Stillwater News Press

November 6, 2013

Mayor: All bond money will be spent on projects

By Chris Day
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Stillwater will use every penny of the $27.5 million generated by Propositions One and Two, if passed, for construction of a youth sports complex and a fire station, improvements at Boomer Lake Park, purchasing 25 police vehicles and improve emergency communications, Mayor John Bartley said Wednesday.

Bartley and four other city officials responded to questions about the three propositions to be decided in the Nov. 12 special election. Questions were asked through emails, texts or Twitter during the city’s first Twitter Townhall meeting.

The meeting was televised live on Suddenlink Channel 23 and AT&T Uverse channel 99. Residents are able to watch a replay on the city’s YouTube channel — youtube.com/cityofstillwaterok.

The wording in the city’s resolutions that put the two bond issues to a vote of the public indicates the city must earmark at least 70 percent of the bond money to the projects, leaving up to 30 percent as discretionary spending.

“The $20 million in Proposition One can only be spent on ballfields and Boomer Lake. Period. End of story. Proposition Two is a $7.5 million proposition. That $7.5 million can only go to those three elements that are specifically listed. State law would have let us only specify 70 percent of the total and it could have given 30 percent discretionary. We chose to be 100 percent transparent and we spelled out 100 percent where the money will go,” Bartley said.

City Manager Dan Galloway, External Services Director John McClenny, Police Chief Ryan McCaghren and Fire Chief Tom Bradley also fielded questions.

Proposition Two would purchase 25 additional patrol vehicles for the Police Department. McCaghren was asked why the department wants to switch from sedans to sport utility vehicles.

Sedans don’t have enough space for all the equipment police officers need to perform their daily duties, McCaghren said. The sports utility vehicles are built on a truck-based chasis and should last longer than the sedans.

“I want to take this moment to address a misconception I’ve heard ... about the gas mileage of the Tahoes versus sedans,” McCaghren said. “The Tahoes actually get better gas mileage than the sedans we are currently using — about 3 to 4 mpg better than the sedans.”