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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Voters should look past the smoke and mirrors

  • I’m incensed and compelled to respond to a statement made at the recent PAVE forum. A representative speaking on behalf of Citizens for Responsible Government called the financing of capital improvements by GO Bond (property tax) immoral, which by innuendo speaks to the character of commissioners.


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  • I’m incensed and compelled to respond to a statement made at the recent PAVE forum. A representative speaking on behalf of Citizens for Responsible Government called the financing of capital improvements by GO Bond (property tax) immoral, which by innuendo speaks to the character of commissioners.
    The CRG platform is based on the four cornerstones of the American political psyche –  emotion substituted for thought; fear; ignorance; and propaganda.
    Our community has used GO financing for capital projects for years. In fact, a $5 million GO issue overwhelmingly passed in 1985 – with the support of schools and business. Does CRG believe Mayor Ozeretny and commissioners in 1985 were immoral? I believe they were responsible citizens who saw the need to improve our community.
    Most cities around the state utilize GO Bonds for capital projects – and their schools are in great shape. Beyond both major metros, which have about 16 mil levy – consider Broken Arrow, Bartlesville, Sapulpa, Ada, Ardmore, Enid, Moore, Del City, Stillwater, Norman, Yukon, Midwest City – and the list goes on - currently all finance capital improvements with property tax.
    They say we need to “address water.” In September of 2009 we addressed the long term solutions to our water and sewer infrastructure by ensuring users of the system – pay for the system. One of the major changes removed discounts for large water users – now we all pay the same for the services we consume. In addition to the new raw waterline – we are in the final process of engaging an engineering firm to map the infrastructure to determine line sizing as we replace the aging system. Water is not an issue in this election – it is funded.
    They say “use the third penny”. The third penny was leveraged more than 10 years ago to support the big 4. The current commission didn’t have sources of funding for other projects until these were paid off – which was last December. Now, we fully leveraged the 3rd penny for five years for parking and electrical improvements at the Expo. That money was borrowed at an average rate of 2 percent.
    Interest rates are at historic lows, giving us the opportunity to do more for less money. I encourage all voters to look beyond the smoke and mirrors, study the proposals and make your decision based on their merit. Most importantly, let your opinion be known at the polls.
    Frank Sims
    Shawnee