The petition to establish a 1/8 cent sales tax dedicated to maintaining Oklahoma City parks met the minimum of 6,499 verified signatures Friday afternoon.
City Clerk Frances Kersey also confirmed that over 7,700 signatures were submitted. The verification process was stopped once the verification threshold number was reached.
No protest had been filed with the City Clerk by the close of business on Monday, December 16 ending a ten-day protest period according to City spokesperson Kristy Yager.
The Oklahoma City Council will take action on the resolutions Tuesday that, if passed, will set the election in motion.
If the Council approves, the vote will take place on Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020, when Oklahoma’s Presidential primary is held.
The resolutions to establish a city-wide vote on the tax were drafted by the Municipal Counselor over the weekend and went up as an addendum to the Council agenda for Tuesday, December 17.
Former Ward 2 City Councilman Dr. Ed Shadid organized the push to add the 1/8 cent sales tax.
His concern is for the maintenance costs of capital improvements that come with new MAPS projects that then require even more city budget dollars to maintain.
The acreage of Oklahoma City parks expanded dramatically when the sprawling 70-acre Scissortail Park in downtown opened at the end of September.
Then, with MAPS 4 being passed December 10, around $100 million will be spent to upgrade and expand parks in Oklahoma City.
Susan McCann, a well-known progressive organizer in the metro, was the field director for the petition drive.
She told Free Press it was “easy to get signatures” because the topic of supporting parks “resonated well” with people they encountered in the drive.
“Some wanted clarification on whether this was part of MAPS and/or what impact it would have on MAPS,” said McCann. The petition drive was going on at the same time the MAPS 4 campaign was underway.
She said their answer was that it was separate but a compliment to MAPS since it would support the parks and not require even more money for essential services to be taken away from the city’s general budget.
The following are the resolutions with supporting memos that will be before the Oklahoma City Council Tuesday.Resolution-No-1-Calling-Special-Election-1
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Last Updated December 16, 2019, 7:38 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor