‘Bait and switch’

Unless the city has something more to offer than Austin, Texas, or
Baltimore or Minneapolis or Phoenix (it’s not direct fights if you’ve
traveled recently), recent history says otherwise.

New
construction has been a deficit producer in some places, and junked the
hotel debt rating of Austin and Phoenix. Communication in the 21st
century and a space glut have taken the steam out of traffic. All this
is surely familiar to the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber junta that won’t
release the study conducted by Convention, Sports & Leisure
International, the outfit that recommended construction in the mentioned
towns.

Apparently, OKC has some significant challenges in becoming a convention mecca, but that’s on a need-to-know basis,
so keep it under the hat. No doubt why Mayor Mick Cornett and his
likeminded cohorts are willing to corrupt the genial tradition of the
Oklahoma City Council, and deny the deferral request of the honorable
Councilman Ed Shadid before the best informed and researched member of
the horseshoe could enter his findings into public record. (These are
the same members that assured Dr. Shadid in the just proceeding session
that deferrals are always granted when requested.) The chamber must have
thought it providential intervention when Dr. Shadid missed that
international flight connection.

It’s
hard not to see this whole sordid affair as a cynical textbook case of
bundling and bait and switch. Package the expensive, unpopular project
with ones people are enthusiastic about, all with an inferred timeline,
then do the bidding of the ruling class in town once you get the vote.
If the good citizens of OKC are fed up and reject an extension, they’ll
be spiting the projects they wanted.

—David Orr
Norman

Oklahoma
Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view
in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to
edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed,
emailed to
rcollins@okgazette.com or sent online at okgazette.com, but
include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

David Orr

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