OKC Civic Life for Monday, May 6, 2019
Canal claim settled
The Oklahoma City Council was to vote Tuesday on a $169,650 settlement with Brandon and Taylor Gann, resolving their claims over injuries suffered by Brandon Gann when he jumped into the Bricktown Canal in an attempt to save another man who had fallen in. The other man, Wesley Seeley, suffered an electrical shock when he touched wires from a broken light fixture, and was pronounced dead at a hospital. In a report on costs to upgrade the canal lighting system, an architecture firm has recommended safety features that were missing last fall, when the accident occurred. The Ganns were newlyweds visiting Bricktown at the time.
Of note: A claim also has been filed against the city on behalf of Seeley's estate.
Campaign finance reports filed
Candidates in the Feb. 12 city council primaries filed post-election campaign finance reports last week. Among the highlights from the winners:
• Ward 2 Councilman James Cooper received a $5,000 contribution from an Oklahoma City firefighters' political action committee fund on Feb. 28. Cooper won a five-way race with 53% of the primary vote, avoiding a runoff. He reported raising a total of $35,609 through March 31.
• Ward 6 Councilwoman JoBeth Hamon also received $5,000 from the firefighters, on March 5. Hamon raised $27,800 in cash for her race; $23,400 went to campaign consultant Skyfire Media, which includes campaign costs and media buys. Running for an open seat, Hamon beat a challenger who raised five times as much money.
Quote of the week
"It's not anecdotal. It's not me sitting up here telling you that's what I think."
— Bill Citty, who retired last week after 15 years as Oklahoma City police chief, in comments to the city council on studies demonstrating the correlation between prevalence of firearms in a community and prevalence of gun crime. Citty said research shows communities that restrict access to firearms, that "make sure good people have firearms," have fewer assaults involving guns. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics on firearms deaths for 2017 show Oklahoma's rate was nearly twice the national rate. "We have a lot of firearms in this community," Citty said.
Worth noting: The CDC counted 681 gun deaths in Oklahoma in 2017. Of those, roughly one in six was a homicide in Oklahoma City.
Tweet of the week
"Arlo Guthrie, John Paul White, Willie Watson and more playing Okemah's 2019 Woody Guthrie Folk Festival"
— @NewsOK. Follow film, music, theater and other arts news at NewsOK.com and in The Oklahoman.
Mayor David Holt and the eight city council members attended last week's meeting. City Manager Craig Freeman introduced the $1.55 billion 2019-20 budget. The council reviewed transit, parking, police and fire budget requests.
The Oklahoma City Council meets at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 200 N Walker Ave.
William Crum, staff writer, email@example.com Twitter: @williamcrum