Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Saying farewell to Councilman Bowman

It was said recently in the Gazette that Ward 2 councilman Sam Bowman will not be running for reelection, and that is a loss for this city. I did not know Bowman, but I did know of him, and I could tell he was a difference-maker in Oklahoma City. He championed the causes that might be considered politically unpopular in Oklahoma and his district, the north side from the Paseo up to NW 122nd, triumphed for it. Bowman is a resident of the Cleveland neighborhood, a great neighborhood (that you don't hear a lot about) north of 23rd between Villa and May avenues.

The times that I took my issues to the City Council and spoke before them, and even the times I have gone just to listen, I have grown to like some of the councilors and dislike one in particular. That said, Bowman has been my favorite and it's clear that his priority is to keep the heart of OKC healthy. He often brought his anecdotes from functioning urban cities before the council, and when councilors react to public comment, would defend most anyone (including me) who went before the council with blistering urban planning criticisms of this city. When others like to mitigate the harshness of the reality of our maniacally sprawled city, Bowman was willing to face it head-on and be an honest broker of solutions. His frankness, his vision, and his outlook will be missed on the horseshoe.

I am certain that whoever fills his shoes in Ward 2 will be of the same high caliber of public servant that he was. This is something to look forward to, because that bar is set pretty high. If you go through history, it's actually these neighborhoods in Ward 2 that have been a gold mine of great public servants, from Edgemere Park denizens like OKC's first woman mayor Patience Latting, to Crown Heights residents such as Judge Gene Matthews and Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony. All got their start as Ward 2 Councilman.

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