OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — Among the business handled by the City Council for Oklahoma City Tuesday were the approval of 54 appointees to the six subcommittees for the slate of proposed projects under MAPS 4.
One Council member, Ward 7 representative Nikkie Nice, dressed down the Mayor during comments from Council.
The Council also voted to give a routine annual raise to the City Manager, Municipal Counsellor, and the City Auditor.
Marty Peercy reports Local government
Over the last three months, residents of Oklahoma City have been allowed to apply to serve on subcommittees guiding the implementation of the slate of projects bundled under the one cent sales tax for MAPS 4.
Before passing the list of appointees, Ward 7 Councilwoman Nikki Nice shared her concerns and displeasure with the make-up of the appointees.
Nice characterized the list of appointees as not equitable.
The appointees are all appointed as “at-large” representatives of the City.
Why then, Nice asked, were people applying required to include which ward they lived in?
Nice maintained that the Mayor did not solicit or embrace enough input from the Council. She further suggested that the Mayor’s communication with some of the Council members has left a lot to be desired.
With that Nice stated that she would not be voting in favor of the slate of appointees.
Mayor Holt said that it is her right as a member of council to vote up or down, but that he asked for input at the beginning of this process three months ago. He also said he sent an email to each Council member a month ago to encourage them to reach out if there were any people they felt particularly passionate about having on a subcommittee.
Holt then called the vote and the Council passed the slate of 54 appointees by a vote of 7-1, with only Nice voting against.
See the list of new appointees at the end.
Comments from Council
During the regular agenda item “Comments from Council,” Nice again shared some thoughts about the Mayor.
First Ward 2 Councilman James Cooper and Ward 6 Councilperson JoBeth Hamon shared words of gratitude for members of the public who added their voices and time to plea for Clemency for Julius Jones. They also shared their disappointment that Governor Stitt didn’t follow through on the rest of the Pardon and Parole Board’s recommendation to commute Jones’s sentence to “life with possibility of parole.”
When Nice’s turn to speak came, she shared her experience of being on the Citizens Advisory Board for the Department of Corrections before being elected to her seat on the Council.
During that time the CAB visited The Oklahoma State Penitentiary, including Death Row. During that visit, she said, she met and spoke with Julius Jones.
Nice said that the tour resulted in a silent bus ride home from McAlester for the Board members.
Nice called on people everywhere to continue to remember the Jones family, and also the family of Paul Howell, who Jones is accused of murdering in 1999.
Nice thanked Downtown OKC and Bricktown for recognizing the seriousness of the moment and canceling the planned Christmas Tree Lighting for Thursday evening, “even though some people didn’t think it was necessary.”
Nice continued that people use quotes about former mayors to measure the current mayor. Nice claimed that previous mayors have met regularly, sometimes even monthly, with each City Councilor.
Nice said that it is difficult to achieve things when a body’s presiding officer doesn’t communicate with the body’s members.
One member of the Public, Adriana Laws, also criticized Mayor Holt for his silence on the issue of Julius Jones. She also reminded the Council that Tuesday was the one-year anniversary of the murder of 15-year-old Stavian Rodriguez who was shot 13 times by Oklahoma City Police officers after disarming himself. Laws said that the Mayor and Council have not done anything to reign in the 2nd deadliest police force in the United States since Stavian was murdered.
On Tuesday the Council approved the annual collective bargaining agreement with the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the union that represents most employees of the City of Oklahoma City. The agreement included a standard 4% cost of living raise.
That 4% increase was also given to City Manager Craig Freeman, Municipal Counselor Kenneth Jordan, and City Auditor Jim Williamson.
Those salaries are now as follows:
City Manager: $128.46 per hour, $268,224.48 annually, plus a $7,000 vehicle allowance.
Municipal Counselor: $103.44 per hour, $215,982.72 annually, plus a $7,000 vehicle allowance.
City Auditor: $84.19 per hour, $175,788.72 annually, with a $7,000 vehicle allowance.
The Council will meet again on December 7 at 8:30 a.m.
New MAPS 4 subcommittee appointees
The subcommittees are made up of people from diverse ethnicities and backgrounds. Of the appointments, 52% are women, 41% are people of color and 26% of all appointments are Black.
Each subcommittee includes two members from the Citizen’s Advisory Board who will serve as the chairperson and vice-chairperson. Each subcommittee has nine members. The subcommittee member’s terms don’t have limits.
The six subcommittees are:
- Civil Rights Center Subcommittee
Subcommittee members: Monique Bruner (chair), Teresa Rose (vice chair), Talia Carroll, Stanley Evans, Bailey Perkins, Cecilia Robinson-Woods, Aletia Timmons, Shoshana Wasserman and Kari Watkins.
Project: Clara Luper Civil Rights Center
- Community Subcommittee
Subcommittee members: Shay Morris (chair), Harry Black (vice chair), Michelle Blasquez, Lori Callahan, Kori Hall, Debby Hampton, Maira Mata, Bob Ross and Lori Walke.
- Connectivity Subcommittee
Subcommittee members: Russell Pace (Chair), Daisey Munoz (vice chair), Shane Hampton, Evan Handy, Jane Jenkins, Meg McElhaney, Thuan Nguyen, Valerie Thompson and Shawn Wright.
- Innovation District Subcommittee
Subcommittee members: Teresa Rose (chair), Allie Shinn (vice chair), Byron Coleman, Quintin Hughes, James Johnson, Maria Martinez, Ken Miller, Monique Short and Tyler Tokarczyk.
Project: Innovation District
- Neighborhoods Subcommittee
Subcommittee members: Jessica Martinez-Brooks (chair), Monique Bruner (vice chair), Mike Adams, Brian Bogert, Louisa McCune, Tim McLaughlin, Rick Moore, Blair Naifeh and Sarah Roberts.
- Venues Subcommittee
Subcommittee members: Bob Nelon (chair), Kevin Guarnera (vice chair), Kelley Barnes, Matt Echols, Rick Lippert, Gary Marrs, Fred Mendoza, Rodd Moesel and Sandino Thompson.
The MAPS 4 Implementation Plan was approved on Sept. 14, 2021.
About the Citizen’s Advisory Board
The 11 members of the Citizens Advisory Board members are:
- Teresa Rose, Chairperson (at-large)
- Jessica Martinez-Brooks (at-large)
- Russell Pace, Jr. (Ward 1)
- Allie Shinn (Ward 2)
- Harry Black (Ward 3)
- Shay Morris (Ward 4)
- Kevin Guarnera (Ward 5)
- Daisy Muñoz (Ward 6)
- Monique Bruner (Ward 7)
- Bob Nelon (Ward 8)
- Ward 8 Councilman Mark Stonecipher (rotating Council member)
About the MAPS investment and Operating Trust
The seven-person MAPS Investment and Operating Trust was established to develop a strategic investment plan to support long-term sustainable funding for the operational expenses and maintenance of MAPS 4 projects.
The MAPS Investment and Operating Trust members are:
- Teresa Rose (Chair and MAPS 4 Citizen’s Advisory Board member)
- Jessica Martinez-Brooks (MAPS 4 Citizen’s Advisory Board member)
- Kevin Moore
- Brent Bryant (Director, Finance)
- Joanne Lafontant-Dooley
- Kenton Tsoodle (Assistant City Manager)
- Robert Ponkilla (Retired City Treasurer
About MAPS 4
MAPS 4 is a debt-free public improvement program funded by a temporary penny sales tax that will raise a projected $978 million over eight years.
Oklahoma City voters approved the sales tax to fund MAPS 4 in a special election on Dec. 10, 2019, moving forward with a unique and ambitious plan to transform our community. The temporary penny sales tax funding MAPS 4 began April 1, 2020 and ends in 2028.
More than 70 percent of MAPS 4 funding is dedicated to neighborhood and human needs. The rest is for quality of life and job-creating initiatives. The MAPS 4 Citizens Advisory Board and its six subcommittees will guide MAPS 4 planning and implementation, making recommendations to the City Council. The Council has final authority on MAPS 4. The MAPS Investment and Operating Trust will develop a strategic investment plan to support long-term sustainable funding for MAPS 4 projects’ operational expenses and maintenance.
Last Updated November 23, 2021, 4:36 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor