Ward 5 Oklahoma City Councilman David Greenwell said this morning that, without the addition of “measurable outcomes,” he is “not supporting” the MAPS 4 package set to go before OKC voters Dec. 10.
Greenwell made his remarks about MAPS 4 at the final city council meeting he said he will attend before the election. In discussing his opposition, Greenwell cited a lack of measurable outcomes with some of the proposed projects, including the three sports venue items.
“Myself, there is no particular project in and of itself that makes me say, ‘OK, if this is successful I’m going to vote for all of the package.’ I want data to help me come to that conclusion, and so far I don’t have it,” Greenwell said. “So I’m in the camp of not supporting MAPS 4 because of that lack of measurable outcomes.”
All of the above: $978 million MAPS 4 package revealed by Matt Patterson & Tres Savage
Greenwell used the Oklahoma City Animal Welfare Center as an example of a proposed MAPS 4 project with measurable outcomes. He said that when he started on the council in 2011, the facility had a live-release rate of about 60 percent. Today, that live-release rate has climbed to about 80 percent.
Included in the proposed MAPS 4 package would be $38 million in funding to build a completely new facility with the aim of becoming a no-kill shelter.
“That is the type of measurable outcome I’ve been requesting since we began our discussions on MAPS 4,” Greenwell said. “Most of the other projects have not produced any measurable outcome data.”
Greenwell said he understands feelings on both sides of MAPS 4.
“So, going back to the shelter with that project alone there is a group of voters who are motivated by that project and will vote for MAPS 4 regardless of what is in the package,” he said. “I understand and respect that. But there is also a group looking for the same kind of measurable outcomes for each of the projects.”
Greenwell said the lack of measurable outcomes on some MAPS 3 projects have also troubled him.
“We’ve got several examples with MAPS 3 projects that we had no anticipation of measurable outcomes,” Greenwell said. “Now things have not proceeded as we anticipated, but we don’t know how to judge whether or not it’s a successful program.”
Greenwell emphasized his desire for outcomes to be established.
“I’m just going to leave it at that,” he said. “I hope for the benefit for the possible passage of MAPS that that measurable type of outcomes will be presented between now and the election date.”
Holt: ‘This MAPS meets incredibly important needs’
After Tuesday’s meeting, OKC Mayor David Holt responded to Greenwell’s comments by noting that “MAPS has forever changed OKC.”
“Without raising taxes, this MAPS addresses neighborhood needs, human needs, quality of life and jobs,” Holt said in a statement. “This MAPS meets incredibly important needs in our community, and every project will be overseen by a citizen advisory board. MAPS has always been led by the people, and it starts with the vote.
“As we speak, we are receiving incredible support from across the city to pass MAPS 4 and keep our city’s momentum going We will continue to spread the word heading into the Dec. 10 election, and I will continue to encourage everyone to join me and vote yes.”
Voter engagement increasing
The proposed $978 million MAPS 4 package includes an array of projects ranging from street and sidewalk improvements, to new youth centers as well as a new coliseum at the fairgrounds, among others.
Voter engagement is ramping up as the election draws near. Ward 6 Councilwoman JoBeth Hamon held a forum Sunday, noting the event was not an endorsement of the proposal. After the meeting, Hamon said she enjoyed the opportunity to talk with prospective voters about MAPS 4.
“It’s not perfect and I’m probably the most willing [council member] to say so and I appreciate the opportunity to have a more nuanced conversation about how we move forward as a city for all of us,” she tweeted following the gathering.
Ward 2 Councilman James Cooper will hold a forum Thursday night. He sent NonDoc a statement on Tuesday that he “can’t imagine voting against MAPS 4.”
“I worked with Mayor Holt and the Council to make sure MAPS 4 tilts its scales from entertainment to people, parks and places,” Cooper said in his statement. “For the first time, while 25 percent (or the proposed projects) continues MAPS’ tradition of investing in quality of life and entertainment, 75 percent of MAPS 4 represents nearly 100 percent of priorities I heard knocking doors.”
Cooper listed walkability, sidewalks, bike lanes, streetlights, bus routes, mental health services and other social resources as important priorities.
“As a child who grew up experiencing domestic violence and alcoholism in the home — and as an adult managing anxiety and depression as a result of those childhood experiences — the honor of my life is crafting a MAPS 4 to address human needs too often swept under the rug,” Cooper said.
(Update: This story was updated at 3:12 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, to include Cooper’s statement.)