Dear Editor: 

 The express of old used to run a column here and there with the title “Public Mind.” I think that is rather what this attempts to be.

A city stopper, almost. Many more important issues came to a near halt as consideration focused on the “Jared Ellis Fence Debacle”.

A fashionable, tasteful, very nice fence created by one creative individual---Jared Ellis.  Jared, an industrious, enterprising character; a member of a long anchored, contributing family here in our fine city.  It seems his fence possibly contained elements not condoned by city of Chickasha codes.  There also was possibly an encroachment issue.

I’m not presently a city resident, with voting rights, and such.  I’m basically a “Country Bumpkin”, but often spend my money here, pay the same high rate of taxes, and in fact, graduated from your local high school and college, and taught in your local schools. I have been a resident at different periods of my life.

Chickasha has changed in many ways---some for the better.  But it seems of late we are seeing an often over-reaching, dictative group of city leaders/policy makers/administrators. This certainly did not begin with our recently departed (lovable) city manager, albeit this certainly kindled the fire.  An air of non-transparency; a feeling of “us” knowing better than you;  we know what you need better than you do….

At a time when transparency and inclusion are what the citizens desire and demand, over and over again, our locals have tried to shove one thing after another down our throats, with very little concern for input from the citizens, or concern for the hefty expenses incurred by the adherence to the newly dictated regulations.

I think most would agree a beautiful city is something to strive for.  There are many things that contribute to making an aesthetically pleasing appearance. And obviously, we would never all agree. With the “no cars” on the yard topic—it causes me to wonder about the beauty derived from following that ordinance, as opposed to the danger and risk created by having cars parked on both sides of the street, thus greatly narrowing already narrow streets and the space available for moving vehicles.

I also do not think our leaders considered the cost placed on home-owners in demanding a paved, concrete drive (or even graveled) to accommodate all vehicles on the premise.  I wonder, for instance, those with a penchant for owning a lot of cars, if they had so many that they paved their whole yard, would that be seen as “BEAUTIFICATION”? I wonder if the cost incurred and such should have involved more citizen input and discussion.

Then, there’s the rain tax—admittedly quite a fiasco. How about an orderly plan, with input from citizens and businesses, possibly a reasonable formula, and then together arriving at a sensible fee.  Seems to me the city totally left most in the dark, while figuring their sky rocket, high fee that was absolutely not warranted, or just for that matter!

Our code-enforcer (enforcement) seems to mainly aim at dividing our community—city vs people.  No ice chests on porches—who knows what else our law-abiding citizens are doing against code?  Code established by? (whom?)  One person might totally be in to lawn figurines, as well as other lawn decorations, fixtures, and ornaments.  A next door neighbor might be repulsed by the same.  Whose taste is representative of the community’s? 

Certain leaders in our community seem to have issues with exerting their authority, or making sure it appears that they have a bit of it.  I feel, often, not so much as serving the community, but serving themselves—needing the fix for insecurity issues.

Now, back to the fence…Indeed, a very nice, aesthetically sound fence, that somehow goes against code; code which was, often whimsically, created by a very uncreative, aesthetically unsound individual(s).

Please, let us not allow our city leaders/policy makers/administrators to have the monopoly on general judgement and good taste!

And……appreciate, promote progressive actions, creations, endeavors….that MUST be to consider Chickasha a city “on the move”.

 David Sampson, 

Chickasha 

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