An Editorial: Voters should approve MAPs 4
Published: December 4th, 2019
Some day, the MAPs (Metropolitan Area Projects) brand may get old – but not yet.
The MAPs4 proposal follows the model city leaders have advanced since the start, but with an important and welcome new emphasis on neighborhood needs.
Big cities from coast to coast incur massive debt to finance tax-financed improvements, but not Oklahoma City. From the start, MAPs has followed an Oklahoma Standard – pay as you go.
If voters agree, the current sales taxes will stay in place (no tax hike) and will finance an eight-year program of projects that span the range of desirable amenities to clear necessities. Given cost challenges with the existing boat district, the new program explicitly incorporates endowments to sustain envisioned facilities.
As reported previously in The City Sentinel, “The program’s 16 projects include parks ($140 million), youth centers ($110 million), senior wellness centers ($30 million), mental health and addition ($40 million), family justice center operated by Palomar ($38 million), transit ($87 million), sidewalks, bike lanes, trails and streetlights ($87 million), homelessness ($50 million), Chesapeake Energy Arena and related facilities ($115 million), animal shelter ($38 million), Fairgrounds Coliseum ($63 million), Diversion Hub ($17 million), Freedom Center and Clara Luper Civil Rights Center ($25 million), beautification ($30 million), and multipurpose stadium ($37 million).”
There is not a lot new to say about MAPs4.
Most citizens seem to be for it, but at least some are against it.
One thoughtful member of the City Council, Ward 5’s David Greenwell, wants a clearer cost/benefit analysis of some parts of the program. He points to the proposed new animal shelter as a model for careful analysis and presentation. We encourage him to continue advocating for that model after voter approval.
Mayor David Holt has worked tirelessly to assure broad community input on the program, and he is the strongest advocate for passage.
We are for MAPs4, and encourage readers of The City Sentinel to vote YES on December 10.