+ AGENDA FOR THIS WEEK’S MEETING
+ TUESDAY’S 3 MOST IMPORTANT ELECTIONS
+ SECOND AMENDMENT HERO
+ AGENDA FOR THIS WEEK’S MEETING
Our 12 noon luncheon for Wednesday December 9th will be held at Italiano’s restaurant, 4801
Kern, along with pastors Paul Blair of
One more item on the homosexual issue. This past Wednesday, the State Senate in
If the re-definition is allowed, the gate is open for anything. There are some animal lovers that are so nutty they will want to be married to their animals. After all, they will say, it is ALL ABOUT LOVE.
TUESDAY’S 3 MOST IMPORTANT ELECTIONS
In the special e-mail which went out last Thursday morning, I tried to just evaluate the projects and the lack of operational and maintenance funds to keep them operational. I didn’t want to bring in the issues with the police and fire unions opposing the projects because the supporters of MAPS 3 have rather successfully “demonized” our police and firefighters as simply being union thugs seeking leverage over the city in contract negotiations. However, I want to address some of those issues at this time.
While I don’t know that much about the issues regarding the firemen, we did have the President of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) speak at OCPAC and I have a good grasp on their issue. First, you must understand, the police have not asked for raises for any of their officers, as they recognize the down economy.
They have been asking for additional officers for some time now. I believe there are only 26 more officers on the force now than in 1982, yet the city has increased in population from about 450,000 in 1982 to today’s 550,000. Population increases put more strain on law enforcement. Since 1982, with the rise in gang activity, several officers have been pulled off the streets and assigned to a gang activity task force. In addition, with the development of brick town another large number of officers have been pulled off the streets and assigned to that small area of OKC. If MAPS 3 passes, another large number of officers will have to be assigned to the new park to keep it from becoming crime infested, filled with the vagrant winos and drug dealers. That will put even more pressure on police personnel.
The result is that fewer officers patrol the streets today and the serious emergency response time has now dropped to over 10 minutes. An outside entity was recently commissioned by the city which found we were 200 officers short for a city of our size. I personally don’t believe OKC needs another 200 officers, but we may need at least an additional 60 to 80 officers. Of course that would require more money.
I believe the polling numbers are looking bad for the proponents of MAPS 3, and as such they offered that the “special use tax” expected to be generated by MAPS 3 could be used to increase support for public safety. Traditionally, the use tax should be used for operational expenses and maintenance expenses for the projects. The use taxes won’t generate enough to expand public safety, and if used for such it will cause even less funds to be available for maintenance and operational expenses for the new convention center, senior wellness centers, light rail system and etc.
Last Friday, the firefighter local president was on Mark Shannon’s radio talk show and asked a very pertinent question. He suggested, if the first MAPS was such a great economic engine, why has there not been enough money to keep the level of police and firefighters up with the growth of the city? Great question and let me suggest the reason is that the city fathers frequently miss use tax receipts for improper functions of city government as well as grant sweetheart deals for their buddies, all in the name of economic development. The result is, an insufficient amount of funds are available for the vital functions of city government. Please let me explain.
In 2001 I was the morning host on a talk show and was suggesting that all corporate welfare and redistribution of wealth in the name of “economic development” was immoral and an inferior way to obtain a vibrant economy. I still stand by that assumption today. The real estate developer John Henry III twice asked me to address the OKC city council about the deal the city was negotiating with the Bass Pro Stores. I believe you are only allowed 3 minutes when you speak before the council, so it must be concise and to the point.
The second time I addressed the council, which was the meeting they decided to enter into the sweetheart deal with Bass Pro, I said something like this: I believe it is only fair that the citizens of OKC know that the way you have structured this deal, that for at least the next 20 years, none of the sales taxes generated by Bass Pro and none of the ancillary (sales taxes in the surrounding area) sales taxes will be available to be used for vital city functions such as police, fire, water, sewer, streets, parks and etc.. Those sales taxes must be used to repay the loan to build the Bass Pro store (Bass Pro was obligated to pay $825,000 per year on a $19 million dollar loan at 8% for 20 years). At that rate it takes 23 plus years just to pay back the principle and that doesn’t include interest. The city was subsidizing the loan with sales tax dollars for the parent company in which at that time the Gaylord family had a 19% interest. In my opinion, at that time I believe then Mayor Kirk Humphrey was little more than the water boy of the Godfather, Mr. Gaylord. Then Councilmen Larry McAtee and Mick Cornett went right along with the project.
The next deal of significance was the remodeling of the Skirvin Hotel.
Part of the financing to repay bonded indebtedness was the creation of a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district. Meaning the property taxes generated by the remodeled Skirvin wouldn’t be going to the county and the sales taxes wouldn’t be going to the city, again sales taxes needed to be used for vital city functions.
The next drain away for city revenues came when the Hornets temporarily re-located to OKC. I believe at the request of some of the same powerful corporations and people backing MAPS 3, the state legislature passed a law exempting the tickets for professional sporting events from being subject to sales taxes (previously we did pay sales taxes on these tickets). Most individuals paying 20 to 50 dollars for a ticket to see a NBA game are not going to decide not to purchase that ticket because of another 2 to 4 dollars in sales tax costs. However, corporations purchasing hundreds of season tickets didn’t want to pay those sales tax costs. Therefore we have another source of sales tax dollars no longer available for city use.
As another point of interest, when the citizens decided to extend the MAPS 2 tax for 15 months to up-grade the Ford Center and build a new practice facility, everyone spending money in OKC is paying for those improvements, except the people attending the games. They are exempt for paying for the up-grades when they purchase their tickets. In addition, the city allowed the owners of the Thunder to have their way in such a sweetheart deal regarding the
The city has been so confident that the citizens will pass MAPS 3 that they have already been buying properties in the proposed area of the park. I don’t know where they got that money, but it isn’t being used for public safety. Just another example of the mind set of the central planners who control the city, to lure in a retail shopping center to be located at I-40 and
The bottom line is this. The first MAPS did generate new revenues, but those revenues are ALWAYS insufficient to keep up with the insatiable appetite of city leaders to give revenue away in the name of economic development. Thus, the new revenues aren’t sufficient to provide for the growing infrastructure costs and public safety demands for a growing city. If MAPS 3 passes the temptations for supporting ever more sweetheart deals in the name of economic development will abound.
The people in most areas of the city will never see their fair share of the newly created revenues to be spent on infrastructure or public safety expenses in their areas.
BROKEN ARROW - The
Much of the rest of the costs are associated with building a large number of gyms and according to our good friends at Americans For Prosperity (AFP), the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce is to receive
$5.9 dollars from these property taxes. That would be a complete misuse of taxpayer dollars, though I am not surprised by the effort as greedy organizations are always trying to figure out way to get their hands on tax payer dollars. To our
NEWCASTLE SCHOOLS - Proposition 2 is for $1 million for new buses.
However, proposition 1 is for $49.5 million which is huge for a small to medium size school district like
WEDNESDAY - OKC AREA - There is a lot going on so I am going to limit the announcements to include only 3. This Wednesday morning, December 9th the Business and Professional Chapter of the John Birch Society will have their monthly breakfast meeting at the Character First Center, 520 West Main in downtown OKC. Breakfast is served at
7:15 and the meeting will begin at about 7:40 a.m. With the “global warming/climate change” conference beginning this week in
WEDNESDAY - OKC AREA - Stuart Jolly, state director for Americans For Prosperity (AFP) contacted me to let me know he has secured the
* How are the UN’s Rio Summit, Kyoto Treaty and
* What is the Real ID Act?
* What is Agenda 21?
* How can these things effect your religious liberty?
* What can the State of
Christians really need to wake up to this threat, especially that of the Real ID Act and its successor, the Pass ID Act. These efforts, all in the name of public safety, are building a system which could have so much control over our lives that we could not work, travel, buy or sell anything without the watchful eye and control of “Big Brother”
all over us. Sad to say, we have Christian lawmakers in the state legislature who are facilitating the creation of this Orwellian monster. Come to this meeting to educate yourself, then communicate with your lawmakers on this subject. If they aren’t responsive, then vote them out of office, I don’t care who they are.
+ SECOND AMENDMENT HERO
This past Friday, a crazed fellow with a long rap sheet tried for over 10 minutes to get a single woman in a rural area of
I look forward to seeing everyone this Wednesday.