Stillwater News Press

Local News

March 8, 2014

Q5: Seat 3 candidates look into the issues

(Continued)

STILLWATER, Okla. —



3 Stillwater has entered into public-private partnerships on three ventures — Multi Arts Center, Lake McMurtry and youth and adult recreation leagues. Do you think this ongoing trend should continue in Stillwater? Why or why not?

Darlington: “I have talked to residents and staff who are involved in these new public-private ventures and, although clearly not exhaustive, the feedback is positive. Having private entities who have passion for the particular area has infused a new energy into these vital areas. In that respect, the trend sounds positive. As other opportunities come up for public-private ventures, careful evaluation of overall objectives and resources (both financial and human) should be employed. Accountability of each party in the venture is crucial. I am also aware of the challenge of providing quality services to all residents no matter their financial status.”

Kuruvilla: “I have to say that I love public-private ventures. Anytime there is a public-private venture, it reduces the burden on the city while making opportunities to our residents who are passionate about that venture. That way the venture can thrive and be successful. For example, the Multi Arts Center is becoming very successful. This is because of people that are passionate about different arts teaching great classes for the community.”



4 Stillwater has been designated as a certified retirement community for the state of Oklahoma. How can the city support and promote creation of retirement housing and activities?

Kuruvilla: “I believe that it is a great honor and a mark of pride for Stillwater to be a certified retirement community. It is important to make sure those services and activities are available to elders who decide to relocate in Stillwater. The city’s role is to facilitate and coordinate to see that these needs are met. More specifically, I am interested in finding activities that engage elders, such as having them teach classes to younger people on something they have experience in or activities that bring elders of the community in touch with the younger generation.”

Darlington: “I love this question and not just because I’m old. I like it because it’s a great place to talk about thinking outside our ‘separateness.’  What do seniors look for in a community? I‘ve spent the last six years ‘selling’ Stillwater as a great place to retire — and it’s not a hard sell. Seniors need/want good transportation, good health care, educational, art, sport (spectator and participant) activities … not much different than any age. Attracting more seniors requires cooperation, I think, between the city, the hospital/medical community, OSU and Stillwater Public Schools. No one entity by itself can provide everything. Together we’re dynamite.”

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