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OKC Civic Life for Monday, April 8, 2019


Canal video court date set

A court date is set for Friday in an effort to block the city of Oklahoma City from releasing, under state Open Records law, video of a fatal accident last September on the Bricktown Canal. Wesley Seeley, 23, died after falling into the canal and touching wires from a broken light fixture. Oklahoma City police obtained the video during the investigation. An attorney representing Seeley's mother objected to the video's release.

Of note: An attorney for the city says she expects a hearing/trial date to be set Friday. The Oklahoman sought release of the video.

Briefly: Streetcar security, airport parking

• Trustees of the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority agreed to hire off-duty Oklahoma City police officers for security on the Oklahoma City Streetcar. The deal is worth an estimated $2.4 million over five years.

• Hourly parking has reopened on the upper level of the two-story garage closest to the terminal at Will Rogers World Airport. That parking deck was closed for eight months for a project to stop water leaking into the lower level.

LGBTQ march set Monday

Gay rights activists and allies will walk through downtown Monday evening, from the former site of a gay-friendly bar to City Hall, to celebrate election of Oklahoma City's first openly gay council member. James Cooper is being sworn in Tuesday to represent Ward 2. The procession is to reach City Hall, 200 N Walker Ave., about 6 p.m., where remarks will be delivered by Mayor David Holt, Cooper, and Allie Shinn, executive director of Freedom Oklahoma.

Norman names city manager finalists

The city of Norman has named six finalists for the vacant city manager’s position. They include Anthony Francisco, Norman’s current Finance Director, and Timothy Rundel, the city manager in Durant. Other finalists are municipal administrators from Texas, Kansas and California. Interviews are scheduled Monday and Tuesday and will include meetings with a citizen panel.

Of note: When the Oklahoma City Council chose a new city manager last year, names of finalists were kept secret.

State Fair policing costs down

Records show Oklahoma City's efforts to control law enforcement spending at the State Fair are paying off. Costs are down 33.4% over the past two years, compared to the previous two years. Oklahoma City police devoted 8,644 total hours to State Fair law enforcement in 2015; that was down to 5,353 hours in 2018.

Worth noting: Overtime costs for last September's fair were down 29.2 percent from 2015.


The Oklahoma City Council meets at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 200 N Walker Ave. Ward 2 Councilman-elect James Cooper and Ward 6 Councilwoman-elect JoBeth Hamon will be sworn in to begin four-year terms. Ward 5 Councilman David Greenwell and Ward 8 Councilman Mark Stonecipher, who were re-elected in February, begin new terms.

• The city council is to meet privately, in executive session, Tuesday concerning "potential litigation" related to initiating the process to designate First Christian Church as a historic landmark. The council considered the church's status last month and deferred the matter. Last Wednesday, the Historic Preservation Commission voted in favor of initiating the historic landmark designation process; the council has authority override that decision. One effect of the commission's vote could be to block demolition for up to 180 days.

• The public is invited to a "meet-and-greet" with Oklahoma City’s new artist-in-residence, Erica Bonavida, after Tuesday's city council meeting in the second-floor lobby at City Hall. Bonavida will have works on display that will later be displayed throughout the building.

• Retiring Police Chief Bill Citty will be honored Saturday at the Mayor's Neighborhood Leadership Breakfast. Hosted by the Neighborhood Alliance, the event is at 9 a.m. at the OCU Meinders School of Business. Reservation information is available at Mayor David Holt will discuss Maps 4 ideas and take questions.

William Crum, staff writer, Twitter: @williamcrum

William Crum

OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman. Read more ›