Editor, Daily Press:
Monday night, I was saddened and disappointed at our Tahlequah City Council meeting. Why? Because I saw people who really didn’t want to be a part of our vibrant, progressive city.
I am evidently naïve, because it really didn’t dawn on me that people living adjacent to and surrounded by Tahlequah’s city limits would not want to embrace the opportunity to become citizens of our wonderful city through annexation of their property. They want to do their own thing and saw this opportunity as a negative, stating that city government was being thrust upon them.
I saw it as a chance for them to contribute to the well-being and growth of this area. They would have police protection, free firefighter assistance and scheduled garbage pickup, all without their taxes going up one penny, as the city doesn’t receive any money from property taxes – only sales tax.
I hope all of those in attendance last night are good stewards of the land – not burning their trash, polluting the air, or dumping “stuff” on their back 40 that will produce toxic run-off for the city’s storm water management to clean up. This is already a problem the city deals with now. We don’t need our ground water contaminated more than has already taken place.
Almost every person who spoke against annexation didn’t want change, afraid of what might happen to their rights to use the land as they see fit.
To the developer who has built lovely, large, expensive homes: How will you feel when a hog farm or chicken-producing barns are built south of your development and you won’t have any recourse when the smells come wafting through the neighborhood? And to the clothing store owners whose place of business is just outside the city limits: Why do you want our patronage?
You don’t want to be a part of our city. In good conscience, I cannot shop at your establishment any more, as much as I love your merchandise. I will shop in places that support my hometown.
I made my motion to approve annexation of the “doughnut holes” throughout Tahlequah, because I feel I was elected to do the best thing for the citizens of this city and my ward. I do not want chicken houses, hog farms, cement plants, mobile home parks or any other entity adjacent to homes in my ward. I want them to not worry about the value of their property going down. I wanted the same protection and consideration for those in attendance who did not want annexation.
I was particularly saddened when the property owners applauded as my motion died for lack of a second. I feel like they are the ones who lost; they just didn’t know it yet.