Sunday, July 31, 2011

OKC City Council Civility — Is It A Lost Cause?

Continued from the Emperor's New Clothes.

To set the scene, on May 31, 2011, council members Ed Shadid and Pete White presented a resolution which would build in some time, 3 hearings, for major items presented to the City Council before a council vote occurred.

On May 31, council members Salyer, Marrs, and Ryan expressed their opinion that no need existed for the proposal since a remedy already existed — all a council member need do was to simply ask for a deferral and the deferral would be routinely granted. On May 31, and after the May 31 assurances by Salyer, Marrs, the proposal was continued until July 19, and then on July 19 until August 2.

Put that in your pocket and then move forward to the July 5 City Council meeting which included important agenda items about MAPS 3.

On July 5, the decisions about the MAPS 3 time-line and the new convention center location were on the city council agenda. Council member Shadid, on an out-of-country family vacation, had expected to be present but had been delayed on his return to the city because of airline problems ... but he said that he could be present at the July 5 meeting, at a substantial personal expense if need be, and he communicated this information to council member Pete White and city manager Jim Couch. Both assured him that the matters would be continued under the circumstances and that the matters would be deferred to the next council meeting. Given that assurance, Shadid was not present at the July 5 council meeting.

As it turned out on July 5, the continuances didn't happen. Although council members Pete White and Skip Kelly argued for the requested continuances, they were denied.

The video clip below presents the position of the proponents of the continuance requests. Two matters, the project order of MAPS 3 projects, and the location of the proposed convention center, were on the agenda.

But, the mayor and above named council members took quite a different tack when dealing with two major items on the July 5 agenda were presented. As explained below, Shadid through no fault of his own could not be present at the July 5 meeting, and Pete White moved for a continuance, at his request.


GARY MARRS, 5/31 vs. 7/5

PAT RYAN, 5/31 vs. 7/5

MEG SALYER, 5/31 vs. 7/5 by Proxy


Larry McAtee

David Greenwell

Neither councilmen Larry McAtee nor David Greenwell presented any significant discussion concerning the requested continuances, but both voted against them. In their showing of relative silence and absence of conscience, they were pretty much wieners, just people filling space in their chairs.

There were two on July 5 who did more than that, and they each deserve our appreciation — Pete White and Skip Kelly. They showed character, civility, and embodied the "Golden Rule" — something that the others, above, did not.

PETE WHITE ON 7/5/2011

SKIP KELLY ON 7/5/2011

Complete Discussion on 1st Deferral - MAPS 3 Order

If you think that I've taken anything out context, see the full continuance video discussions below.

Complete Discussion on 2nd Deferral - Convention Center Location

An interested citizen can become morose and disheartened after watching a council meeting like that on July 5, even to the point of saying or thinking, "Oh my gawd. Why should I care anymore about city government after observing a show like this one? Why should I not be despondent about my city government?"

Perhaps the mayor and/or other ungracious council members don't sense such a response from those who voted for them, or perhaps I'm being overly subjective and I'm the only one. But, for me, I sense that I'm getting pretty close to saying, "Nothing that you or I (the public) might do really is worth a flying flip when it comes down to the important kernel of city government, the decisions that really matter to the whole city. The show is not worth watching, and I might as well do other things that don't give me this angst — and I really do have other things to do with the rest of my time."

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