The $50 million parks plan that has been proposed for the east side is extravagant and unnecessary. Thinking “build and they will come” (businesses) is a pipe dream. If they must spend money on parks, they should improve/maintain present parks or add parks where the actual growth of the city lies: the west side.
Thirty million dollars is to come from extending an “existing general obligation bond issue that was passed for construction of bridges,” but this “will affect only property owners.” Bridges are necessary. Parks are not, especially since Enid already has a large number of parks, and property owners already pay a burdensome tax.
The other $20 million they want to “temporarily increase sales tax” (5 year, 1⁄2 cent). “Benson said there is $10 million in city coffers that is unaccounted for because of a line of credit being used for Enid Renaissance Project.” Great! They have credit remaining. That doesn’t mean they have to use it!
Why remove the ball fields at South Government Springs? Why create new parks even farther from the majority of the city’s populations? The ballot was sent to 5,000 people, including those with county, not city, addresses. If Enid has a population of 50,000, the 8 percent return means only about 200 people actually approved either the bond issue or the sales tax, yet this is considered “within the range for an accurate response” if any of the commissioners allow a mere 200 people to influence their decision on increasing taxes (property and sales), pay close attention to the commissioners who vote for this outlandish project.
The scariest words from Benson? That this proposal is “subject to change.”