OKC Civic Life for Monday, May 20, 2019
Streetlight deal in the works
An agreement with OG&E to facilitate conversion to LED streetlights is estimated eventually to cost taxpayers $3.3 million to $3.9 million per year, according to a city manager's memo. The agreement includes standards for restoring out-of-order LED lights within 10 days but appears to be silent on restoration of incandescent lights, which make up the bulk of the current inventory. Nonworking streetlights have become a growing political headache for the city council and mayor. The agreement is scheduled for a vote on Tuesday.
Tweet of the week
"Work on Devon Tower halted due to weather"
— @Mecoy, Don Mecoy, The Oklahoman managing editor. Read coverage of effects and disruptions downtown due to last week's high-rise accident in The Oklahoman and at www.oklahoman.com/news.
Briefly: FOP grievance, election
• An arbitrator will be selected to consider Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 123's grievance seeking back pay for majors and deputy chiefs. The dispute centers on overtime policies.
• Oklahoma City voters will decide July 9 on a charter amendment easing restrictions on who can serve on the city council. One effect would be to allow full-time public schoolteachers to serve.
• The city council approved a $260,000 increase, to $2.4 million, to relocate utilities and a culvert to clear the way for a new Fairgrounds Coliseum. The coliseum is proposed for MAPS 4.
Canal death claim settled
The city of Oklahoma City has agreed to settle a claim filed on behalf of the estate of Wesley Seeley, who died Sept. 30 after an accident on the Bricktown Canal. Seeley, 23, fell into the water and suffered a fatal electrical shock when he touched wires from a broken light fixture. The city council will vote Tuesday on a $175,000 settlement. The formal term is a "confession of judgment without admission of liability." The claim alleged the city was negligent. A claim by a would-be rescuer and that man's wife was settled two weeks ago.
Of note: Seeley's mother sued the city in Oklahoma County District Court in a bid to block disclosure of video depicting the accident. A hearing is set Friday.
Executive duties assigned
City Manager Craig Freeman has assigned supervisory responsibilities now that all three assistant city manager positions are filled. Here's a rundown:
• Laura Johnson served under the former city manager, Jim Couch. She will oversee Utilities, Public Works, MAPS, Embark transit, the City Clerk's office and the zoo.
• Aubrey McDermid was promoted from Planning Director. She will oversee Planning, Development Services, General Services and Parks departments, airports, and the public information and marketing office.
• Kenton Tsoodle was Assistant Finance Director. He will oversee the Police, Fire and Finance departments, the municipal court and the information technology office.
Of note: Freeman will oversee the Personnel Department.
Mayor David Holt and the eight city council members attended last week's budget hearing.
The city council meets at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 200 N Walker Ave. An agreement amounting to a reprieve from the threat of demolition for First Christian Church is on the agenda.
William Crum, email@example.com Twitter: @williamcrum