OKC Mayor David Holt Looks Forward After 1 Year In Office

Monday, April 15th 2019, 6:59 pm
By: Alex Cameron

Oklahoma's capital city is riding a wave of forward momentum and, according to Mayor David Holt, will have a chance later this year to keep that momentum going. 

Mayor Holt, who just last week completed his first year in office, says it was a busy first year -- a year of transition.

"That's definitely the word," Mayor Holt said in an interview Saturday, "when you think about [having] a new city manager, a new mayor, and several new council members."

Holt says Oklahoma City is going through a generational transition, with new, younger leaders now stepping up.

"The baby boomer generation did so much, in passing the original MAPS, and MAPS for Kids and MAPS 3," Holt said, "they were creating a city where their kids and grandkids would want to live...and it worked, and now those kids and grandkids are wanting to take the torch."

Under Holt's relatively brief tenure, the city's new streetcar system has gone online, construction started on a new convention center, and the new Scissortail Park has taken shape. All of this comes on top of the already-existing NBA arena, thriving entertainment districts and new downtown housing.

"I mean, we really do have all the building blocks of a great American downtown," Holt commented, "so now I think it's entirely reasonable to say, 'What could MAPS do for our neighborhoods around the city?'"

Holt says many of the ideas being submitted for MAPS 4 fall along those lines and will be part of the discussion he'll have with council members and other city leaders over the next few months.

"All with the idea, I think, that we're going put forward to the voters a proposal for their consideration, probably around labor day," the mayor said, "[and] for their vote at the end of this calendar year."

If approved, a MAPS 4 sales tax would begin April 1, 2020.

Holt says, looking back on his first year, his biggest challenge was managing his time. But he says his years in the Legislature helped prepare him for this and have helped him stay positive.

"Even the days that the news was bad," Mayor Holt said, "because I love Oklahoma city and I love the challenge of making this city be as successful as it possibly can be."

And, asked how being mayor compares to being a state senator, Holt said, "This is so much better than my last job!"