By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The public is invited to attend the MAPS 4 Neighborhoods / OKC GO Bond town hall meeting on Tuesday, May 24 at the Tower Hotel, 3233 NW Expressway, in Oklahoma City. The event, hosted by Oklahoma City Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid, will take place from 7 – 8:30 p.m.
“The decisions made over the next year will impact the city for a quarter century and maximum public participation, transparency and planning will greatly improve the outcome,” Shadid said. “Please plan to attend.”
Presenters that evening will include: Aubrey Hammontree: Oklahoma City Planning Director; Eric Wenger: Public Works Director; Doug Kupper: Parks Director; Craig Freeman: Finance Director; and Jonathan Dodson: Organizer, MAPS 4 Neighborhoods.
Discussions are currently underway to hold a MAPS 4 vote of the people as early as the presidential general election on November 8, 2016.
An organization MAPS4 Neighborhoods has been participating in community engagement meetings over the past year seeking input from the public as to how a MAPS 4 might meet some of the needs of the neighborhoods over the next few years.
According to Shaded, Dodson will report the findings of those community engagements as well as speak to efforts to consult with the OU Division of Regional and City Planning in the College of Architecture to craft such a MAPS program.
An initial question for the people of Oklahoma City is whether a MAPS vote should be held 6 months from now, or at the time of the conclusion of the MAPS3 program in November of 2017. In less than a year the City of OKC will also finalize a list of up to $800 million (larger than MAPS3) in capital improvements (the General Obligation Bond) to be voted on by the people in the Fall of 2017.
This list of projects contains almost all of the money anticipated to go to neighborhood, street and park improvements, drainage, transit, and police/fire facilities for the following 10 years.
Brian Brus of the Journal Record reported that according to city officials, the issuance of $89.5 million in municipal ‘general obligation” (GO) bond debt “is a testament to rising property values in Oklahoma City and the city’s top bond rating.”
Shadid notes that it is imperative that neighborhoods and citizens become organized to determine what constitutes their greatest needs and also become a part of the selection process.
The town hall will feature a Q&A session with multiple City Department heads, Shadid said.
More information can be found at the MAPS4 Town Hall Facebook Event Page.