Former Mayor Norick, known as the "father of MAPS," gives his views on MAPS 4, why MAPS works for OKC and more.
What do you think about this new MAPS proposal?
Mayor Norick: I am really appreciative of the way these 16 projects address our community’s needs right now, and at the same time they build on the legacy of the work we have done before. We are continuing to look at what our city needs to move forward and continuing to seed the growth of our economy, while at the same time, we are building up our neighborhoods and helping those who need it the most.
How does this package of projects fit with your original vision of MAPS?
At the core of what we wanted to do in 1993 was to answer this question – how do we make Oklahoma City a better place to live? Every one of these programs has done that, and so does MAPS 4. Our kids are staying here. We are attracting more people to live here. And we also create a stronger economy.
What is the biggest change you have seen in our city since the first program?
I think the biggest change isn’t the physical redevelopment – although that is huge. The biggest change is attitude – we see what happens when we work together. We also know how important it is that we invest in ourselves. The pride people have for this place just continues to grow. We aren’t waiting for someone to take care of our problems, not the State, not Washington, not a company to bring jobs – we know we can create the future we want.
What do you think is the secret ingredient that makes MAPS work so well?
I don’t think there is just one – there are a couple. First is the combination of projects, which is a very powerful way to address community needs together. In every iteration of MAPS there are projects that really only reach their potential when combined with one or more of the other projects. It is truly a strategic mix. Second is the debt-free construction. It really gives the City more flexibility and makes these projects more functional. Finally, I think the citizen oversight component is so important because it keeps the citizens vision and desires front and center.
What is the legacy of this program?
MAPS gave us something to believe in – ourselves. Our kids are staying here, and people are coming back. These programs changed the trajectory of our city in so many ways. The really great thing is we can keep doing this, we can invest in ourselves again and impact more pieces of the puzzle that together can create the best city in the country. I don’t know why anybody wouldn’t want to be a part of that.
See the original story on VeloCityOKC.com.