4 minute read

The summer of 2019 was uniquely busy for Mayor David Holt and the City of Oklahoma City Council members as unprecedented hearings for MAPS 4 ideas dominated the leaders’ time.

The result of those hearings was a new kind of Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS) – the fourth iteration in 27 years – that has human need projects as its focus even though there are some big-ticket concrete and steel projects on the list.

The end of that part of the story is that MAPS 4 passed by more than 70% in the fall establishing yet another 1-cent sales tax dedicated to the projects. The tax begins as soon as MAPS 3 ends and does not overlap.

The $987 million package includes 16 projects and will be in development for a decade.

Tuesday Council presentation

Now, on the Council’s agenda for Tuesday, the Mayor will present for confirmation his list of 11 appointees to the MAPS 4 Citizens Advisory Board.

To watch the videoconferenced Council meeting, see the Zoom link on the AGENDA.

Holt chose Ward 8 Councilman Mark Stonecipher to be the observer from the Council on the board.

The chair and one other member are at-large appointments with the eight others being from each of the City’s eight wards. (We include the full list below.)

A City Council resolution passed in February said the purpose of the Board is to review the various projects and submit their recommendations to the City Council about “sequence or timing of commencement, continuance, and/or completion of the projects.”

Chair appointed

Teresa Rose Crook, executive director of the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma, will be the chair of the board.

That foundation has worked for years to assist and train other foundations to raise money and achieve their goals for serving their communities around Oklahoma.

The appointment of Rose Crook is a significant match in that MAPS 4 has as its primary focus bolstering human services that will strengthen neighborhoods and connect people and services in the metro.

The biggest worry among some OKC residents leading up to the vote last fall was the order in which projects would be done since the MAPS concept is a pay-as-you-go model only spending the revenues as taxes are collected.

And so the appointment of Crook rather than a downtown power broker may be one way the Mayor is making good on the intent of the meetings last summer.

At-large appointment

Brenda Hernández, the other at-large member Holt has appointed, is a native of the near south side and Oklahoma City’s historic Hispanic culture.

She is a public relations and advertising pro and co-founded the Tango PR Firm with her husband Jorge Hernández. She has deep community connections with that segment of the City where people of all cultures have felt left out of city plans over the years.

Six standing subcommittees

Eventually, around 50 people will be appointed by Holt to six different subcommittees that will focus on different aspects of MAPS 4. After MAPS 4 passed, the Mayor put out a call for volunteers to serve and received a large response.

Here are the six subcommittees and the projects they will oversee.

2019 hearings

The last of the MAPS 4 public hearings had a packed room and lobby all day until after 5 p.m. (Brett Dickerson/Okla City Free Press)

The focus came out of a series of unprecedented hearings in the summer of 2019 in which the Mayor and Councilmembers spent whole days listening to tag-team presentations from advocacy groups in the City.

It’s also where they learned that it was okay to eat while sitting at the horseshoe. The agenda was so packed each of those days it was better to just eat lunch during the presentations.

Our Marty Peercy sat through those hearings and reported them, often on the front or second row of seating in the chamber itself to get a full sense of the presentations and groups who were there to make their passionate pitch.

Those days the lobby and chamber itself at City Hall often seemed uncommonly clamorous and a fine example of little-d democracy. Groups of supporters showing up in matching t-shirts and signs in support of their favorite group’s presentation rotated through during each of the days.

To get a better idea of how those sessions went, here are two of our reports from those days:

List of appointees

Teresa Rose Crook At-Large 1 and Chair Appointment
Term expiration: 04/01/2023

Brenda Hernández At-Large 2 Appointment
Term expiration: 04/01/2023

Russell Pace, Jr. Ward 1 Appointment
Term expiration: 04/01/2022

Allie Shinn Ward 2 Appointment
Term expiration: 04/02/2021

Dr. Harry Black Ward 3 Appointment
Term expiration: 04/01/2023

Shay Morris Ward 4 Appointment
Term expiration: 04/01/2022

Kevin Guarnera Ward 5 Appointment
Term expiration: 04/01/2021

Daisy Muñoz Ward 6 Appointment
Term expiration: 04/01/2023

Dr. Monique Bruner Ward 7 Appointment
Term expiration: 04/01/2022

Bob Nelon Ward 8 Appointment
Term expiration: 04/01/2021

Last Updated May 23, 2020, 3:48 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor