Monday, October 10, 2011



Those subscribing to these e-mails know that before important
elections, I send out the infamous Charlie’s Picks, which are simply
my opinions about the elections. Some folks simply haven’t taken the
time to evaluate candidates or issues and are looking for the thoughts
of others. Some have made their mind up based on certain information
which may disagree with my opinions and that is fine. These are simply
my opinions. Following are opinions about 3 elections on Tuesday,
October 11th, 2011.

* SENATE DISTRICT 43 - GREG CHILDERS - This is the general
election to fill the vacated seat recently held by State Senator Jim
Reynolds (R-Del City). The location of the district includes much of
Del City, parts of South OKC and parts of Moore. This has been a high
priority race for Oklahoma Democrats as they desperately need a take-
away victory over the Republicans since they have taken such a beating
at the ballot box over the past 3 or 4 election cycles.

The Democrats first supported a liberal Republican in hopes to take
Greg out in the Republican primary. She worked hard and they even had
a private eye following Greg in hopes of finding something they could
use against him. Some Republicans fell for the bait, but Greg
prevailed in the primary. It has been amusing at the opposition to
Greg by some Republicans, mainly based on speculation. I spent quite a
bit of time getting to know Greg and had him come to OCPAC for our
interview process without announcing his appearance (couldn’t take a
chance on the Dems recording some of his answers to use against him in
the general election). Our members overwhelmingly voted to support
Greg. Greg is simply a citizen concerned about the direction America
is taking and decided to run for office to try to make Oklahoma and
America a better place in which to live. Greg is not a person who has
fully developed a conservative ideology, but he is loves to read, has
conservative instincts, and as such has the potential to be a very
good Senator.

* EDMOND TAX VOTE - VOTE NO - Edmond really needs a new public
safety center and as such tried to pass a bond issue a couple of years
ago, but it met with defeat. At that time, the project was too large,
too expensive, to be built in the wrong location and it was to be paid
for with a property tax increase. This time, the project has been
scaled back, is less costly, is to be built in an acceptable location
and will be paid for with a sales tax increase, rather than a property
tax increase. I believe every one of those perspectives is correct,
that is assuming you need a tax increase to do the project. However, I
do NOT believe the tax increase is needed for the project. Edmond is a
beautiful city with a large sales tax base. Its main downside is very
serious traffic congestion. My problem with the governance of Edmond
is poor prioritization of tax funds, I will give 3 examples.

1) Edmond has chosen to widen several streets as boulevards with
wasteful planter boxes in the middle rather than the needed pragmatism
of center turn lanes. This causes street construction to increase in
time and money as the more labor intensive as the amount of curbing
doubles for boulevards. Then you have the high cost of installing
grass, trees or plants for the middle of the streets. Perhaps the
biggest concern is the continual high cost of maintenance for these
planter boxes. In addition, in some cases you can’t make a left turn
into or out of business drives, thus making autos go to the next stop
light, trip the left turn arrow which stops the oncoming free flow of
traffic so that autos can double back to visit a favored business. A
more pragmatic approach to city streets could save money which could
be used for this important project, not to mention improve traffic
flow. Edmond’s attractiveness should come from the sides of its
streets, not from the middle of its streets.

2) For years now, Edmond has used tax dollars to purchase bronze art
statues to erect at various locations around town. Some of this art
work is beautiful and some of it is coyote ugly. In a conservative
free market economy, art work is not a proper function of government,
especially since people’s art tastes are so different. If people want
bronze art pieces all over town they should provide such with private
dollars, not tax dollars. Those tax dollars should have been saved to
be used for a new public safety center.

3) Public transportation is not a proper function of government in a
free market society. If there is a community in Oklahoma that does not
need public transportation, it is Edmond. For years Edmond contracted
with COPTA to provide rubber wheeled trolley cars called the Eddy.
They were dubbed the “Empty Eddy” as most of the time you would see
them running around town empty as they added to traffic congestion.
When Obama and the Democrats passed the $800 billion stimulus plan,
Edmond jumped on the grant wagon to obtain over half a million dollars
from the bankrupt federal government to purchase 5 new buses. Then
Edmond dumped COPTA and hired a Texas company to run the new system.
In an attempt to improve rider ship and thus justify having a public
transportation system, Edmond decided not to charge riders but to
simply eat the operational costs for the system. Rider ship is up
since it is free. But just think, Edmond taxpayers are now forced to
pay for the bus rides to take people to downtown OKC to work and spend
money rather than to have that handful of people pay for their own
transportation to and from work.

The three quarters of a million or more each year wasted on the
operational expenses for the public transportation system, along with
some other savings and a modest amount of new growth money would be
sufficient to pay for a new public safety center. Edmond citizens will
have to decide as to whether or not they want to continue with
wasteful spending government or demand the proper prioritization of
public funds. Though it is likely to pass, those are the reasons I
would vote NO as I believe a tax increase in not needed for the high
priority project.

There is an additional item on the ballot to allow the city to access
over 7 million dollars they have in a slush fund to be borrowed for
projects such as this to cut down on bond underwriting fees. Voters
should say YES to this issue, whether the sales tax vote passes or

On the plus side, Logan County has just sold their hospital and
clinics and will soon have the county sales tax drop by three quarters
of a penny. In about 3 more years the Logan County jail bonds will be
paid off and the sales tax will be reduced another three quarters of a
penny. Both of these reductions will put Guthrie’s sales tax lower
than that of Edmond should this tax increase pass. That will certainly
cause some conservatives who live between the two cities to chose to
shop and dine more so in Guthrie rather than Edmond as well as keep
Guthrie shoppers at home.

* OWASSO - VOTE NO - The economic development central planners
types in Owasso are asking citizens to increase their property taxes
for more frills for the city of Owasso. Tulsa County Republican
Chairman and Owasso resident J.B. Alexander is leading a coalition of
residents to oppose yet another tax increase. The economic development
person sent Mr. Alexander a threatening e-mail, then profusely
apologized when the police investigated. He basically said he had
become depressed at the thought of his young child having to grow up
in Owasso without adequate parks and etc. Give me a break, Owasso is
not a community without parks. It really doesn’t take a village to
raise children, just some valuable parent time and children will have
a chance to do well growing up as individuals, not as collectivists.

There are more elections, these are the only 3 I will comment on. This
week’s regular e-mail will go out tomorrow morning.

Charlie Meadows

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