Ron Norick remembers being relieved and excited 19 years ago Friday when he learned Oklahoma City voters had approved the original MAPS tax.
But it didn't take long for the realization to sink in that it was already time for the city to collectively roll up its sleeves and get to work.
“It was kind of like the dog chasing the car. Now what do I do with it?” Norick, who was Oklahoma City's mayor on Dec. 14, 1993, recalled Friday. “It was kind of one of those moments.”
Norick will be part of a series of celebrations planned in 2013 to honor the 20th anniversary of the MAPS tax, which is universally recognized as the start of Oklahoma City's ongoing renaissance.
Next year's Oklahoma City Holiday River parade is one event sure to be part of the celebration, said Mike McAuliffe, who was Norick's chief of staff in 1993 and is now CEO of OKC Events. McAuliffe will help organize the events, with support from the city, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and a number of other local organizations.
The 20th anniversary celebration will be incorporated into events involving everything that was a part of the original MAPS project, likely along with a cornerstone event to mark next Dec. 14.
“If you look at the things that have happened in this city, that vote on Dec. 14, 1993, was a major turning point,” McAuliffe said.