ENID, Okla. — Question: Should the parks plan be a priority for the city right now, and why?
“We need to invest in our parks, but whether that means $50 million is up to the voters,” Ezzell said.
He said he personally plans to vote in favor of both the sales tax and bond initiatives.
He’s in favor of the parks plan because the city’s parks, particularly in Ward 3, have become dilapidated over the years.
“I live next to Glenwood Park, and there was a lot of work done in that park when I was 10 or 12, and nothing has been done since,” Ezzell said. “I live next to a park, and I can’t take my daughter there because it’s in such bad shape. It’s upsetting, and especially in Ward 3, our parks are in terrible shape.”
He said parks improvement needs to be a priority, whether it’s through the $50 million parks plan or a smaller-scale plan.
“If both measures pass, then every park in our community will be renovated or improved,” Ezzell said. “We have to invest in our parks, and if we don’t decide $50 million is a good investment, as a community, we still have to do something with our parks.”
Ezzell said the city needs a properly staffed and funded parks and recreation department to maintain parks.
Stephens said he will “definitely be voting ‘no’ on the parks deal.”
“I don’t believe borrowing money and raising taxes for something that’s going to be used by a small portion of the city ... I think that’s unnecessary projects right now,” he said.
Stephens said he’s not opposed to improving parks, but he said streets, water and sewer infrastructure should take priority.
“Your quality of life and parks are important, but your water, your sewage and your streets should take priority,” he said.
He said the city needs to abide by the voters’ decision in the March 5 vote.
“If the people of Enid vote for it, then let’s build it,” he said. “But, if they don’t vote for it, let’s not build it. We have to rebuild the trust of the people of Enid.”