OKLAHOMA CITY — Tuesday, the Oklahoma City Council voted on a collective bargaining agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) who represent all sworn officers of the Oklahoma City Police Department, completed plans for the second iteration of the Small Business Continuity Program, and considered issues with the streetcar system.
The Council moved to Executive Session to discuss the contract with the FOP, and returned after half an hour.
Ward 2 Councilman James Cooper said that in light of being on two upcoming law enforcement task forces that he couldn’t vote yes on this iteration of the contract. Nikki Nice, Ward 7 Councilwoman, echoed Cooper, adding, “This is a time for fruitful conversations.”
Cooper and Nice were joined by Ward 6 Councilwoman JoBeth Hamon in voting no on the contract.
The “rollover contract” does not stop efforts to reform, according to Mayor David Holt, who voted in favor of the contract. The agreement was adopted by a 6-3 vote.
The Council also voted in favor of an agreement with First Fidelity Bank to manage the second phase of the Small Business Continuity Program along with the Alliance for Economic Development.
The second phase will be different in a few key aspects. Specifically, there will be grants, but no loans in this phase. Another difference is that this round will allow non-profit organizations to apply. The bank will act as a quality control agent, reviewing applications when they begin to come in.
Applications for the second round are expected to open in two weeks.
As for the first round of the Continuity Program, Alliance head Cathy O’Connor reported to the Council that over $6 million has been disbursed with over $2 million still waiting to be allocated.
An ordinance to increase fines for blocking the streetcar came before the Council, having been deferred from March at the beginning of the pandemic.
The ordinance change would declare any vehicle blocking passage of the streetcar a “hazard,” and would provide for a fine of up to $150 in addition to the vehicle being towed. The current fine is $50.
The ordinance was deferred so that data could be collected on the efficacy of additional signage in problem spots along the streetcar route. New signs have been in place at the problem spots along the route, but traffic overall has been far down in the area.
Jason Ferbrache, Director of EMBARK, explained that even with traffic being lighter, the signs seemed to work. Since traffic has picked up in the month of July, there have been no streetcar blockages at any of the four hotspots identified by staff to be problem areas.
The Council meets again on August 4 at 8:30 a.m.