The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

January 22, 2013

Candidates for the Ward 4 commission seat share a desire to remedy issues

(Continued)

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

Kaufman

“I think they did a very bad thing there, because they lost touch with a lot of the people when they built that thing down there,” Kaufman said.

“The main thing is, I think the city needs to listen to the people. People in Enid just don’t get out and vote and tell the commission what they want very often, but on that project, the people pretty clearly voted it down.”

Timm

Timm said the Renaissance project has created friction between the city and the people, and demonstrates a failure in public relations.

“If the people say they don’t want something, then you shouldn’t go against that,” Timm said. “That’s why you’re there — to represent your wards.

“I don’t see how you could go around how the city voted. That puts so much more friction between your citizens and your city commission and city manager. I would like to overcome that friction between the city and the people.”

Timm said the city needs to do a better job at public relations in order to improve its standing with the people.

“I think PR is so important here,” he said. “I’m not saying the city commissioners and the city manager don’t have good ideas, but it’s the way they go about it. A lot of people come up to me and are really mad, and maybe they just don’t understand how or why the city’s going about things.”

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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