The Norman Transcript

Opinion

May 5, 2013

Why elections matter locally as well as nationally

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

I have observed with growing dismay the decision orchestrated by Cleveland County commissioners to delete all funding for the Crossroads Emergency Youth Shelter. The amount struck during their budgeting decisions totals $225,000.

By comparison, more than $51 million dollars of bonded indebtedness has been allocated for the new county detention center and will be paid out during the next 20 years. 

Many excuses have been offered for their short-sighted action, including Commissioner Rod Cleveland’s following lame quote: “Not one other youth shelter in the state receives county funding.” Exactly.

Apparently this commissioner wants Cleveland County, the third most populous and fastest growing in Oklahoma, to set the same wrong-headed priorities as found in the other 76 that make up our state.   

During my period of elected service as a town trustee, mayor, representative and senator, I viewed that my first responsibility was always to enhance the health, safety and education of children, with special emphasis on the most vulnerable. It’s this group of at-risk kids that are protected, fed and sheltered at our Crossroads facility through the amazing leadership of its longtime director Lisa Winters and her incredible staff.  

Funding of critical public services is Job 1 for those entrusted with taxpayers’ dollars. As a 60-year resident in Oklahoma’s most progressive and thoughtful county, I never dreamed I would ever see convicted felons being a greater concern for our commissioners than endangered, and in some cases, dangerous children. However, through their recent unanimous vote to abolish funding for Crossroads, that is without question exactly what these three men believe.

Obviously our commissioners are taking their fiscal cues on spending priorities from Republican members of Oklahoma’s dysfunctional legislature, where funding for health, education, infrastructure and other important responsibilities have been ignored, all in the name of another worthless and stupid tax cut.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Repairs still needed

    Lawmakers once again kicked the can down the road on making needed repairs to the state Capitol. By a 62-34 vote, they turned down a Senate-approved plan to authorize up to $160 million in bonds to repair the nearly century-old building....

    April 24, 2014

  • Health care needs have reached critical stage

    Once again, the Republican-led Oklahoma legislators are leaving Oklahoma’s neediest in the dust with their proposed 2014-2015 budget. Studies by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Can’t have it both ways

    Local sheriff Joe Lester wasn’t among the state sheriffs and lawmakers protesting the removal of state prisoners from county jails this week. The sheriffs, some of whom have protested by having too many state prisoners in their ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Help for rural America

    A drive through rural parts of the Southwest can be depressing. For sale and for rent signs are prevalent. Businesses along main streets have closed. Unless they are close to a major interstate highway, many communities are in decline....

    April 23, 2014

  • Embarrassment to Oklahoma, again

    The standardized testing that was halted in local schools Monday is another embarrassment to the state. The same thing happened a year ago and Oklahoma gave them another chance....

    April 23, 2014

  • Time to move on; exit of Sebelius is right choice

    From the moment it became obvious that healthcare.gov wasn’t working, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius became damaged goods for the White House....

    April 23, 2014

  • Happy birthday to us

    We don’t expect any cake and that many candles might be dangerous but today is the unofficial 125th birthday of Norman....

    April 22, 2014

  • Hero of Haarlem … for common good

    “Trudging stoutly along by the canal,” as the story goes, the 8-year-old son of a Dutch sluicer was returning home from delivering cakes to a blind man. Humming as he passed the dikes, he noticed that recent rains had made his father’s job ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Hate without end

    The news that a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan is suspected of shooting and killing three people near Jewish community centers in Kansas seems at first glance like a disparaged past flaring briefly into the present. Americans like ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Reform is necessary

    Editor, The Transcript: Last year, the legislature passed laws reforming the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, which was a good start, but more is needed. Recent media reports have revealed that the ODVA employs M.D. and D.O. ...

    April 20, 2014