The Edmond Sun

Letters to the Editor

November 12, 2013

LETTER: School funding vs. corporate incentives

EDMOND — To the Editor:

Lately, our state has been in the news regarding cuts in funding for schools. By some reports, funding per pupil has been reduced more than 20 percent between fiscal years 2008 and 2013. I am sure there is room for debate on the actual reduction, but it certainly seems that school funding is not a priority for our elected officials.

Given the importance of education, you have to wonder if the revenue is simply not there to provide the necessary funds to educate the children of our state.

We do seem, however, to have the revenue to provide significant “incentives” to companies in our state.

One of my favorite is the Quality Jobs Program that gives money to companies for hiring people that they would have hired anyway to do the work the company needs done. Seriously, would a company hire someone they didn’t need just to get a 5 percent incentive from the state? I don’t think so.

In fiscal year 2013, this program paid incentives of $78,921,081 to Oklahoma companies.

This is just one of many such programs in our state.

While there are many interesting contracts under this program, one of my favorites is the one with The Professional Basketball Club LLC. This company consists of a group of Oklahoma City executives who own both the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Tulsa 66ers.

The NBA website shows that Clayton Bennett leads this group and it includes seven other local executives. Under their Quality Jobs Program contract, they have received payments of $14,865,078 as of June 30. They receive about $3.3 million each year based on the payroll of the jobs they have created.

They haven’t created that many jobs, but all those well-paid NBA players make for high incentive payments.

So, if you think paying millions of dollars to the owners of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and many other state businesses, is more of a priority than funding our public schools then you should feel good. If you don’t think that then perhaps you should tell your state elected officials so they can do something about it.

Mark Lash

Edmond

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Letters to the Editor
  • An open letter to motorists in Oklahoma

    To the Editor:
    The Oklahoma Legislature has once again given its blessing to texting and driving. By not passing one of the many bills filed this year that would have made the practice illegal, the Legislature is in effect saying, “Want to text and drive in Oklahoma? No problem.”
    Although lawmakers have two more months left in the current session, texting ban bills have been given their last rites.

    April 4, 2014

  • LETTER: Spiking the Electoral College

    To the Editor:
    In the presidential election of 1788, Washington won all the electoral votes. Those electors were chosen by less than 1.3 percent of the population. The vote was so small because only white males who owned land could vote and in four states the electors were chosen by the legislators.

    February 21, 2014

  • UCO students opposing HB 2100

    Feb. 11, 2014
    To The Editor:

    We, the undersigned, are students or former students at the University of Central Oklahoma. We are writing to express our displeasure and opposition to a bill that may soon be debated in the senate: HB 2100.
    Pharmacists are aggressively lobbying behind closed doors for 2100’s passage. If they succeed, they will expand their profits as their friendly pharmacy board bureaucrats will have significant leverage over pharmacy benefit managers. If the bill passes, the bureaucrats will possess the power to increase fees and leverage their power into increased profit margins for pharmacies. Why else would pharmacist legislators be authoring the bills?

    February 14, 2014

  • Stop beating up on Obamacare

    To the Editor:
    I originally was planning to respond to Brandon Dutcher’s elitist, anti-public preschool article, especially since he knows people with money have been taking their children to pre-school in Edmond since 1963. But, since Edmond now has (a number of) public pre-schools I figured most people would ignore his editorial.

    December 13, 2013

  • LETTER: Student urges leaders to not wait on entitlement reform

    To the Editor:
    I am 28 years old and will only be just older than 40 by the time Medicare and Social Security programs are projected to fail. This is very concerning for young people like myself who are paying into this system and likely will not see any benefits from it. I 100 percent agree that some serious reform is needed to strengthen these programs. I think it is also important for lawmakers to help create laws that protect the privately insured from insurance companies dropping or disqualifying people from coverage. I believe this would help to keep many who can afford private health care from having to rely on Medicare and Social Security funds.

    December 6, 2013

  • LETTER: Volunteers make Thanksgiving dinner successful

    To the Editor:
    How do you thank 711 people for helping you? On Thanksgiving Day my belief in the goodness of man and that Edmond has the most giving citizens was reinforced.
    Starting on the Saturday before that day, I met the first ones as they worked diligently to clean equipment in preparation for cooking the Edmond Community Thanksgiving Dinner. More people came to three sites on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to cook and carve.

    December 5, 2013

  • LETTER: Longtime resident disappointed in city

    To the Editor:
    I have been a longtime resident of Trails South and we have been asking the City of Edmond for many, many years for a traffic light at the corner of Countrywood and Santa Fe. As the city’s population increases, the danger increases. We have had many accidents and finally a fatality at this dangerous intersection.

    November 26, 2013

  • City’s traffic solutions disappoint resident

    To the Editor:
    I am totally disappointed with the city officials in Edmond. I live in an addition where it is difficult and extremely dangerous to exit or enter the neighborhood.
    We have had numerous traffic accidents and a fatality last month; yet the city continues to say “you do not meet the criteria for a traffic light.”

    November 22, 2013

  • LETTER: School funding vs. corporate incentives

    To the Editor:
    Lately, our state has been in the news regarding cuts in funding for schools. By some reports, funding per pupil has been reduced more than 20 percent between fiscal years 2008 and 2013. I am sure there is room for debate on the actual reduction, but it certainly seems that school funding is not a priority for our elected officials.

    November 12, 2013

  • LETTER: Terry family thanks community, police for outpouring of support

    To the Editor:
    A month ago, we lost our beloved husband, father, son, brother and uncle, Matt Terry, too soon and without warning. Matt’s passing laid our family low and we were lost.
    But not for long. The outpouring of love and support from our family and friends, our community, was overwhelming and immediate. Countless people reached out to us with shoulders to cry on, words of faith and encouragement, home cooked meals, heartfelt prayers, financial support, a bike rally, lawn care, flowers planted, even home repairs and simple chores like shopping and carpooling. Support came from all parts of our lives — family, friends and colleagues — as well as from folks we have not yet had the pleasure to meet. So many strangers, now dear to us, stopped and stood by their cars paying their respects as Matt passed from this life to the next. We are so grateful for such overwhelming grace and generosity.

    November 1, 2013