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home : stillwater journal : opinions/letters to the editor May 24, 2016

10/17/2013 9:02:00 PM

Drivers using cell phones is causing an important driver controlled communication device to rapidly become history. That communication device is the turn signal, that lever on the left side of the steering column. Every day I see drivers change lanes, stop to make a turn or otherwise change the direction of the vehicle and never use turn signals. Nine times out of ten it is because the left hand is occupied with a cell phone.

I recently saw a driver east bound on 12th stopped at an intersection either wanting to turn left or merge to the right lane, but who knows because there was no turn signal. Oncoming or following drivers had no clue of the stopped drivers intentions. Maybe they did not know either or maybe they thought other drivers are mind readers.

People, you have one job when driving a motor vehicle. That job is moving your vehicle from point A to point B while minimizing risk to yourself and other users of the public streets. Part of that job is communicating your intentions to other users of the streets and you cannot do that with a cell phone. You can communicate some of your intentions by using the vehicle turn signals. Put down the cell phone and do JOB 1, driving the vehicle.

James Boyles

Government Debt

We rarely stop to think about the big picture when it comes to debt and borrowing from future generations. Here in Stillwater we owe about $36 million now. That is about $775 dollars for every man, woman, and child in the community and our elected officials want to double that and more, even though 30% of the citizens are living under the poverty line. Probably much less than half of those actually work at a job for an income.

If we were to add up all the unfunded liabilities and the funded liabilities of every municipality in the country the number would be staggering. But wait, counties often sell bonds for various reasons and they have similar liabilities. Oh no! The States also have massive debts that are funded and unfunded. Oh, but we are protected from any problems because municipalities, counties, and States have requirements of balancing their budgets. Oh no! That is only for legal funded liabilities. The unfunded liabilities are astronomical for some states and often not budgeted.

Ah, but we are saved by the federal government, right? Guess again. They talk about that imaginary number of $17 trillion dollars as if it was not real. They never talk about the federal government's unfunded liabilities of perhaps $123 trillion on top of that. The federal government does not have to balance its budget as it can get our money coming and going. They can tax us until our economy crumbles and if that is not enough they can print more, buy their own bonds, and spend it as if it were real money.

I had never heard the term trillion dollars until the Democrats took over congress seven years ago. They told George bush the sky was falling and they had to have almost a trillion dollars for TARP to save the country. It didn't work. Debt denial is rampant here and in Washington as foolish people demonize the TEA party for supporting a balanced budget amendment. Such an amendment would cripple their spendocratic practices. While all three branches of our government argue over pennies, the thousand dollar bills are blowing away like crazy.

Dennis Gronquist

Cost Of Living

City Officials don't have an inkling of what they are asking the property owners in Stillwater to pay for the next 20 years. According to Edmond Sun, private investors raised one hundred million dollars. Their bond issue for $15 million dollars will build a big hotel and a 155 sq. foot sports complex to be built at I-35 and Cowell Road on 19 acres they bought for $2 million dollars. Edmond City Officials could teach our staff how run a town.

Proposition #1. Stillwater city officials seem to just figure how much they can borrow for property owners to pay back with increased taxes for the next 20 years,

Proposition #2 is sloppy figuring, not concrete figures, for property owners to know what they are paying for with the increased taxes.

Proposition #3. Changing from one-half cent sales tax (which expires in 2017) to one cent tax will not add enough to the city's share to help. Leave it alone and let it expire.

I see no reason to pass any of the propositions. They certainly do not improve the "Quality of Life" in Stillwater. If they pass, it just adds to the "cost of living" in Stillwater.

Vera Long

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