The Edmond Sun

Letters to the Editor

December 10, 2012

Democracy works best with informed voters

EDMOND — To the Editor:

I’m writing in response to an opinion piece written by Rep. Jason Murphey titled “Why did your property tax go up?” (Dec. 4, 2012, The Edmond Sun)

Murphey is ranting about ad valorem taxes going up in his district primarily due to school bond issues that were approved by the voters. Schools are largely supported by ad valorem tax, particularly the capital outlays.  Voters must approve the ad valorem tax supported bonds, and I believe it must be a 60 percent approval, not just a mere 51 percent.

Murphey rants that many people did not know about the school election dates so did not vote and thus, due to their ignorance were somehow disenfranchised. It sort of begs the question: “Do you really want a bunch of uninformed yahoos casting uninformed votes?” I personally would prefer that all citizens get informed on issues and cast an informed vote.

Years ago, when I ran for public office I would say “no matter who or how you vote, please go to the poll and vote.” I have come to realize the error of that statement. If you are too dumb or disengaged to know that there is an election and too narrow to get informed about the issue on the ballot then please, by all means, do not vote. Placing school elections on general election days is not the answer. Many more voters, if informed, would be a good thing. However, many voters showing up to vote against President Obama or for Sen. Jim Inhofe and then as an aside voting on multiple non-national or non-statewide issues may not rectify the egregious wrong Murphey perceives.

Murphey’s real motive is to stop all tax increases at the local level. That would mean no new school improvements, no jail improvements, no new money for county roads and courthouse operations in Logan County. In Oklahoma City it would mean no MAPS I, II or III, all which were approved by voters. But the worse attack would be on public schools. I think it was Thomas Jefferson who said “you cannot have a democracy without an informed citizenry; and you cannot have an informed citizenry without public education.”

Alas, perhaps this is the real reason for Murphey’s rant. If we can gut public education and dumb down citizens then we can keep electing the same rednecks.

At least the micro segment of the population, which Murphey deplores, that may have voted for a tax increase stayed engaged, got up off their behinds and went to the polls. The others just whine. The right to complain carries with it a duty to participate. If you cannot stay informed enough to participate, then please don’t go whining to your representative or to me. You have no one to blame for your unhappiness but your lazy self. And if driving to the polls on a winter day is too inconvenient so as to disenfranchise voters as Murphey believes, then probably we have lost the zeal for democracy’s citizen participation that the founding fathers envisioned.

Randel Shadid


Text Only
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