The $978 million MAPS 4 package will come before the City of Oklahoma City Council Tuesday.
Friday, Mayor David Holt termed the newest MAPS proposals to be the “MAPS that the people made.”
If passed, the package will go to a December 10 vote of City of Oklahoma City residents who live in parts of four counties in central Oklahoma.
The agenda item will contain all 16 projects proposed by various groups around the metro during an unprecedented four lengthy hearings held throughout July and early August. (The resolution document is at the end of this article.)
Mayor weighs in
“To me, it is a reflection of the process that was really very people-focused and very transparent,” Holt told Free Press Friday when Tuesday’s Council agenda was released.
He said that this MAPS package has “actual direct spending on people and neighborhoods across the city.”
“I really feel like this is the maps that the people made,” said Holt. “And, I really expect the people to embrace their own work.”
In an unprecedented series of four hearings, groups of concerned citizens and others presented their ideas to the Council for possible inclusion in the package.
Stairways and the lobby outside the Council Chamber at times teamed with masses of people waiting their turn with matching t-shirts to fill the chamber in support of their particular set of requests.
The last two hearings took around 8 continuous hours each requiring Council members and the Mayor to take turns going to the restroom. Some snacked at their places on the horseshoe throughout the day to endure the marathon sessions.
In contrast, previous MAPS packages mostly have been assembled and discussed behind closed doors by the Mayor and City Council members at the time and including a select small group of powerful business leaders.
Not only were the hearings unprecedented, but so was the transparency of the proceedings.
City staff provided live-streaming on cable TV and on YouTube during the hearings and also posted the slide decks used in the presentations as well as the recorded video segments. Because of the masses of people, sometimes the best seat in the house really was the live-stream. We have included those below.
Pay as you go
If voters pass the MAPS 4 package, it will be paid for on a “pay as you go” debt-free process used in past MAPS projects where an additional one-cent sales tax would be used rather than borrowing through bonds.
The current sales tax in the City would stay the same due to the new one-cent amount taking the place of the expiring extra penny for the “Better Streets, Safer Cities” emphasis.
Here are the proposals grouped by the days they were presented in public hearings held in July and early August.
City staff cautioned that the numbers requested in these presentations are not the amounts that will be considered in the Council meeting Tuesday.
Amounts have been reduced on each request to bring the total package in at $978 million.
Presentation slide decks and video segments of the presentations during the hearings are from the OKC.gov website where even more information is available.
- Tuesday, July 9
- Thursday, July 11
- Wednesday, July 31
- Tuesday, Aug. 6
Free Press reported some of the hearings and other meetings about proposals. These will flesh out some of the nuances of the hearings.
Watch this space for further reporting as the Council decides on the package to be presented to the voters and the public discussions and debates around the issues.
Last Updated August 26, 2019, 8:50 AM by Brett Dickerson – Editor