to listening to what kind of package we might put together to attract an ASCO or any other business, whether it be retail or industry or whatever. But, the criteria I think we need to consider is what does it bring to us? Is it filling a niche that we don't have? Is it going to provide quality jobs? Is it going to help the community grow? Is it something that the citizens are telling us they want? If you can check those boxes, then I think it is incumbent upon us to try to work with companies that come to us. Now, I said Stillwater is my favorite place to be, but sometimes we have to convince corporate execs that don't live in Stillwater or even Oklahoma that this is a great place to be and they can be successful here, too. So, sometimes, we are seeing a trend nationally that cities do have to provide some incentive to attract some things to come to their town. We're in a competition; we are. We don't want to blindly throw things out there just to see...throw things out there to see what sticks. We want to be thoughtful about it. We want to listen to the community. And if it brings quality jobs and it fills a niche, then we should at least consider it and be open to the discussion."

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