Outgoing Oklahoma City University President Tom McDaniel was named chairman of the MAPS 3 Advisory Board, but Secretary of State Susan Savage did not make the cut.
A former Republican Party operative, a video producer, a health clinic director and a retiring university president are among those who comprise the new MAPS 3 Advisory Board.
The Oklahoma City Council approved the 11 members of the board at its March 30 meeting.
Mayor Mick Cornett said there were two main criteria when selecting nominees for the board.
“We were looking for people who were enthusiastic about the city and the projects themselves,” Cornett said. “Beyond that, do they have the time necessary to serve?”
The board is comprised of eight members representing each City Council ward; two at-large seats, one of whom is a current city councilor; and a chairman. Outgoing Oklahoma City University president Tom McDaniel was named as chairman of the advisory board, while Ward 3 Councilman Larry McAtee is the council’s representative.
The other board members are:
“Dee Morales, a freelance video producer and owner of Dee Morales Productions.
“Susan Hooper, a self-employed educational consultant with Educational Development and Instructional Team. Hooper taught at elementary schools around the state for 14 years, as well as serving on various state and national education boards.
“Michael Dover, chief executive officer of Variety Care, a United Way agency health care provider. Dover has been a political campaign donor for several Democrats and initiatives, including Lt. Gov. Jari Askins, Attorney General Drew Edmondson, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater and Oklahomans for a Healthy Future.
“Kimberly Lowe, owner of K Lowe Creative.
“Zane Boatright, division chief of the Plans and Resources Division at Tinker Air Force Base.
“Michael Adams, corporate controller vice president at LSB Industries Inc.
“Nathaniel Harding, founder and president of Harding Limited Company, an energy consulting firm, and a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Air Force. Harding has also been the national first vice chairman of the College Republican National Committee and a field director for former Congressman Ernest Istook.
“Wayne Williams, an operations engineer with Oklahoma Natural Gas.
“Rusty LaForge, an attorney with McAfee & Taft who handles regulatory matters affecting banks and other financial institutions. He was also director of finance for former Gov. Frank Keating. He has been a campaign contributor to David Holt, Cornett’s chief of staff, who is running for the state Senate.
Two advisory board members work for companies that contributed to the Yes for MAPS campaign, which spear-headed the MAPS 3 election back in December: LaForge’s firm, McAfee & Taft, gave $5,000 to the campaign, while Williams’ employer, Oklahoma Natural Gas, contributed $4,000.
Cornett said campaign contributions were not a factor.
“We didn’t even look at that, as far as I know,” he said.
The city received nearly 350 applicants for the advisory board, some of which came with heavy experience in government. Current Oklahoma Secretary of State Susan Savage submitted her name for the board. The former Tulsa mayor said she wanted to apply her experience to the task.
“I really love local government,” Savage said. “I was involved with an oversight board in Tulsa. I’ve made appoints to a sales-tax review committee. I thought, ‘Here is an opportunity I can lend my experience.’ I understand capital improvements projects; I have implemented some.”
Board members were first recommended by individual city councilors who submitted the names to the mayor’s office. Some councilors recommended more than one name for the mayor to consider before making final nominations to the council.
“If you look at the list, it’s highly educated, with a level of sophistication that comes with budgeting and all the information they are going to be presented with,” Cornett said.
The board will function in much the same way as previous MAPS boards. Cornett said it also will have to consider a timeline for starting projects. City voters approved an extension of the one-cent sales tax back in December for various improvements, including a new convention center, downtown park and streetcar. The board will make recommendations to the City Council, which has the final determination.
Notable applicants not making the cut:
Susan Savage ” former mayor of Tulsa and current Oklahoma secretary of stateDebbie Blackburn ” former state representativeJerry Church ” director of media relations with the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments and former Oklahoma Gazette writerBrian Downs ” executive director of Oklahomans for Responsible GovernmentPam Henry ” former television newswoman and chair of the mayor’s committee on disability concernsBrad Lund ” former chief executive officer of Express Sports, which controlled the Oklahoma City Blazers hockey teamRenzi Stone ” president of Saxum PR and former University of Oklahoma basketball playerShauna Struby ” freelance writer and former Gazette columnist
Read the full list of applicants here. “Scott Cooper
photo Tom McDaniel. photo/Mark Hancock.