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OKC Central Live Chat Special Guest

by Steve Lackmeyer Published: February 20, 2014
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Oklahoma City, Manager Jim Couch Amanda Alfanos, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City, Manager Jim Couch Amanda Alfanos, The Oklahoman
I will have another guest with me during Friday’s OKC Central Live Chat. He’s a CEO type – oversees a workforce that is bigger than Devon Energy Corp. or Chesapeake Energy. His employees are scattered throughout downtown, they are involved in almost every facet of development, and they are playing a direct role in the ongoing rebuilding of our urban core.

He also has a bit of an activist board, but so far he’s managed to keep them fairly happy that he has kept his job for more than a dozen years.

I can’t begin to say how happy I am to have City Manager Jim Couch as my guest Friday. I’ve known Jim since the mid-1990s, when he was the city’s water utilities director. I watched him as he soothed over conflicts and tension that arose through the early planning stages of the original Metropolitan Area Projects (Jim Thompson never really left the job he was doing, he just took a lower profile during the completion stages, and did great work in the process).

As City Manager Jim Couch has overseen a city staff that has continued to attempt a transformation of Oklahoma City. At times, I’ve poked and prodded at Jim, challenged whether planning was playing enough of a role in the work that was clearly being guided and controlled by city engineers. All throughout these ongoing discussions, I’ve strived, and I hope I’ve made clear, I respect and like Jim. I respect the role of city engineers. My questions and challenges have simply involved whether planning has been given a balanced role in moving Oklahoma City forward.

So that’s that. I’ve had ample time to interview and talk with Jim over the years. Now it’s your turn. I will add that Jim Couch offered to participate – and that he’s fully aware there are a lot of questions, concerns and dreams amongst those who participate in these chats. He’s ready to talk, share ideas and answer questions.

I can’t think of a better compliment to The Oklahoman’s readers and especially to those who are a part of the ongoing OKC Central conversation. Get your questions and comments posted early. The chat board goes up at 9:30 a.m. Friday at NewsOK, the conversation starts at 10 a.m.


by Steve Lackmeyer
Reporter Sr.
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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