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Craig Freeman sworn in as Oklahoma City Manager
“I love Oklahoma City,” said Freeman, whom the City Council appointed Nov. 20 after Couch’s retirement announcement Sept. 17. “The City has had so much success through the years because of working together. That starts with our elected officials and their leadership, it’s with the business leaders, with nonprofit leaders, with the City team we have, and it’s most of all with our residents and their support for our City. As we go forward, it’s going to take that same kind of working together.”
Freeman took the oath of office at 5:01 p.m., just after Couch’s retirement took effect. Couch administered the oath of office for the City Manager position, and Mayor David Holt administered the oath for positions on various boards, trusts and commissions on which the City Manager serves.
The City Manager is the top staff member in Oklahoma City’s Council-Manager form of government. The City Manager oversees day-to-day operations, a staff of 4,803 employees and a budget of $1.57 billion.
Freeman also succeeds Couch as a member of the Airport Trust, Water Utilities Trust, Zoological Trust and Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority Board of Trustees.
Freeman, 53, was previously the City Finance Director. He started his career with the City in 1992 as a Management and Budget Technician, earning promotions to Management and Budget Analyst, Management and Budget Specialist, Finance Department Business Manager and Budget Director.
Freeman oversaw a staff of 85 in the Finance Department’s six divisions. He coordinated the development and presentation of the City budget, Five-Year Financial Forecast, Capital Improvement Plan and Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, and provided other important financial services.
Freeman has also been involved in labor negotiations, economic development projects, developing the City’s general obligation bond programs and sales tax initiatives. The City has maintained a AAA bond rating under his leadership.
Before coming to the City of Oklahoma City, Freeman was a teacher and coach at Windsor Hills Baptist School. He graduated in 1987 from Oklahoma Baptist College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education. He also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science-public affairs in 1991 and a Master’s degree in urban affairs in 1992, both from the University of Central Oklahoma.
Freeman is a lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro. He and his wife, Rhonda have sons Chris and Nick, and daughter-in-law Haley; daughter Whitney and son-in-law Stephen; and grandsons Landon and Grayson.
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