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Oklahoma City Council selects Craig Freeman, current finance director, as new city manager

Craig Freeman
Craig Freeman

The Oklahoma City Council on Tuesday named Finance Director Craig Freeman to succeed Jim Couch as city manager.

Freeman, 53, joined the city in 1992 as a management and budget analyst and formerly served as budget director.

He earned his undergraduate degree in political science and public service and a master's in urban affairs from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Freeman becomes Oklahoma City's top administrator Jan. 2, the day Couch's retirement becomes official.

Freeman will earn $248,000 next year.

The city council spent all day Monday interviewing candidates for the job.

Asked what strengths the council saw in Freeman, Ward 3 Councilman Larry McAtee said, "His skill, his character, and his ability to build a team and work well with people."

Freeman was one of five internal candidates who were interviewed.

McAtee said his decision was "heavily motivated by being loyal to the employees we already have in Oklahoma City and giving them an opportunity to keep going in the direction they've been so ably leading us."

Freeman said he looked forward to working more closely with the city council in his new role.

 "What I really appreciate about our council, they don't always agree with each other, and they can debate and discuss issues, but they walk away in unity around the concept of moving the city forward," Freeman said.

Freeman is officially city manager designee until Jan. 2. He will shoulder all the city manager's responsibilities in the interim.


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Craig Freeman

Craig Freeman

<figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Craig Freeman" title="Craig Freeman"><figcaption>Craig Freeman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - Craig Freeman" title="Craig Freeman"><figcaption>Craig Freeman</figcaption></figure>
William Crum

OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman. Read more ›