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City benefits from leadership, collaboration
Oklahoma City is regularly visited by representatives and officials from other cities throughout the country who want to understand the secret of our success here. The MAPS program, now in its 25th year, has transformed our city in significant and tangible ways. This program, which allows for major capital improved projects to be funded without debt, is admired by cities nationwide.
Recently, Oklahoma City was ranked the best-run city with a population over 500,000 for the second year in a row and ranked 10th best overall by WalletHub. The criteria were based on categories such as financial stability, education, health, safety, economy and infrastructure.
For the eighth consecutive year, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s reaffirmed Oklahoma City’s AAA bond rating, the highest bond rating possible, citing “continued sound fiscal management.” For the past decade, Oklahoma City has received the annual Distinguished Budget Award from the Government Finance Officers Association. Based on 25 specific criteria, the award recognizes budget documents of the highest quality that reflect the most stringent industry practices on budgeting.
Every year, Oklahoma City rakes in awards and recognition for being business friendly. This means our city and our business climate make it easy to start or grow a business. We have no unnecessary hurdles, knowledgeable staff who facilitate permitting and we have city departments and economic development entities that are accessible, collaborative and highly accountable.
These accolades are a result of intentional policies and processes and very strong cooperation between the city of Oklahoma City, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and the economic development entities. The awards are nice, but what’s truly important is our city government filled with folks who have a strong work ethic and who are willing to work collaboratively.
The city’s commitment to excellence, accountability and responsiveness is also reflected in our citizen surveys. Every year, Oklahoma City citizens give high satisfaction marks for city services and say they think the city is moving in the right direction. 2018 is no exception – in many areas, our citizens are more satisfied than the national average for large American cities. This indicates that our city leadership is dialed in to what’s important to citizens.
Cathy O’Connor is the president of the Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.