Tahlequah Daily Press

Editorials

January 7, 2013

Villages, sacred cow, and the sales tax

TAHLEQUAH — Editor’s note: This letter has been edited due to its extreme length.

Editor, Daily Press:

Years later, upon a time, the village was still trying to cross the threshold to greatness, but it continued to be thwarted by the educational bureaucracies of the village. They continued to fight over the villagers’ golden teat of sales tax money. Their budgets dwarf the minuscule budget that barely sustains the village. Decades of pillage of villagers’ gold led to disintegration of roadways and structures.

This tale is going to seem like others my dear villagers have heard, except we have a more malicious and greedier sacred cow charging down on the village, in search of the gold. The $23 million in state bond money for buildings the sacred cow received seven years ago just whetted the cow’s appetite for more gold. The sacred cow’s agents still permeate every advisory board and village organization, under the mantra that they want to “give back” to the village. They prepared to pounce, and the other bureaucracies and bureaucrats fell in line.

The powers-that-be insist on giving the sacred cow a $1.5 million community event building as “economic development.” They state it will only cost 75 cents more per $100 in purchases, while staying away from the fact the sales tax will be 9.5 percent after the increase. The village portion of the tax will increase from 1.75 percent to 2.5 percent. This is a most odd disguise of tithing to the sacred cow. The mayor proclaimed it was a community event center that happens to be on the sacred cow’s property. This made the villagers remember the cursed turf of Gable Field, and how they were duped into an equally bad expenditure of their gold. The new grand wizard of the sacred cow said, “This is about now, and moving forward, not digging up old bones.” Spoken like a used carriage salesman who sold you a defective carriage and intends to sell you another equally defective one.

Village and sacred cow leaders are working on a memorandum of agreement to guarantee the villagers’ use of the community center for five single-day events each year. The pact will allow the village to use, for one or two of the events, both the event center and the larger multipurpose center. The agreement has not been finalized. Doesn’t that have a stench of deceit? So we won’t have a formal agreement before the election. Perhaps it’s a memo note that states, “Sacred cow won’t chump the villagers again, hee hee.” Sounds about as binding. What a deal for the villagers’ $1.5 million, for an 8,000-square-foot community event center – in name only, since we won’t own it.

The grand wizard expounds, “During the life of the sales tax, there will be no charge to the city.” Let’s see: $1.5 million divided by 75 (15 years times five events per year) equals $20,000 per event cost to the villagers! If we pay off the bonds in 10 years, it will cost $30,000 per event. This must be bureaucratic arithmetic, not common villager arithmetic. According to the grand wizard, villagers will not have oversight and administrative responsibility for the center. The cost to maintain it will be paid by the sacred cow. ‘Tis big of the sacred cow to handle those details, since the villagers will be giving them the building. Many villagers wonder if we could get some sacred cow idols to worship in the deal. Better yet, the exact same deal, except in reverse. If the village is going to build a community event center, the villagers should be the owners and profit from those events.

There are eight road projects; four  are running through or adjacent to the sacred cow’s turf. The $1.5 million event center was just hors d’oeuvres; many more millions of dollars from road projects will be given in homage. ‘Tis one hell of an economic development plan for the sacred cow – oops, I mean the village.

Another use for villager gold was laid out in an article, Dec. 12: “Environmentalists, area residents rally behind ‘Greenway’ project,” by the town crier. It explained how $1 million will be spent to create trails and parks along the village waterway. A noble endeavor, but only a half-baked plan. The second most valuable asset the villagers possess for economic development is the waterway through the village. Other villages have developed their waterways into regional marketplace zones for commerce and cultural endeavors, also incorporating paths and parks. The village’s logistics are prime for an endeavor of this sort.

The article further said, “Designated trails would lead to parks and conservation areas noted for natural habitats and cultural and historical relevance.” So the trails and bicycle paths are going to be dirt? Perhaps beautiful natural asphalt and natural concrete. Villagers wondered where were the Greenway people over the past year, while about eight projects were performed. Boulders and telephone poles were used to change the flow and stop erosion. Many villagers could not help but notice the five villagers quoted were of professions that are suckers of the village’s golden teat.

The greatest asset of the village is its children. Yet we continue to educate them from preschool to Ph.D.s, to have them move away and contribute to the economic growth of other villages, because we give the gold to the greedy educational bureaucracies with bloated budgets. They spend their money on traffic control lights, social worker salaries with office space on campus, etc., instead of allowing the village to create an economy that would reward the village children for their hard work.

The plan to build a new swimming pool is more about the quirks of some village councilors to just complete the sports complex, not to provide a quality one. The new pool, which will not be an Olympic-sized pool that could host sanctioned swimming meets, is deficient.

The improvements to the library, the west side armory, village hall renovations and conversion of the solid waste fleet to CNG fuel are good projects, as are plans to provide funds for constables on patrol, bucket brigade and emergency management. We must make sure the people who protect us are properly equipped.

This special election is rushed in hopes of low voter turnout. This deceitful action should put villagers on high alert. It’s time to royal pimp-slap the sacred cow with a large mace. The villagers are the ones to be worshiped, not the sacred cow, for the people are the power source. My fellow villagers, the time for action is now. We must defeat the sacred cow and economy-killing organizations.

The moral of this tale: Sacred cow dupe us once, shame on the cow. Sacred cow dupe us twice, shame on the village idiots.

Phil Jones

Tahlequah

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