The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

January 21, 2013

Ward 3 commission candidates share goals

(Continued)

ENID, Okla. — Question: Looking back on the transition from Gateway Enid to Enid Renaissance Project, what should we learn from that process?

Ezzell

Ezzell said the Gateway to Renaissance transition shows the city needs to have better communication with the people.

“As we go forward — and that should be what we’re focused on, finding ways to grow Enid — the biggest thing the city can do is just talk to the people,” Ezzell said. “It’s just communicating, and talking to people. The people just want to know what’s going on.”

Stephens

“Transparency is the No. 1 thing with government,” Stephens said. “We’ve almost created the environment here in Enid of the federal government, where the people no longer trust their own government.”

He said the city needs to improve its transparency with the people before that perception can be overcome.

“People see things that aren’t even there, merely because of a cloak that’s been put over the whole process,” he said.

Parks plan

Enid residents will vote March 5 on a pair of proposals that would generate $50 million in revenue to upgrade the city’s parks system.

The parks plan is split into two ballot questions: one to raise $20 million by increasing the city sales tax rate by one-half cent for five years, and one to pay for $30 million in general obligation bonds by extending an existing 7 mill ad valorem tax.

The largest development in the bond plan would be a new park at 30th and Randolph, which would include “softball fields, soccer fields, football fields, outdoor basketball courts, playgrounds, a skate park, picnic shelters, restrooms and concession facilities” at a cost of $13.4 million.

Another $6.8 million in bond funds would be split between improvement projects at all of the city’s neighborhood parks.

The sales tax funds would cover expenses not paid for in the bonds, including replacement of Champlin Pool, portions of the city’s trail plan, and construction of two new neighborhood parks.

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