Advisory Board Member Rusty LaForge also suggested moving up the convention center because, he said, it could begin to pay for itself. Transit could be moved back, which could allow for technological improvements to help build the system.
Councilman Pete White worried that moving transit construction back would cause the city to miss out on possible matching federal funds that would allow expansion of the system beyond downtown.
The current $130 million budgeted for the system would allow about 5.5 miles of track.
“The only way this transit is going to work is that it has to go out beyond 5 miles,” White said. “Any thought of moving transit back could be a tragedy. In fact, I recommend moving it up.”
Advisory Board Member Kimberly Lowe, who also chairs the parks subcommittee, said she would not oppose moving the park construction back to allow for earlier building of the convention center.
“The city needs operational funds,” she said. “We need to look at bringing revenue in.”
White said quality-of-life issues for those living and working in Oklahoma City were at least as important as the economic development issues.
“I didn't ever understand that MAPS 3 was about economic development,” White said. “It's about quality of life.”
No vote on a project timeline was taken at the public meeting, but city staff members were hoping to have a more permanent timeline decided in about a month, MAPS 3 program manager Eric Wenger said.
“At some point you may have to vote,” Mayor Mick Cornett told those in attendance Tuesday. “There's going to be some tough decisions.”