Dear Editor:

 It seems the city of Chickasha can’t stop referring to that “community satisfaction survey” from last year. Harsh code enforcement, “the survey said”. Run off our ducks, “the survey said”. Spend a ton of money on that lake in Caddo County, “the survey said”. New government agency with a new permanent tax, “the survey said”. Citizens want community “appearance” to be better, “the survey said”.

To find out all the facts, I decided to take a survey of their survey.

In a city of over 16,000 they had 134 people say stormwater drainage was either the most or the second most important issue. Armed with that overwhelming mandate, the city proposes to charge landowners Millions of dollars without an end date. And they say it is our idea. We are “clamoring for it,” according to Alan Guard. 

In last Tuesday’s article about kicking out lake residents it said, “A 2015 city wide survey showed Lake Chickasha is where people would like to see the most improvement, according to Guard.” Well it turns out that a whole 68 people thought the lake should receive “the most emphasis.” 68 people! Again we see them saying their personal pet-projects are our idea. 

Not to pick on Alan Guard, but he keeps bringing it up… in October he said, "One thing we saw in the community survey response is to make our community look better.” Let’s see… in the first 26 survey questions, “appearance of” shows up 7 times. Gee, I wonder why they saw “looking better!” Did they front-load the survey with beautification and then blame the citizens for seeing it? Yes they did. 

 Clearly, this entire survey was designed to show them exactly what they wanted to see to begin with. It is littered with codes, bike trails, appearance, quality of life, etc… You know, the same stuff they have been peddling for years. Drinking water was mentioned only once whereas stormwater got 3 questions!!! (FYI: very satisfied with drinking water = 6 people.) I guess Chickasha’s “community satisfaction” doesn’t honestly include higher wages, better jobs, and drinking water.

This survey was supposed to, “involve citizens in long-range planning and investment decisions.” Strangely, the most important investment issue they decided to leave out. Costs. How do we afford it? How would we like to pay for it? 

Maybe the survey should have asked – How do you think we should pay for this wish-list of goodies? 

a) New two cent sales tax? 

b) Use the hotel/motel tax? 

c) Use the Capital Improvement Tax fund? 

d) New and interesting fee on the rain? 

e) Restructure public works to increase the existing drainage funding? 

f) None of the above, this survey is only priorities and not a mandate to spend additional money.

You know the expression, “don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining”? Well, with this 425-person survey in hand, the city is telling us it is raining. And now they want to tax us on the drainage.   

 Mark Keeling

Chickasha 

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