On April 26, the Oklahoma City Council will vote on whether to give a huge amount of power to a newly formed "nonprofit corporation" called "Alliance for Economic Development". This measure, if passed, will eviscerate the OKC City Council, and put another layer of secrecy between the people of OKC and the billionaires who control our future as a city.
This alliance, made up primarily of white, male elitists, purports to be a "social welfare organization", but looks at first glance more like a "corporate welfare organization".
In an article in the Oklahoma Gazette entitled Strategic Alliance (http://okgazette.com/oklahoma/article-11444-strategic-alliance.html), Catherine O’Connor (an employee of OKC) stated:
"The effort is simply institutionalizing the city’s current practices and brings structure to an ad hoc approach given to complex issues."
Ms. O'Connor is correct, for once. A small group of white, male elitists has run Oklahoma City from behind the scenes for generations. Now that the voters of OKC have elected Councilman Ed Shadid ( who cannot be bought or intimidated, and will shine the light of day on what happens behind closed doors), the fat cats are trying to legitimize what they have been doing under the table for decades: making all the important decisions about how our tax revenues will be spent (usually for their own benefit), and leaving for the City Council the mundane issues like water and garbage, and the crumbs that fall from their table.
This is just another of dozens of games the Gaylords and their elitist friends always have played, designed to assure that they get their cut of the OKC tax revenues off the top.
The members of the Alliance for Economic Development include Clay Bennett (who married into the billionaire Gaylord family), Larry Nichols (oil executive), Roy Williams (Greater OKC Chamber), and Ron Norick (former mayor). Every one of these guys is a bloodsucker who has a clear conflict of interest.
According to the Oklahoma Gazette, Larry Nichols' Devon Energy ignored calls from the newspaper last Friday. Devon Energy is sucking our tax coffers dry, and participating in a scheme to avoid transparency. Their spokesman, Chip Minty, avoided talking to the media. Not even he can talk himself out of this one.
Jim Couch and Catherine O'Connor "serve" on this board, but as employees of OKC, they know that they will be summarily fired if they ever breathe a word of disagreement with anything the kingpins want to do.
Pat Ryan and Meg Salyer also serve on the board, but they owe their jobs to these fat cats, so they are in no position to complain. Ryan and Salyer know about all the dirty, under-handed schemes these fat cats have played over the years. They are too weak to stand up for the taxpayers who voted them into office.
So what is the point of having a OKC City Council, if it relinquishes all its power to a small group of rich, white males? OKC City Council is a charade, it has always been a charade, and it will be an absurd pretense intended to create a pleasant/respectable appearance until we, the people, demand transparency and start treating these fat cats like the thieves they are. They have stolen our tax revenues for decades, and now they want us to sanction their actions.
It is encouraging to note that Councilman Ed Shadid has asked that a member of the Oklahoma Legislature request an Attorney General's opinion regarding the legality of the above.
These fat cats believe that we, the people, are beneath them. Jim Couch, Catherine O'Connor, Pat Ryan, Meg Salyer, and Mick Cornett are merely puppets on their stage. The election of Shadid has given the people of OKC encouragement to stand up and fight for the honorable government we deserve.
In the meantime, I will continue to call this group of elitists "The Alliance for Economic Deception".
Fannie Bates is a resident of Oklahoma City.
This is an excerpt of an article originally published by Oklahoma Citizen.