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Vote "no" on special election, while supporting complete transparency

Alicia Fraire / Red Dirt Report
Street projects on Western Avenue in Oklahoma City.
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RDR also endorses Jacob Rosecrants in tomorrow's special election in Norman's House District 46.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Tomorrow morning, voters here will decide on the so-called “Better Streets, Safer City” special election, which, according to city officials, will lead to the city – if approved by voters – “investing more than $1.2 billion in critical infrastructure like streets and sidewalks” and “including an annual $26 million … for public safety and other day-to-day operations.”

But what does it really mean? And who is really behind the Better OKC Coalition? Is this just more secretive stuff but tied up in a pretty bow, the way MAPS 3 was and the others before that? 

Well, it’s a little murky. We do know that voters will be asked to approve a quarter-cent sales tax increase in hopes of raising $26 million each year which would purportedly go to hiring more firefighters and police officers. And yes, the city does need more fire and police protection to keep up with the rate of population growth.

And then there's all that sexy "street resurfacing." Who gets it and when? And how much will maintenance be over the proposed time period? Still, so many questions.

But is this the way to go about it? Folks we've talked to say "no." As one commenter noted, this is being pushed by "the folks that shoved a convention center down our throats." Yeah. Pretty much.

We say “not so fast” to the dark money groups and elites who think they control anything and everything in Fat City. And don't we already have high sales tax rates in Oklahoma - 8.77 percent - compared to surrounding states? Why is that?

In any event, just as we were writing this, a caller on the RDR “tip line” told us that Republican Darin Chambers, running for State Representative for District 46 in Cleveland County against Democrat and teacher Jacob Rosecrants was being “supported” by Catalyst Oklahoma, the same secretive group we wrote about in early 2014 when Mayor Mick "Cheese" Cornett was running for re-election here in the Big League City. Remember them? They never went away. In fact, they are apparently located at a law firm on NW 63rd Street. Note the Darin Chambers pushcard below. Remember that group OK United??? These people are everywhere!

But back to OKC ... 

We love bridges and libraries and parks and "safety" just as much as the next guy and gal. But something doesn't quite add up in the math from our perspective and we want a little more "sunlight" on this whole deal. Remember, these are the same people who refuse to approve a no-brainer like "Indigenous Peoples' Day." Let the record state ... 

So, to get to the point, we suggest voters vote "no" on all these propositions until we get a clearer picture of what the true, long-term benefits will be. Don't let the elites bully you into something you don't feel entirely comfortable with.

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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