Lawton Promises New Roads if You Give Them Even More Money
Normally we don't hear this until election year in Lawton, but the city council and mayor's office is once again promising new roads in town... if you'll give them even more of your money.
The here and now...
In today's city council meeting, your councilors will weigh in on whether they should hold a special election in September to ask us for an additional $60,000,000 on the premise it's for new roads, but shenanigans in the text.
Consider approving an ordinance authorizing the calling and holding of a special election on September 12, 2023, in the City of Lawton, State of Oklahoma, for the purpose of issuing general obligation bonds in the amount of Sixty Million Dollars ($60,000,000) in one or more series in order to fund construction, reconstruction, improvements or repairs to be made to the City’s streets and roadways and bridges including right of way acquisition, and including purchasing or constructing or repairing City utilities under and adjacent to such streets and roadways and bridges, such utilities to be owned exclusively by said City, said projects as deemed appropriate and prioritized
by the City Council from time to time with or without the use of other funds; or in the alternative acquire all or a distinct portion thereof by lease purchase arrangement; providing for severability; declaring an emergency; and
requiring the full text to be published and take action as necessary. Exhibits: Ordinance No. 23-25 and Election Proclamation.
It's like they've forgotten that nothing on the internet goes away, memories are forever. We've heard this promise of new roads for extra money before. That was literally the sales pitch from our politicians in 2020-- "Want new roads? Vote for the CIP."
While city officials, councilors, and Mayor Booker emphasized roads as the selling point for the 2020 CIP, they turned out to be among the lesser goals. There were other items on the list that took priority.
Key areas of the 2020 CIP – “PROPEL” – will include funding for demolition and curb appeal projects, street/sidewalk and infrastructure improvements, technology maintenance, industrial development, airport renewal, youth initiatives, LATS needs and facility upgrades.
Voters also learned a valuable lesson in small-town politics immediately after the CIP election...
Voters approved new roads and the CIP, then just days later Lawton suddenly found $14million to purchase the mall and countless millions more to renovate for the FISTA project.
It's important to note FISTA was probably a good gamble for our community, it just came with really poor timing and only deepened the public's distrust of our politicians. While the FISTA project has cost millions more than expected, it's still 50/50 on whether it'll be a huge success or an enormous failure.
If I were a betting man, I wouldn't know which way to bet on FISTA, but I know the public will once again be up in arms when they finally announce the purchase of the condemned apartment highrise behind the mall. Rumor has it they want to renovate it and offer convenient housing close to FISTA for those contractors that are traveling.
Why things never change in Lawton.
The real problem Lawton faces is a lack of consequences for the political lies that are told, and it's all due to voter turnout on election day.
Sure, most people get out and vote when it's the Presidency or Congressional candidates on the line, but the turnout for local elections is horrid in most places, especially so here in Lawton.
People always wonder how boomers we don't trust with driver's licenses keep getting elected to office... It's because boomers are the only ones showing up to the polls during local elections.
If everything goes as they usually do, and it's probably planned this way, the City of Lawton will get probably get its $60,000,000 in this special election and find something else to spend it on. Even the verbiage states it's not just for roads, it's for acquiring property.
What is the city actually wanting to buy, and why don't they just come out and tell us?
We'll see how the city council meeting goes later this afternoon. If you'd like to watch, they normally stream it on their Facebook page--Linked here.