OKC Civic Life Journal: 'Citizens' sparks a debateby William Crum
The Oklahoma City Council rebuffed an effort to excise the word 'citizens' from the name of the MAPS 4 Citizens Advisory Board, so named in the ordinance voters approved Dec. 10 enacting the 1-cent MAPS 4 sales tax.
Mild weather contributed as the zoo set an attendance record the weekend before our early February snowstorm. And votes on the parks initiative already are coming in as the March 3 election date approaches.
That and more in this week's OKC Civic Life Journal.
• Is Mayor David Holt's "oneOKC" more than a slogan? How invested will the Latino community be in MAPS 4? Ward 6 Councilwoman JoBeth Hamon's contention that "citizens" is an exclusionary term deflected attention from creation of the volunteer advisory structure to govern MAPS 4. Bill Logan of Norman commented in a letter to the editor.
• Neighbors protest a landowner’s plans to grow marijuana on his property in far west Oklahoma City; the city council votes 5-4 to rezone the tract for agriculture.
• By early afternoon Feb. 14, the Oklahoma County Election Board had received 1,869 absentee ballots for the March 3 election. The ballot for Oklahoma City voters includes a citizens' initiative proposing a one-eighth cent sales tax dedicated to parks. Election questions and answers are here. And why, as voters decide on the initiative, is the Parks and Recreation Department looking at cutting two vacant positions and making other reductions to its general fund budget? Hint: it's the economy.
• A $625,000 upgrade is on tap to replace the Bricktown Canal lighting system implicated in a fatal accident. Waist-high bollards installed near the water's edge will be replaced by safer, pole-mounted lights. A bollard broke off at the base in the September 2018 accident. The city council votes Feb. 18 on the lighting upgrade contract with Wynn Construction Co.
• A councilman and an attorney who formerly served as a special municipal judge are co-chairs of a seven-member committee to review the Oklahoma City charter and recommend amendments.
• Slowdown in store for Oklahoma City? Details of the latest economic forecast are here.
• For the most up to date civic news, find the OKC Civic Life column Mondays in The Oklahoman, take out a digital subscription to oklahoman.com. The latest columns are here and here.