Tuesday and Thursday.
Tuesday morning is the regular meeting of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority where a contingency of neighbors opposed to the Eastern Oklahoma County turnpike are expected to attend. However, only one spokesperson is “allowed” to speak during public comments. The group, representing landowners in the area, is protesting the $300 million project to build a new turnpike connecting I-44 to I-40.
Then on Thursday morning at 10 am, the rest of the Luther Exchange opens at Hogback Road and the Turner Turnpike. State Senator Ron Sharp, Oklahoma County Commissioner Willa Johnson and Luther town representatives (Mayor Lea Ann Jackson had a previously scheduled appointment before she learned of the plans just last Friday) will be there to “cut the ribbon” and open the gate to Tulsa and back home. Since the gate opened, only the lanes toward and from Oklahoma City have been available (as residents out here all well know).
Back to Tuesday, the OTA meeting is not at its headquarters, but at the HQ of the Oklahoma Association of General Contractors, at 636 NE 41st Street, near the State Capitol at 10:30 am. Here is the agenda – note there are three purchasing items regarding the EOC. Also note, the public comments section is near the end of the agenda, actually on page five of the five-page agenda. The Citizens Against the Eastern Oklahoma County Loop are expected to represent in numbers, if not in words, as the OTA will not allow it.
From Jack Damrill, OTA spokesman: “We are allowing one of them to speak at the end of the meeting. The building can only handle so many people so if there are more than what can accommodate those who are there, we will have to have them wait outside.”
The weather is expected to be partly sunny but only about 40 degrees around meeting time.
Meanwhile, on the anti-EOC Facebook page, a call is made asking for a crowd and signage.
“We need coverage of hopefully a very large crowd, the media may try to make it look like a small group. We need video of our group inside the meeting as well as video of the OTA people. If it is an overflow crowd we video from outside as well,” from the group’s FB page.
The Luther Register will be at the meeting to represent the crowd well in pictures. Incidentally, Damrill says there will be plenty of seating for the media at the meeting.
Damrill may regret so much seating for media. It’s a double edged sword. May his public relations find that out tomorrow.