STILLWATER, Okla. — To parents
Another school year has started. You bought the clothes and supplies, signed the slips that go with extracurricular activities, met the teachers, know the schedule, have already attended a couple of games — all familiar routines by now if your child is a teenager.
And maybe this is the first time you’ve let your child drive to school by themselves. Have you prepared them for that education as well as you have for their academic education?
You might look at me and say, “Of course I have. Do you think I don’t care about my child? They took driver’s training.” If that’s your reply, I commend you, because driver’s training is a good thing, especially with the instructors we have here in Stillwater.
But wait, something is still missing. Have you also taught your child how to be a good passenger? How to say “No! Let me out!” if they feel their teen driver friends are taking too many risky chances? Have you assured them they can call you any time, with no repercussions, if that happens?
Take it from me, they need to know that they can.
Miss you, Ben (7/29/86 – 10/14/01).
Politics have been interesting lately in Stillwater.
This May the mayor, Nathan Bates, survived an election to recall him from office, by a margin of four votes. Now he has been indicted on felony charges that allege misusing his status as a public official and the computer provided to him at the expense of the taxpayers for personal gain.
He hasn't been convicted yet so in all fairness he deserves the presumption of innocence but evidence of his character has been stacking against him since 2009. He has been accused of public drunkenness and soliciting young woman to expose herself in public and now with the formal indictment from the courts he faces the formal accusation of grave wrongdoing.
Whether Mayor Bates abused his office for personal gain is yet to be seen. The courts can be expected to perform their obligation to the public to find the truth in this matter.
Regardless of the court's decision, Nathan Bates is bad for Stillwater. Whether he did in fact abuse his office for personal gain or not, his lack of political aptitude has absorbed city resources and caused an embarrassing stain on this town's political legacy.
Due to his lack of tact and bullheaded support of unpopular legislation, Bates has placed himself in a position of political ineptitude. A politician who cannot manage to enact any legislation could simply be replaced with an official stamp and a recording of an acting student delivering a self promoting monologue - the checks could get signed and we could listen to someone talk about how great they are without having to worry about them using city property to commit felonies.
In an interview with Mike Pilosof posted on the website K101online.com on Dec. 4, 2009, Bates discussed his political motives:
“At my age, it's obviously a lot more important that we strive harder to try and prove ourselves that we have the capability to maintain leadership, we have, really, the motivation to perform all the duties and to really act like we're there for a purpose and not just there to get a bullet on our resume … ”
... who doesn't want a bullet on their resume that says they were a mayor before the age of 30? Bates continues in the interview to more plainly clarify his motives:
“ … honestly, you know, I put myself into debt just to try and stay in office. I've gotten extra student loans to maintain bills and maxed out my G.I. bill every month just so I could continue to serve out here. It has nothing but, you know, pure altruistic motive here to try and serve the city of Stillwater to the best of my ability.”
This statement by Bates further raises the question of why. Why go into debt just to be the mayor of a town, especially when you can't seem to do anything but make enemies and act in such a disgraceful manner that concerned residents must resort to a petition to recall you from office?
Now in the face of a felony indictment, Bates still refuses to resign.
Whatever your motives, Nathan Bates, it's time to give up. How much more embarrassment will you bring to this town?