The Edmond Sun

October 15, 2011

Our View: Time to look at what’s next

The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — With voter confidence strongly behind city leaders, the Public Safety Center project can now move to the planning stage.

Ten percent of the city’s voters turned out Tuesday and 73 percent of those casting ballots favored the project to build a new facility for the Edmond Police Department, Central Communications and the Emergency Management Department.

We realize that just getting to this point has been hard work for city leaders, city staff and community supporters, but even more hard work and diligence awaits them in the next two years.

We believe a few key points need to be aired at the outset of this $25.5 million project. We hope city leaders will remember that while image is important, this project is really about functionality, safety for our police officers and staff and keeping our community safe.

Most are anxiously waiting to find out the exact location of the project. It’s not hard to measure up the stated 75,000 square feet of the project with the footprint of the eight city-owned properties in the downtown area and see where it might fit. But that’s not really the point. Voters have bestowed a tremendous amount of confidence in city leaders and to keep that confidence, those voters and fellow residents deserve information and key decisions in a quick and concise manner. We hope the city will name a location sooner rather than later.

It should be obvious that residents expect the city to be excellent stewards of the $25.5 million that’s coming their way and one of the best ways to be a good steward will be for the city to judiciously plan for the future of the project. We urge planners to consider making the investment now to make the new facility easily expandable in the future. We urge them to think far enough into the future to be able to handle the technology needs of today and tomorrow.

With this investment, the community deserves a project that will retain some grace and beauty as it ages while fitting with the character of the downtown area.

The passage of this proposal ensures the legacy of Mayor Patrice Douglas. In three years she fulfilled an initial campaign promise to bring various parties together on this issue and get it accomplished. We salute her dedication and the hard work of all involved on the City Council, city staff and community members.

As Douglas likes to say, the Public Safety Center is a need more than a want and we look forward to seeing this need fulfilled in a timely and cost-effective manner.