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Chief of Staff
City of Oklahoma City’s Mayor Mick Cornett
March 7, 2012
7:01 a.m.: I am awakened, as usual, by Oklahoman senior business writer Don Mecoy, who begins to unload a barrage of Twitter links to the day’s top stories every day around this time. I used to set the alarm on my iPhone to wake me up each morning. Now the steady buzzing of Mecoy’s tweets does the trick.
7:03 a.m.: I consider going for a quick run before work. Then I remember it would entail running. Instead I let the dog out and eat a large bowl of Whole Foods’ version of Cocoa Krispies.
7:55 a.m.: I drop off my son, Sam, at school and make the short commute to City Hall.
8:07 a.m.: I walk into the offices at City Hall. The receptionist, a lovely lady named Linda Wood, offers the same warm greeting nearly every morning: “Nice of you to come in this afternoon.”
8:08 a.m.: I check my email. There are a number of media inquiries today on random topics, including some from national media, which require immediate response.
8:55 a.m.: I head to the weekly staff meeting. Kristy Yager, director of public information and marketing, always says something funny at the staff meeting. Today is no exception. City Manager Jim Couch leads an orderly and productive staff meeting.
10:11 a.m.: Writing time. I edit some upcoming mayoral proclamations and work on entries for a Harvard Innovation Award and a City Livability Award.
10:59 a.m.: I drive to a local nonprofit. I have a vague recollection of agreeing to sit in on a meeting. When I arrive, I find out two things: One, I am apparently the featured speaker at the meeting; two, the meeting has been canceled. Sometimes things just work out.
11:37 a.m.: I grab lunch at Pho Cuong at 30th and Classen. This place is great. I fill the pho bowl with jalapenos and Sriracha hot sauce. Other than Cocoa Krispies, there is no meal I can think of that is not enhanced with Sriracha.
12:30 p.m.: Mayor Cornett, who has been in off-site meetings all morning, arrives in the office. The afternoon is crammed with meetings and phone calls, and Gayleen Keeton, the mayor’s executive assistant, has a lot to discuss with the mayor. So, as is my habit, I manage to jump in front of her and start talking about tonight’s Thunder versus Suns game. This drives Gayleen insane. Which is why I do it.
12:35 p.m.: Gayleen runs me out of the office.
12:36 p.m.: Respond to phone calls and emails. There are questions to be answered about Project 180, parking and transit, MAPS projects, people wanting to meet with the mayor.
1:30 p.m.: We hold a scheduling meeting in the mayor’s conference room. Each week, Mayor Cornett receives 20-30 requests to speak. As we do every week, we spend the next hour juggling things on his already insanely tight schedule.
2:38 p.m.: Oklahoman reporter Michael Kimball arrives to talk about the good work being done at the Oklahoma City Animal Shelter. I sit in the interview for a few minutes before I leave to …
2:44 p.m.: Greet the director general of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office. He’s here as part of the Sister Cities program.
3: 01 p.m.: The mayor joins us in the conference room and trades gifts with the visiting dignitaries.
3:23 p.m.: I welcome J.P. Shadrick, director of media relations and broadcasting for the Oklahoma City RedHawks. He interviews the mayor about the 1992 Oklahoma City 89ers championship team, specifically about then-sportscaster Mick Cornett chasing the 89ers’ Keith Miller down the third-base line on live TV after a walk-off home run. Mayor Cornett knows more about baseball than anyone I know and the conversation is fascinating.
3:55 p.m.: Scott Hill, from Access Sports, drops by the office to discuss how his organization is helping underprivileged kids play in Wayman’s Lightning, a local youth basketball league.
4:10 p.m.: More writing and responding to citizen emails.
4:50 p.m.: A video crew arrives to tape a greeting from the mayor congratulating the Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club on its 100th birthday.
5:25 p.m.: Head home.
5:57 p.m.: Sam and I play several games of Horse in the driveway.
6:33 p.m.: My wife, a broadcast journalism professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, arrives home.
7:02 p.m.: Following a light meal, I sit down to watch the Thunder play the Suns.
8:14 p.m.: On most Wednesdays, I play in a standing pick-up basketball game in Edmond that starts at 8:30. Sometimes the couch starts to feel really comfortable around 8:15. This is one of those nights.
10:27 p.m.: The phone stops buzzing from Mecoy’s tweets. Must be bedtime.