David Holt thinks OKC is still in a “Renaissance”

MAPS 4EVER is officially a go.

Earlier this week, the Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected a bid by local town contrarian Ed Shadid to shelve MAPS 4EVER on the grounds that it violated the “single-subject rule” in the Oklahoma Constitution.

Here are details via The Oklahoman:

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has rejected former Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid’s bid to scuttle MAPS 4.

In a 10-page ruling issued Monday, the high court said Oklahoma City’s MAPS 4 ordinance is constitutional.

The unanimous decision by Justice Douglas Combs says the ordinance “does not violate the single-subject rule found in the Oklahoma Constitution,” nor does it violate state statute or the city’s charter.

Yeah, you know that $900-million, all-or-nothing plan put together by the ruling class that includes 16 different projects of varying size, cost and scope? It all covers just one subject.

Here’s what Mayor McSelfie – a conservative who is employed by a company that greatly benefits from taxpayer-funded MAPS projects – had to say about the ruling…

Mayor David Holt commended the justices “for moving swiftly and for upholding the rule of law.”

“Now we look toward Dec. 10 and the opportunity to continue our city’s remarkable renaissance,” Holt said.

I know Holt is an overly cheery, feel-good dude who relies heavily on cliches and positive talking points to get his message across, but does he really think OKC is still in a renaissance?

That card is tough to play when the symbol of that renaissance – the Devon Tower – is glutted with empty floors, and has plywood covering broken windows. If you ask me, the OKC Renaissance started winding down in 2011 when the natural gas industry started to tank. You know, back when Kings of Leon was still a popular and relevant band.

And even if we are still in a renaissance, I don’t see how MAPS 4EVER will keep it moving forward. There’s not one project in that mix that I’d describe as truly transformative. Hell, the biggest project is a $115-million refurbishing of our sardine can Chesapeake Arena, which equates to spending $10,000 to fix up a 1998 Honda Civic. Even if you get Michelangelo to paint the exterior, there’s nothing renaissance about that.

Anyway, we’ll have more about MAPS 4EVER on this site over the next couple of months. I’m not necessarily against it, but I’m not enthusiastically for it either. Maybe I should figure out a way to make money on it to help swing my opinion.

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43 Responses


  1. I know that “back when Kings of Leon was still a popular and relevant band” is grammatically correct, but I so much want it to be “Kings of Leon were,…”
    Life isn’t just.
    But we do need to fork over $115 mill so that the corporate season ticket holders have a pleasant experience watching the millionaires play ball. And we do need to throw millions at an “innovation district” – downtown, doncha know? – even though innovation is happening in basements, garages and tiny offices in strip malls all over. My wife works from home for a software company that has its headquarters in Chicago, and her team members are in Denver, Las Vegas, NC and Texas. The Energy soccer team need a new stadium, although they just million buttloads to completely rebuild the one they’re in and can’t fill. And we’re taking some “leftover” funds of MAPS3 to build a surf pool by the ruinously expensive MAPS3 whitewater rapids (over $600,000 in the hole just this year) because it makes perfect sense to fix one very expensive to run and maintain disaster by building another one next to it.
    Ever think that they’re just piling together whatever crap they can think of, so that they don’t lose that extra penny?
    Let us vote on these things individually. Then those folks that are on Social Security, for instance, can decide if they want to fork those pennies over every time they buy groceries, to pay extortion money to the Thunder.
    And since ridership numbers on the streetcar are around – what?, about 20 per hour? – maybe we should see about making those into giant moveable planters.


    1. This.
      We’re hemorrhaging money trying to find a reason for people to look at us. Street car, rapids, updated arena, 400 “districts” that are all 80% finished, the list goes on and on.
      We’re a good city but Holt and others think we’re some progressive Austin, Texas destination that people can’t wait to get to.
      We need to lean into what made this city great in its early days…..meth. Legalize it, people.


      1. But, but, it pretty much is legal now.
        20 grams = misdemeanor.
        20 grams is a whole lotta meth.


        1. Wasted money no transparency


      2. “We need to lean into what made this city great in its early days…..meth. Legalize it, people”

        I don’t say this enough..but I may be in love with you…


    2. 1000000+


  2. The one thing the city needs the most is a new, modern animal shelter.


  3. Free money for the wealthy. Just ask that Omni Hotel guy.


  4. Are we in a renaissance? It depends on your perspective. If you’re in the top 10% income bracket like Mayor Holt, then sure, things look fine. If you’re in the middle like me, then there are some nice things to appreciate, but you also see the warning signs of a decline. If you’re near the bottom, you probably don’t care what the city’s status is, you’re just trying to make it to Wednesday.

    The Mayor’s strategy with MAPS4 in trying to guilt us into voting for social services that should be provided elsewhere in the city’s budget is beyond pretentious. I’m not voting yes for something that is going to give a free handout arena to the State Fair board or a stadium to a wealthy group of owners of a sub-par soccer team (that vaguely appears that Mayor Holt has a financial interest with).

    Dare I say it, but Patrick is spot-on with the Devon Tower. If this was 2011, the windows would have been repaired within a week. Since most our residents live in the friendly confines of the suburbs they are not aware that the sidewalk along the tower has been cordoned off since the accident occurred and doesn’t appear it will be reopened anytime soon. The whole area looks desolate and doesn’t hold up to what would be thought of as a renaissance era.


    1. I just want to say thank you for this comment and I would definitely buy you a beer if I knew you.


    2. This right here, “If you’re near the bottom, you probably don’t care what the city’s status is, you’re just trying to make it to Wednesday.” Living paycheck to paycheck don’t leave much extra dough for fancy basketball game tickets and high-dollar parking, or some such high-falutin’ stuff. Let’s revitalize the local neighborhood parks in less affluent communities with pools and playgrounds for kids in summer, build sidewalks in neighborhoods that do not have them, maybe turn on the street lights along I-240 on the southside of OKC, and resurface those shitty roads over there too. When I am driving my 1993 Buick LeSabre see-dan over to the ritzy areas of OKC, I notice those streets are much nicer.


      1. 1000000+


  5. Lipstick meet pig!


  6. More could be done to improve the economy of Oklahoma by providing an infrastructure for the city, rather than fluff items such as stadiums. But of course reliable public transportation, or even any public transportation to and from the airport doesn’t exist in OKC, because the elite, and city leaders don’t see a need for it. Rather they see a need for flashy buildings, an airport expansion to an airport that has lots of empty gates and few flights.

    On a positive side the city did get a Cabela’s and a Costco after they subsidized them by letting them keep a portion of the sales tax they collect rather than send it to fund city services. But I guess MAPS could fund those things too.

    If you are in the construction business you love the whole idea of MAPS, plus you can pitch it is adding jobs to Oklahoma’s economy. Never mind they are temporary, and most are filled by people from out of state. Just give out the facts you want out there, not all of them.

    OKC is in dire need of social services, and there are some good ones in the MAPS proposal. Problem you have to pass an almost BILLION DOLLAR tax to get a few million for things that should be funded with existing taxes. This dare to dream big campaign will benefit the usual suspects, construction companies, and sports team owners, but not much for the average citizen, other than to provide a place for them to spend money that they don’t have.

    This MAPS crap needs to go, OKC is not in a “renaissance”, anyone who has ventured out of the state to an area that has a growing economy can see. When you live in a boom and bust economy like Oklahoma has, you do these things during the boom, not during the bust, like we are in now. But also during the boom you don’t lower the taxes on the industries that created the boom, like Oklahoma did. But hey, that is, or was The Oklahoma Standard.


    1. Yep, it’s the concrete crowd that loves this crap.
      Meanwhile the clay pipe sewer lines in this neighborhood are approaching 100 years old, and they are constantly backing up, and have so many breaks in them that they are infested with rats. I know this because they gnaw off my back flow valve whenever I replace it.
      This third-rate babbitry of the city leaders – including the two young “progressives” on the council – in promoting this tired bullshit that, if we only give the developers more money, tourists are just going to flow to this city – tourists from farther away than Mustang, that is – and all that entertainment and hotel money is just going to be bouncing out of those streetcars from all the wowed conventioners from all those other towns that don’t have conventions centers, don’t have water parks, and coffee shops.
      Let’s build a fuckin’ mountain with MAPS5, how about, and shake some of that fake snow over it, steal some of that Aspen crowd away the Rockies.


      1. Quiet!! That will be next! Don’t give them ideas!!


      2. “Babbitry” – that’s awesome! By the way I spent the weekend in Springfield , MO, of all places, and their Bricktown equivalent was on a par with OKC’s – but it seemed authentic and not nearly as manufactured/phony. (Take a deep breath Lackmeyer.)


        1. I don’t mind Bricktown at all. I feel like it was great for the city and has allowed us to grow in areas surrounding it, and in those regards it was a total success. It’s also a place I’d come in with a family for an afternoon. One of my favorite bars is actually there.

          But you’re right in how manufactured it seems in the end. It’s sort of like the Epcot equivalent of a historical district. You go there and you see some old-styled looking buildings and don’t believe that anything has really happened there apart from suburban kids having their 21st birthday parties at Pink Parrot before passing out at the IHOP.

          Compare that to a lot of other cities that OKC wants to be on par with, and it just doesn’t look like there’s much meat on the bone there in comparison.


          1. Your positive feelings about Bricktown are obviously shared by many. After years of not going down there, a few months ago, we hopped into a friend’s car and they drove through it. I was amazed at the Saturday night crowd.
            I recognize that I am a strange old fart, and my feelings are way to one side of most folks on most things, but I have never liked anything about the place, regardless of the economic benefits that are endlessly touted. I think my reaction to Bricktown’s inauthenticity – whatever that means -can be encapsulated by the canal – a concrete ditch filled with well water that has been dyed to make it look like water. Close by is the Oklahoma River, which is also a ditch, straightened out back about 100 years ago, so that it resembles no real river in the world, an industrial strip of no visual interest at all.
            Bricktown is manufactured oldtimeyness. It is authenticity from a box. But Okies don’t really care whether it is or not, I guess. They, like so many Americans, go to Disney World to get a taste of other cultures. They like safe. They like predictable.


            1. I think I view it as a good novelty for visitors and families who want to spend an afternoon mini-golfing but don’t want to stay in Edmond to do it. For a city without a real identity, it gives a distraction for outside visitors who don’t want to venture too far from their hotels when watching a basketball game.

              It’s not a great identity for the city that’s trying to put itself on par with even lower-population pro cities. We don’t have a fraction of the intrigue or interest of a New Orleans, we don’t have the geography of a Salt Lake City or a Miami, or nearly the attractions of an Orlando. What we have is a place where visitors from those cities can spend a night without feeling like they were stuck in the middle of a pasture or cornfield for their away trip. I think that’s one of the better things we can expect given how our city and state tend to be run.


        2. My wife and I walked around in OKC’s Bricktown after lunch there a while back. It’s ok, but it can’t touch Tulsa’s Arts District.

          Tulsa’s Arts District grew up organically over the past decade or so, and isn’t phony or manufactured at all. But one very generous and selfless donor did give it a huge boost.


          1. There is nothing organic about the Tulsa Arts District. Keiser shit 100 million out and see what you got. Lots of new buildings that are not historic.


  7. I don’t know about “renaissance”? But one could make a pretty good case for The Dark Ages.


  8. There’s no way I’d be voting for MAPS 4 with the corporate welfare running thru it. Let the Fair Board pay for their arena. Let Bob Funk pay for his soccer stadium. Sidewalks, yes. Stadiums, no.


  9. If you OKC idiots want to quit subsidizing billionaires..the answer is so simple.
    Start putting casinos down town!
    They are going to eventually rope you into paying for a giant NFL stadium (you will probably get the Rams or Chargers or some shit).
    Why do you treat casino’s like they are your red headed step child? out on the fringes of nowhere.
    They steal millions from morons from Texas as it is…they should be stealing millions more!(put weed shops in them and it will be billions)
    Make Sauron’s tower evil eye a giant ass casino!
    One ring (tower) for all!


    1. Casinos can only be built on Indan land in OK, never going to have one downtown.


      1. *Indian.

        Patrick, pay the extra buck to get an edit button for this software…


        1. Within the next few months, we’ll likely have a feature where you can pay to do that.


          1. Some of my mistakes are so bad that I might actually be willing to pay to fix them!


      2. but david holt claims to be a indian


  10. If the Mayor was a democrat you all would be wanting to make a statue of him in the new park….im surprised you libs dont love him since he basically proclaimed okc a sanctuary city..


    1. Ah, yes. There’s always that one derplahoman that makes this into a libs thing. Roll over in bed, wake your sister up, and tell her the meth high has worn off.


    2. I don’t give a shit one way or the other about the Mayor. Hell, I didn’t know what party he was until you just said. I’m just tired of this city’s inability to fund basic services while splashing around millions to fund tired, last-of-the-pack ideas.
      You, Bill? You been tooling around on that streetcar much? Been spending your free time with your family down at that whitewater rapids? Can’t wait to see the new flashing lights at the Chesapeake while reposing in your mid-court seats that your corporation gets tax write-offs for?
      I just want a sewer system that doesn’t have rat burrows tunneling off of it, some nice parks, sidewalks, and a some plan to deal with all the low level thieves, the addicts, and the mentally ill that are wandering around here.
      But that’s just me.


    3. Fun fact: Sanctuary status doesn’t actually affect crime rates according to actual research and not easily excitable racists

      https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1078087417704974


      1. urban affairs review??? you may as well have used robert francis (Beto) O’Rourke as your source


        1. I don’t see your counter source. Feel free to provide a better study that shows otherwise.


  11. Here comes the Tax man…


  12. https://missoulian.com/news/national/in-oklahoma-governor-tests-power-of-tribal-gambling/article_b4c29270-26ac-560f-83d7-573df5140d0e.html thats all folks…


  13. nice day for it thank you for admitting you didnt read the article because it says right in it that he’s a conservative


    1. I’m admitting that? Like I’m ashamed that I skimmed the piece? Is this a revealed gospel? Is there a test later on?
      I don’t need to remember every word of a light satirical article about MAPS4 to comment about the basic idiocy of it. But you’re welcome anyway, Bill; glad it made you feel a little better.


    2. Thanks for admitting your only purpose here is to annoy people you disagree with. Yer the life of the party, smarty!


  14. Bricktown needs a few nudie bars, massage parlors, and CBD stores.


  15. I think we just have too much space/too spread out for a single area to be a genuine thriving metropolis. Pretty difficult to reverse decades of white flight and suburban sprawl. Like other people mentioned they should give up on forcing that idea and focus on infrastructure that would actually benefit normal people.

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