The City Council of Oklahoma City came together Tuesday to hear a whole lot of boring presentations and to vote on very few items, somehow still taking four hours to finish business.
New gun ordinance
A new ordinance, introduced on January 7, was brought on for public hearing.
The ordinance is designed, according to the Municipal Counselor’s office, to bring the city’s regulations up to date with Oklahoma State law governing the transportation of a “loaded pistol” in a vehicle.
After questions from City Councilors were asked and the Municipal Counselor’s office responded, some Councilors still voiced concerns.
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Councilman James Cooper of Ward 2, Councilwoman JoBeth Hamon of Ward 6, and Councilwoman Nikki Nice of Ward 7 each asked for reassurances about how persons of color carrying loaded weapons would be treated by our police force.
Philando Castille was mentioned by Hamon. Castille, a Minneapolis Elementary School employee, was killed by a policeman immediately after telling the officer he was licensed to carry a concealed weapon.
All three Councillors asked City attorneys what safeguards are in place to make sure application of the new law would be equal among all residents of the City of Oklahoma City.
The answer seemed to be an issue of good faith.
A second new ordinance came for public hearing. This ordinance seeks to ban vaping of marijuana any place that cigarettes cannot be smoked.
There was some confusion over what is or is not banned under the proposed ordinance.
Specifically, it seems that vaping of tobacco may remain legal in the same places that vaping of medical marijuana will become illegal. The City is seeking more information from Counsel regarding what restrictions might also be applied to vaping tobacco.
One member of the public signed up to speak on this issue.
Rick Duncan of Ward 5 warned the City Council that he would endeavor to render unelected any “traitors” who voted against the legalization of medical marijuana. Duncan pointed out that among the many medical benefits of cannabis is that it can “erase mind control.”
Both the gun and marijuana ordinances have one more meeting for a public hearing and a vote.
Members of the OKC Boathouse Foundation came to present a year-in-review report to the Council.
Among the claims of the report was an economic impact estimation of over $23 million in 2019.
Hamon of Ward 6 asked where this number came from. An outside firm provided an analysis based on room stays and attendant spending in the area. Hamon asked for the report referenced and COO Knopp agree to provide such.
A report on expenditures and income showed that in 2018 total expenses were $7,456,171, providing a net income of $163,388. Forecasts for 2019 show unaudited expenses of $7,206,700 and an unaudited net income of $434,900.
Construction of the surf machine has begun if you were wondering.
The next meeting of the City Council will be February 4.
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