Mayor Mick Cornett came right out and said what a lot of people behind the scenes have known for weeks if not months – that a MAPS 3 ballot may be set for December and that in his words ”we” are looking at it including a new convention center Core to Shore and transit.
Oh really? What the KWTV report doesn’t mention, nor does the mayor, is who this famous “we” is. And there’s a reason for this – this we does not include a unanimous city council. It doesn’t include a unanimous civic and business leadership. And it certainly doesn’t involve any vote by any group or body.
To be honest, my numerous, numerous sources indicate that when it comes to what will be on a MAPS 3 ballot, the only concensus involves Mick Cornett and his assistant David Holt, who is dividing his time between city affairs and running for state senate.
A lof of downtown dreams, plans and ideas are in the balance here. And while Mayor Mick Cornett is a likable guy, someone who most agree has done a great job as a spokesman for the city, his vote at City Hall is one of nine. That’s it.
Get ready for some big discussions ahead. We’ve seen to date big pitches by advocates for a State Fair exhibition hall, a transit system, a convention center and tomorrow Bricktown begins to make its case for a canal extension. Still ahead – the river and the mayor’s own pitch for a central park and Core to Shore, a project that has plenty of people questioning whether it could do more harm than good to downtown.
In the old days these decisions were made behind closed doors and voters were simply told vote yes or else. Starting in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a different process emerged that involved concensus building and public discussions on how best to advance this city’s development. This process was credited for what we’ve seen to date – successful citywide bond issues upgrading infrastructure, parks and public safety; and the MAPS, Fix MAPS Right and MAPS for Kids ballots.
What process will see emerge with a MAPS 3? I’ll be asking tomorrow who this “we” is that has already decided on the basic MAPS 3 ballot and I’ll be interested in hearing from you, the readers, whether we’re following the pre-MAPS way of getting things done.
UPDATE: Mayor says the MAPS 3 ballot is not a done deal.