The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 6, 2013

The readers speak

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — “Parks and overall quality of life issues were the No. 1 sought after and the most desired item from those polls,” City Manager Eric Benson said, citing public polls taken before the election.

QUESTION: If Enid residents want parks and desire to improve quality of life, why did this plan fail so resoundingly?

The following edited comments were posted on the EnidNews Eagle Facebook page at on the Internet:

• “The Renaissance Project has left citizens angry and frustrated at the expense that when something good comes along it had no chance.” — Micheal Dulinsky

• “Because of total lack of, and trust in, city leadership.” — Walter Baker

• “Many seemed to still think it was a streets vs. parks issue, and many say ‘no’ to taxes no matter what.” — Kelly Sisk Tompkins

• “Doesn’t matter. They’ll go ahead and do it just like they did the last project we voted down.” — Ron Sunderland

• “They didn’t even address how much water load would be added to the system by the proposals.” — Tim Gungoll

• “(It’s) called lack of trust in our city leadership. Wait, they will call parks by another name and move ahead with the project.” — Michael Manley

• “Maybe if the vote had been for only one item ... instead of grouping them together?”  — Sondra Hernandez

• “Not enough self-centered, crotchety, I’m-not-voting-for-any-tax-regardless-of-what-benefits-might-come-of-it people were asked their opinion?” — Brad Kroeker

• “I understand the lack of trust in the city. Everyone sees that. But this wouldn’t have taken away from the roads. It’s completely separate. This would have been something Enid needs. I don’t think enough people were educated on what all the prop entails.” — Nahtana Williams Henderson

• “Why don’t they put together a plan that will put money toward the parks we have now; such as plant flowers and remodel bathrooms and add changing tables for infants? Let’s make the parks we have right now desirable.” — Jessica Waller

• “One word: Benson.” — Mike Cofer

• “Benson needs to take this mandate from the public, and learn that you can’t mislead the public and get a check for ‘Quality of Life’ projects. Fix our infrastructure or at least get us to vote on meaningful increases to fix roads, water resources, etc.” — Topher Djr

• “Thank you, angry old people of Enid. You don’t have grandchildren that would benefit from this.” — Leisha Mitchell Tompkins

• “Take that giant water park out of it, and it would have passed! No one needs a new water park in the middle of water restrictions. It was just a badly put together prop that I’m sure they can put together into something more palatable to Enid citizens.” — Larry Young

• “This is what causes towns to die.” — Brian Brown

• “We will need to wait to see if the downtown is, in fact, a fiasco. There’s a very good possibility it will be great for End! There are, and always be, forward-thinking citizens. It’s impossible to educate the naysayers — always will be — ‘no.’” — Norma Henneke Kaiser

• “The thing that people don’t understand is that the downtown will be finished no matter what. Do you people really believe just because you voted this down that the Renaissance Project will stop or your precious roads won’t be fixed? All those things would have been finished no matter the outcome of this vote. This was for our kids and the future of this town.” — Matt Felber

• “If you want a nice park, build your own on your own backyard. I have young children also, no way was I voting ‘yes’ in this. It probably would have never been accomplished anyway.” — Tammy Linnette Martin

• “The city did everything possible to put tons of information out about this project, yet there are people who are just plain bitter about seemingly everything. I’m disgusted.” — Kathy Lohse King

• “$50 million for parks? Now if the city was interested in building or developing an industrial district for new revenue or serious jobs, that would be interesting.” — Joe Galligher

• “If Enid could not keep its parks and rec department, why ask the voters for new? Stillwater has a parks and rec department, and they are out keeping our parks in good working order.” — Julie Miller

• “Eric Benson has been trashed by so many people who have never even spoken to him. This wasn’t the ‘Benson Park Plan.’ It’s your loss, not his.” — Jennifer O’Steen

• “Can the PR guy for the city prepare a cost breakdown for the city’s incentives for the downtown hotel when it is known? I’m still worried where the money for the hotel will come from. As Woodward and Bernstein said, ‘Follow the money.’” — John Jameson

• “The large majority voted ‘no.’ Call them what you want, but I always thought majority ruled. That is what this country was founded on.” — Jay Jacobs