An Oklahoma City visionary
Since Nov. 9, 2000, Jim Couch has admirably served Oklahoma City as its city manager. Last month, Jim announced that chapter of his life was coming to a close with a planned retirement date of Jan. 2, 2019. In his 18 years as city manager, Jim managed the day-to-day operations of the City of Oklahoma City, including its more than 4,800 employees and $1.56 billion budget. But it is his significant contributions to some of Oklahoma City’s most critical decisions in the past two decades that I want to highlight.
Jim navigated challenging negotiations that ensured Oklahoma City’s access to dependable water sources and protected the needs of water users in southeast Oklahoma in the landmark Sardis Lake agreement. He was also an important part of the two agreements that brought the NBA to Oklahoma City––first, in 2005 when the New Orleans Hornets temporarily relocated to our arena, and then in 2008 when the Thunder permanently joined our community. And equally important to Oklahoma City’s future and Jim’s legacy is the way he oversaw the investments made by Oklahoma City’s residents through MAPS, MAPS for Kids, MAPS 3 and the Better Streets, Safer City general obligation bond funds.
Jim is the longest-serving city manager in our history for a reason: he is an incredible leader. Without Jim at the helm, Oklahoma City would not be the same successful community that it is today.
Roy H. Williams, CCE
Chamber CEO & President