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OKLAHOMA CITY — In another six-plus hour virtual meeting of the City Council on Tuesday, a contract for School Resource Officers was passed, and took action on finishing touches for the MAPS 3 Convention Center.

A small portion of unincorporated Cleveland County was annexed by the Council, and other business was heard.

How the sausage gets made

Government according to columnist Marty Peercy

School Security

In a six to three vote, the Council approved a contract for the Oklahoma City Police Department to provide security at schools using School Resource Officers (SROs) at a daily rate to earn an estimated $2 million in revenue. The revenue is calculated using the daily rate that the City will charge Oklahoma City Public Schools for officers, once school resumes in person.

Councilors James Cooper (Ward 2), JoBeth Hamon (Ward 6), and Nikki Nice (Ward 7), each voted “no” on the contract citing misgivings about resource allocation and student trauma. After much conversation, Cooper moved to defer the item to foster more conversation, but his motion failed.

There are 18 officers who serve as SROs with two supervising lieutenants. Each middle school and high school in OKCPS has an SRO.

Convention Center

The Council approved change orders for $4 million worth of projects around the MAPS 3 Convention Center that had already been put into the budget for that project.

The money will be used for streetscaping, including the construction of large shading devices to line the street between the Convention Center and the new hotel.

The total budget for the convention center is $181.3 million.

Annexation

The Council had a long conversation on the topic of urban density about annexing eight acres of unincorporated Cleveland County.

A developer owns the property and is developing over 50 acres of residential community on the site. The annexation brings the entire property into the City and it’s zoning requirements.

The property abuts the town of Norman and is south of Moore. That’s Oklahoma City now.

Charter Updates

A slate of updates to the city charter were suggested to be brought to the people in a vote.

Most of the changes surround the election of the mayor and city council. Under these changes, the city-wide election in February will be called the “General” and the following election–if necessary–in April will be called the “Runoff” Election. Another related change is to extend the time between election and assuming office to four weeks after the date of the Runoff Election.

More changes refer to qualifications for office. Under the suggested changes, a candidate must be a registered voter in the city for one year before filing a declaration of candidacy. That registration must be within the Ward if the candidacy is for City Council.

A final notable suggested amendment to the charter would replace “Councilman” with “Councilmember” or “Councilor.”

These amendments will be heard another time before the Council and, if adopted, will go to a vote of the people on November 3, 2020.

The next meeting of the City Council will be on August 18 at 8:30 a.m.


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