OKC Mayor David Holt Gives State Of The City Address

Thursday, January 17th 2019, 5:54 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt gave his first “State of the City Address,” and it was filled with big ideas. 

The mayor’s address covered a lot of ground, including the city’s past and present. But mostly he talked about the future of Oklahoma City.  

"It is my great honor to stand before you all and deliver my first State of the City Address,” Mayor David Holt told a crowd of 15,000 people, with many more watching on line, that he’s proud of the city.

"Listen to this. As a place to live, 82 percent of our citizens say Oklahoma City is good or excellent. This is 28 percentage points higher than the national average for a large city,” he continued.

But the mayor says we have to keep the momentum we’ve seen from MAPS 1 through three moving forward with MAPS 4.

Mayor Holt says the city has gotten more than a thousand suggestions from residents.

"New facilities for animal welfare. A world class aquarium. Perhaps downtown operated by our Oklahoma City Zoo. There have been various ideas in the arts. Support for the art museum. An endowment to serve education in our schools, public art,” said Mayor Holt. 

Mayor Holt also suggested setting up an endowment to pay for future projects.

"Proceeds of a temporary tax put aside and managed responsibly could produce reasonably expected returns that meet certain expected needs till the end of time. This is a groundbreaking idea for governments, but one commonly pursued by nonprofits,” he said.

Attendees were excited by the ideas.

"I like the aquarium,” said Ward 7 Councilwoman Nikki Nice. “I'm excited to hear about that. I know that's been a continued conversation. I know if we had an aquarium in Oklahoma City just imagine how beautiful that would be."

David McCollum with the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce said, "I'm excited about transportation, the beautification, the infrastructure. We've got so much that's going on with Scissortail Park and the convention center. The new hotel, the Omni, there's just so much momentum I think it's a homerun to build off of that."

And while the MAPS projects traditionally have been about fun, the mayor said, “I also see them where it's balanced with priorities this time with the tough challenges some of our citizens face every day. You heard me mention things like mental health, criminal justice reform, domestic violence, education. These are challenges I don’t think the people of Oklahoma City want to ignore."

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