The Edmond Sun

March 27, 2012

OUR VIEW: Taking care of some old business

The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Earlier this month, the City Council filled an unexpected vacancy when Ward 4 Councilman David Miller took an out-of-state job opportunity.

Filling the position until the 2013 election is financial adviser Nick Massey. He’s a familiar face to Edmond Sun readers, having contributed a regular financial column for almost five years. We would like to congratulate Massey on attaining the Ward 4 council seat and we wish him the best as he learns the ropes at city hall.

But Massey’s appointment caps an almost unprecedented amount of change within the City Council structure.

Since October, Mayor Patrice Douglas resigned her post to serve on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which led to Ward 3 Councilman Charles Lamb taking over the mayoral post. His seat then went to Darrell Davis, another City Council appointee until the 2013 municipal elections.

Ward 1 City Councilwoman Victoria Caldwell is just a year into her first term, leaving Ward 2 City Councilwoman Elizabeth Waner now as the senior member on the council behind the mayor.

Up until the end of the year, it wasn’t too difficult for close city watchers to have a pretty good feel for how the council would vote on major issues. But with this much change in the players, the votes are now a much bigger enigma.

And the City Council has several major issues of old business left to sort out.

At the top of the priority list is designating the location of the $25.5 million Public Safety Center and overseeing its construction in a fiscally prudent manner. Next up will be working with developers who seek to create a 94-acre retail complex featuring four hotels and a conference center at Interstate 35 and Covell. The City Council must answer how much infrastructure or financial support it is interested in lending to the conference center project.

Plenty of smaller, but just as important, issues also linger for the council to decide, including whether it will follow the will of voters and implement local campaign finance reporting standards for the newer Political Action Committees.

The City Council has a lot of old business on its plate. We realize the council’s newest members will be busy this next month wrapping their heads around the city’s budgeting process, but we look forward to any new business this reorganized council is ready to tackle as it leads the community forward.