With an emphasis in 2019 of bringing to the attention of our cities and towns the importance of a quality of life focus, the Oklahoma Municipal League (OML) will present its newest workshop, Quality Communities – Setting Yours Apart, on Friday, February 8, at Rose State College.
This workshop will feature several topics during the day-long event, including citizen engagement, creating/preserving districts, how to create public spaces, how Oklahoma cities and towns are using 1 cent sales tax to fund capital improvement plans, and, the Keep OK Beautiful “Paint for Projects.”
Presenter Monica Carden, City of Del City, will speak on how Del City has fought blight and slum lords through a new home inspection program. Shane Hampton, with the OU Institute for Quality Communities, will discuss placemaking – a process of creating quality public spaces based on local assets, culture, and preferences; Midwest City’s Christine Brakefield will present ideas regarding how to develop and preserve districts and public spaces. Daniel McClure, Director of Research at OML, will lead a session that is focused on best practices for community building and engagement, as well as ideas for developing and preparing municipally minded leaders.
OML knows that the emphasis on quality of life is critical to the overall sustainable success of Oklahoma communities. According to Mike Fina, OML Executive Director, the goal of this initiative is to provide educational resources and workshops that will highlight information on how to improve or even help to create a community’s quality of life.
Fina said that there are 2 important reasons for a community to focus on its quality of life: one, residents’ perception of the culture and value systems in which they live; and, two, the outside perception of the community concerning future growth and economic development.
These perceptions relate to the responsiveness of public officials, public safety, education, health care, dining and shopping opportunities, churches, parks, cultural activities, and much more.
“In short, quality of life is everything that is important on a day-to-day basis to residents and potential investors. These are some of the reasons that OML has determined that the quality of life in our cities and towns should be a priority focus for us as we present educational opportunities to our members,” Fina said.