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POLICE DEPARTMENT’S ELIMINATION DISCUSSED

Undersheriff Chris West

City holds press conference; answers questions

Robert Flippo

editor@piedmontnewsonline.com

The City of Piedmont held a press conference Friday morning to discuss a proposal that would eliminate the Piedmont Police Department and bring in the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office to handle law enforcement duties. Mayor Valerie Thomerson, City Manager Jim Crosby and Undersheriff Chris West each issued a statement and answered questions.

“There has been a lot of misinformation,”  Crosby said as he explained the intention of the press conference: to clarify the proposal.

According to Crosby, the idea for the proposal originated when several residents contacted the City Council and asked if they had looked to see if the sheriff’s department could operate the city’s police department at a cheaper rate. The Council  went to Crosby and asked him to contact the sheriff’s office; which Crosby did.

Over the course of a few months he talked to the sheriff and received an initial proposal.  Discussions continued between Crosty and the sheriff’s office after which a revised proposal was finally brought  to the City Council.

That proposal indicates by switching to the sheriff’s office, the city would save 5% of its budget: approximately $300,000.

Since hearing of the proposal, many have wondered if it meant Piedmont would no longer have a law enforcement presence or what the quality of that law enforcement presence would be.

West took the podium to clarify what services the sheriff’s office would provide the city. He explained  if the proposal went through, Piedmont would have eight full-time patrol deputies  dedicated to the city of Piedmont 100%.  Those eight officers would work in shifts out of the current Piedmont Police building.

One big difference is,  in addition to the officers, Piedmont would have access to all the resources provided by the sheriff’s office, and at no additional cost. Currently, Piedmont does have access to county resources, but each time the city uses them, it costs money. For instance, every time the city needs to use a forensics lab, or bring in a K9 unit the city pays the county for that service. The proposal would give the city more law enforcement resources at hand and for less money.

Both West and  Thomerson addressed the issue of whether the city or the county would receive money generated from citations issued in Piedmont. West said  the eight officers would be cross-commissioned  as both sheriff’s deputies and reserve police officers for the city of Piedmont. As such, the officers would be able to enforce municipal laws and the money from tickets issued in Piedmont would go to the city. Thomerson said both the municipal court and municipal clerk would remain active.

Thomerson emphasized that at this time the proposal is just that—a proposal. No decision has been made and the Council is still looking into the possibility. The Mayor welcomed Piedmont residents to give their input on the subject.

“We are open to our community and our residents,” Mayor Thomerson said. “I encourage those individuals to seek out your council member, seek out myself and let us know what you want us to do.”

The City Council will hold a meeting  at 6 p.m., on Monday, September 16  in City Hall to discuss the proposal further.

70 Comments

  1. Vernon Woods says:

    I have been asked by several residents if I was aware of any of this stuff while I was on the Council. My comments about this, and specifically the statements made today by Crosby and
    Thomerson concerning this issue are as follows:
    .
    From this article:…‘According the Crosby, the idea for the proposal originated when several citizen contacted the City Council and asked if they had looked to see if the Sheriff’s department could operate the city’s police department at a cheaper rate. The Council then went to Crosby and asked him to contact the Sheriff’s Office, which Crosby did. Over the course of a few months he talked to the Sheriff and received a proposal. After the proposal had been amended, Crosby brought the proposal to the City Council.’….
    .
    1. While I was on the Council, absolutely nobody suggested anything to me regarding this issue.
    .
    2. The ‘Council’ that went to Crosby did not include myself, nor, apparently, some other members.
    .
    3. Crosby suggests that months passed between the first ‘Council request” and the current status, which indicates that several members of the Council were not told anything about this issue.
    .
    4. The first ‘official’ proposal was presented to the Council on 09/23/13, at a meeting in which any discussion of it is still currently legally debatable.
    .
    5. The city charter specifically states in:
    ARTICLE 3. CITY MANAGER AND ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENTS
    SECTION 3-4. ADMINISTRATIVE DEPARTMENT, OFFICES, AND AGENCIES.
    There shall be a Department of Finance, a Police Department, a Fire Department, and such other administrative departments, offices, and agencies as are established by this Charter and as the Council may establish.
    .
    The comments about reserves officers stated by Crosby and Thomerson are pure bs intended to deflect the fact that the charter would have to be modified to even consider this action. Any typical attempts by them to twist the obvious intent of this section will undoubtedly lead to more lawsuits and attorney fees ($50,000.00 last year alone).
    .
    To end my comments, let me state absolutely that I was never aware of any of this crap until I read it in the papers, and I challenge anyone to prove otherwise.
    .
    OK, anonymouse snipers, bring it on.

    • Charles Coffman says:

      Vernon, you were recalled so I did not mention it to you. Had you been elected I would have called you about the discussion and you would have got th cost sheet in your package at the meeting. I believe the DA has disagreed with you on your points.

      • Jerry Konieczny says:

        And you Mr. Coffman are beginning to sound like the mayor-wanna be that you are. Every time you speak you give the impression that you are the spokesperson for the entire council.

        • Charles Coffman says:

          Jerry, I am the mayor pro tem and am just trying to pass on information from a different perspective. I would have contacted Vernon with the idea had he been elected. I am not the spokes person but many things have been said that were not accurate or needed to be placed in context. Since many folks do not attend the meetings or see some of the background information this may be the only way they get their information.

  2. bill says:

    Not sure all the quotes in this article are correct. I attended the meeting and heard things a bit different. One example is that a councilman had brought this idea to the city manager and had initially contacted the Sheriffs office. Another example is that the deputy sheriff confirmed that the county already provides all those listed services to all communities and unincorporated areas in Canadian County. He also said that depending on approval of a contract which has yet to be developed that it would be up to the discretion of the officer as to which ticket book he would use to write a ticket since he might have two. One for the city and one for the county. The mayor did say she was open to the community, however refused to take or answer any questions.

    • Charles Coffman says:

      Bill, they do but there is a cost now. That is part of the savings by bundling those services.

  3. Vernon Woods says:

    I only know what I read in the papers. Talk to the reporter.

  4. Ron Hau says:

    The story Crosby tells is different than the one Charles Coffman tells.

    • Charles Coffman says:

      Ron, we have had citizens bring this up before. After the bond vote, and after looking at the budget I asked the City Manager to ask the question. I also spoke to people over the past months while traveling how there were able to maintain roads. As with any idea, it has a lot of pieces that come together.

  5. JT says:

    I don’t understand why everyone thinks the police officers are entitled to their jobs. If you don’t want the risk of being fired and replaced then you better own your own job. Someone puts forth a proposal that they can do the same job at a cheaper rate and everyone gets hysterical.

    Who cares who provides the law enforcement services as long as they are provided correctly?

  6. bill says:

    Don’t think anyone on this communication chain said anybody was entitled to anything. Just saying the information provided to the public by the mayor and city manager lacks some credibility. In addition need to check what the charter states. The actual numbers for the piedmont police department was 660 thousand, it was represented to be 900 thousand. Folks need to have real information in real time. A Canadian County Sheriff starts at almost 41 k annual Piedmont Police is 32 k. Same number of officers by county will cost more than same number of Piedmont officers. There is no official contract so who knows what the details are,,,,not the public that’s for sure. Wonder if anybody realizes Piedmont is in Canadian County…. we get the same services as the rest of the county we already pay for it. In short we get and are ENTITLED TO the same and all of the same services as any community in Canadian County. If we have not been receiving them then we have been cheated.

    • JT says:

      City councilman says the police department costs this much:

      http://piedmontnewsonline.com/community/city-releases-statement-demise-of-piedmont-police-department-seems-eminent#comment-6432

      Canadian County Sheriff says he can do it for this much:

      http://piedmontnewsonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Canadian_Co_Estimate.pdf

      Police budget is around $750k according to the City of Piedmont’s own website!
      http://www.piedmont-ok.gov/budget.htm

      Where do you get this $660k number?

      • Charles Coffman says:

        The city website posted budget is 2010-2011, it is old. That $750k does not include the muni court, something the sheriff will supply. Also it does not have anything for vehicle replacement, something the sheriff will supply. I am glad you posted these, I have the one from our last budget meeting (2013) and now I see where some of the figures in the media are coming from. But, even so the salary cost includes reserve officer, dispatch, and some management. The sheriff is a straight 8 deputies and a supervisor, does not need some of the ones we have on the books.

    • Charles Coffman says:

      Bill, I have seen some estimates put forth that did not include benefits. I saw another that counted Piedmont reserve officers and dispatch. I saw another that left out the muni court and dispatch costs. This is confusing people. The apples to apples comparison is the cost of 8 full time patrol officers and a supervisor including the services and equipment we currently pay for and the muni court. Put those side by side and there is a $300,000 cost savings by bundling with the sheriff. I encourage folks to watch the video of the conference and look at the figures,

      • Kate Kearby says:

        We used to get a lot of services from county, most before we hit the magic 5000 population number, perhaps there’s better ways to work nicely with county on a lot of stuff. Most of the hard top roads in Piedmont now were built my County services. Seems besides the population issue someone years back made us the blacksheep of the county and now there is a serious lack of communication. Can that change? Can in the redistricting we drop below that magic number?

        • Kate Kearby says:

          the last time we got any help from the county during the big snow storm a couple years ago, an individual in town called a county commissioner and got us the equipment that drove down waterloo rd to clear are roads up here. the ones our personal equipment couldn’t open. (while the city hid and wouldn’t even use firetrucks to get abandoned seniors out of their snowbound homes and volunteers took their own 4 wheel drives in to carry the elderly out in their arms) gee who was mayor then. course he was stuck behind a drift a citizen dug out with their own tractor and desil.

        • Charles Coffman says:

          We have recently set up inter local agreements with the county. We did have some bridges to rebuild. I am not sure why it was that way, but things we very cool for a while.

    • Charles Coffman says:

      It was not understood before all the controversy that the city of Piedmont has been paying for all the services mentioned as we used them. The muni court also cost us for the judge and clerk. If you add equipment, training, workers comp and other items it costs nearly a million dollars to operate a Fully staffed PD. Let’s say you don’t buy the budgeted staff figures I note. OK, then instead look at the apples to apples cost for just the vehicles, training, equipment, court, transport, jail, night dispatch. That is the difference. Sheriff – included, Piedmont- $300,000.

    • Charles Coffman says:

      Another note on this. We are not entitled to the services, we pay for them. Some people do not understand that the property taxes go to the county and state, not be city. We live by our sales taxes, service fees, and the water fees. OKC water and sewage rates go up 4% a year and we found recently we not raised our rates for many years and were having to make lump sum payment to OKC for going over our limit in the summer. We also now know that we are $62 less than Edmond on fees, and those in the region are a lot less than us. We also are once cent higher in sales tax than anyone in the region, so if any retailer locates here they know that point of sale in Piedmont will cost more. People have choices so hey go outside of tow. There is no room to raise funds without really hurting the town folks, we are limited out. Some have suggested we jack some fees up so high no one else will move here and stop the growth. I do not believe we can be an island, we have to adapt. Folks, there was a movie called waiting for superman. It is folly to wait for something to come in and save you. Doing nothing might sound good also if you are afraid of bad press and rock throwers but I had assumed you wanted people that would try to find ways to solve problems. We need a full fire department in the area, your city staff is pretty small, we are topped out on fees and taxes. Catfish cove closed it’s doors. The only one that can sell a bond here is the schools. We have a very good law enforcement agency that is willing to step in and provide the services we need plus some extras at much less. You can say don’t do that but go out and bring in some business. Sadly, we have had 6 police chiefs, councilman recalls, and a lot of turmoil in the past. The business folks I talk to say we are not a safe place to invest in. Premium builders say they may take 5 years to complete a project and they can not count on the people they worked with to be there or if the codes will change in mid stream. So there you go… This was my idea to find a way out of this mess. If we have some stability in the PD, fix the roads, and hold firm on our modern codes and ordinances we might see a better future. If we can find a way to lower our sales tax one cent to meet the regional average without harming the fire department we will then be on a level playing field. Then it is a sales pitch on being close to the metro with cheaper property. Then we will be where we should have been had we thought things through years ago.

      • Concerned says:

        Quite honestly it’s a good idea Mr. Coffman. It’s a progressive idea. There are many towns and cities in this country that have done exactly the same thing that you’ve suggested. If it was a bad deal it makes you wonder who they have survived. Piedmont simply cannot afford it’s police department. The one error you made was in not being more transparent. Now that the cat is outta the bag all you can do is press on. You should schedule some public meetings and be prepared to answer a lot of questions. Prepare for the doomsday guys like Ron and Vernon to blow their tops and go nutz. I’d also encourage the Sheriff to stand by his proposal. If they can make it work in Piedmont maybe they can help some of the other small struggling towns out as well. As for the officers working at the PD hopefully the sheriffs office will hire the ones that are qualified. Change is coming wether they want it to or not.

        • Charles Coffman says:

          Yes, we let this get away from us a bit. I wanted the see more of a proposal so I could talk specifics. Probably should have made note of the concept earlier. I generally try to have a full set of info because I hate saying I will get back you. But, politics is different in that the build up in information gathering can look like it is being secretive. Lesson learned.

  7. bill says:

    It is my opinion that when APEX and their interested parties get done with COPRA/PIEDMONT, the damages will be more than 300 thousand and COPRA will be gone like a bunch of gypsy’s leaving us to pay for another big fat mistake.

  8. Brian Vermillion says:

    How much more turmoil will the citizens have to put up with before Valerie is recalled herself?

  9. Charles Coffman says:

    Bill, cities are allowed to join legal efforts that are outside our city limits to protect us from a nuisance. The state attorney general announced this week that the county can form a planning commission. The fed is mulling the tax breaks it gives wind companies, and it looks like Other cities may join in on this. We can now ask for an injunction to hold construction pending our hearing, might take many years. What we are after is a 3 mile buffer. I say it is looking better. A wind generating company might desire to cross file for us perusing a nuisance, but what do you think they would be asking for in that filing.

  10. KF says:

    We are lucky we are still a city and not part of OKC. It’s the small town bickering that has put us here. On who’s watch did we over build the police station? A grant was received by the Mayor (not Valerie) and that council went over the grant amount. She had nothing to do with it. We received a grocery store that we will not receive taxes on for God knows how long. Look at the development around us. You can get a permit from OKC in half the time as Piedmont and without all the BS and it doesn’t matter who you have coffee with in the morning. You can blame who you want but special interest started before this Mayor.

    • Bill says:

      That is simply is not true, check your dates. The additional money for the PD was approved on Valerie’s watch by an extremely pro-Valerie council(and pro-other people too). The final grocery store incentive package was approved under her administration too. And exactly how are we lucky to not be a part of OKC, last time I checked OKC doesn’t do hostile takeovers of other cities.

  11. JT says:

    The problem with this town is no different than the biggest problem anywhere else; ignorance.

  12. Ron Hau says:

    KF we are getting tax revenue from the grocery store now. We will get more latter.

  13. JT says:

    The fire department receives half of the sales tax the city gets from the grocery store. The other half goes into the general fund. Those two halves total to 40% of the TOTAL sales tax the grocery store generates. Mr. Williams receives the other 60%. When Ron says later he means fourteen (14) years from now.

    Some people don’t like this idea. I’d like to hear their proposals for financing road repairs. So far all the opponents have said is make vague and absurd statements. Where are your proposals? Present them to your councilmen. Post them on here.

    • JT says:

      So far all the opponents have done is to write vague and absurd statements.

    • john says:

      JT your math is incorrect out of the 9.35% sales tax collected 5 cents on the dollar stays in Piedmont one cent goes to the general fund …….one cent goes to the fire dept and three cents goes back to Williams grocery inc for the tax rebate payments back to Williams, the other 4.35 cents goes to the county level.

  14. Kate Kearby says:

    we could save $1600 a month firing one guy who is no good to us, already messed up our sales tax revenue, and maybe 2 or 3 others should be let go in the city, one or 2 girls in the office. like the one in charge of posting council meeting minutes. and that Wade guy? that’s holding up the tearing down of the house in Terrace Hills. sell a BUNCH of excess vehicles from all departments, put that money into having the right vehicles and personnel in roads etc? Maybe fix a road to one of our biggest sales tax resources? That could be a lot bigger if there was a road there.

  15. bill says:

    Chuck the State Attorney General gave the Canadian County commissioners the opportunity to form a specific planning commission to address the issue. Our County Commissioner Phil Carson was unable to get a second to his motion to form such a commission. It seems the land owners objected because they believe it violates there ownership rights. Guess everyone believed the commission might be biased. I expect this issue is going to escalate and very likely get very expensive. Most likely some will win and then of course claim some damages. I sure hope COPRA is able to pay just in case. Not sure about the rights of a city to exercise legal rights outside of its city limit. I believe that may only apply to property owned by the city outside its city limit. Seems logical to me. I guess it will be one of those things that it will cost a lot to find out. Have you ever looked into chapter 9.

  16. Charles Coffman says:

    Bill, it really isn’t a debt problem as much as it is a revenue problem. Even if we finished paying off any loans early we still face a long future of more homes but no businesses. If we were the regional average on fees, utilities, and sales tax we would be competitive on paper. With a good road plan we might be inviting because of our still inexpensive land. It is the turmoil and low revenue that is a risk few are willing to come up off expressway for. I think that will get better over time but until then it will be a bumpy road. We can keep getting the codes modernized and pass the updated charter now to add another step closer to what we all want to see. It may be a 20 year journey.

  17. Charles Coffman says:

    Regarding the county commission. It may take time for people to understand that the special commission is not to tell people what kind of barn to build. The mandate will have to spelled out first and may take time. But fior now it is something that can be done once the time is right.

    • ant says:

      Charles,
      Although i am not sold on geting rid of the city police dept, i do like your approach to our issues. it is very apparent you figured out the vernon issues quickly and understand his only way of governing was to try and force his opinions and bulldoze anybody who disagreed with him. keep up the good fight with respect and dignity to all and you will be fine. Please try and find a better way to cut costs other than deleting the police dept. look at kates posts above she has some good ideas. we are all in this together.

      • JT says:

        Ant,

        They aren’t deleting the police department, they are just replacing them with a less expensive unit.

        The city owns an empty lot in Rolling Prairie Estates. They don’t use it for anything. I don’t see why they couldn’t sell it.

  18. bill says:

    This situation just did not happen in a day. It took almost 25 years of poor planning to finally acknowledge that we have not planned for sustainable growth. The real challenge is no the problems we are faced with today. The real challenge is do we have the courage and integrity to admit our past mistakes. When we do that we have a chance to correct them and go forward. Until we take those necessary steps we just continue to move from one bad choice to another. You can not creatively finance your way out of a management problem but you can manage your way out of a financial problem. We have many problems to acknowledge, roads, fire hydrants, sewer, all of our infrastructure and service issues. This does not speak to the reputation of our community or quality of life issues, and they are many. We should have planned for infrastructure corridors, buffer zones for land use, sustainable fees and rates to support all of the elements of a sustainable community. This revelation should be an epiphany for all of those who are concerned about the future of Piedmont.

  19. J Smith says:

    All the services that the sheriff could provide are already available to us now. The City should have and should now run a better public campaign to have the street improvement bond passed by explaining the problem. Maybe we wouldn’t be in this position!

    • Charles Coffman says:

      J…. They are available to us but at a cost. We pay as we use them. Under the sheriff option they are included, as well as vehicles and equipment. As far as the bond issue, we did not do so well. I did notice that no matter what we said it came down to taxes and the lack of trust that the city would actually use the money for the roads. By law we had to spend it on those roads but no one believed it.

  20. Kate Kearby says:

    I do like the comment on it didn’t happen in a day, didn’t all happen under this mayor, took about 25 years. Piedmont never had a plan for the type of growth without income they have. Maybe , just Maybe, this discussion will get residents off of the ‘dream sheet’ of what they WANT and start them focusing on what they NEED. Now is not the time to be talking about the city financing ‘aquatic’ or any other kind of park. We need roads, good water wells and lines and just basic infrastructure. No more vehicles, buildings, and a trimming of the employee numbers in unnecessary area. Maybe even turn the thermostat up a couple degrees in city buildings, I know when I go to city council meetings I can’t wear sandals cause I freeze. Things people do to save money, can’t the city, without putting us further in debt? And what’s wrong with civic benevolent organizations in this town if they aren’t developing and building parks and facilities for Piedmont Pride and growth. Most other small towns have Lions and Kiwanis parks and pools. I only know one benevolent organization in town working on something for Piedmont.

  21. Kate Kearby says:

    oh and that thing about ‘oh we got a grant’ GRANTS COST LOTS OF MONEY. Wither an overrun on the cost of a building of almost double, or the cost to maintain vehicles bought with grant money. unless it’s a road grant or well grant we can’t afford grants!

  22. Al Ridgely says:

    This whole thing about cutting cost’s is long time over due, the people who have run this town have never looked to the future in regards to growth, whenever someone tries to do something to improve the roads they meet with an out-cry from people who are against everything, this move to save money by out-souring the Police Dept. is a last ditch effort to do roads without the citizens paying for them, It is a good cost effort, if you were in business you would look at the situation from all sides and see that saving money for services is a good thing. if not you won’t be in business long. Also if the F.O.P. is allowed to get a contact with the city, we will be paying even more for less, look what the auto industry has gone thru over the last few years. this union will come in and want more money, more benefits and more equipment, so in short they will cost us more for less if this allowed to happen, at least 3-3 times as much in the next 5-10 years. How we have services from the county but they need to be asked for( that has never happened) and we have to pay for that also, this plan if done is the only way to pay for roads without a tax hike or fee put into effect on someone that is already taxed to death and paying for services we don’t get, take the drainage fee as an example, been collected for many years and never used for what it was collected for. We pay a Fire Protection fee so that the F. D. could buy trucks so that they can ride around making a presentence. This will be the next to go union and add to our expense’s. The plan to change the way our town does business is long- overdue, no more waiving fee’s for anything. no exceptions, follow the codes and maybe we will start to see some work done to improve things here, other-wise the roads will keep falling apart, the same people will moan and everything will stay the same.
    I think as a whole we have the Best Council we have ever had, we have no real leadership in our Mayor , and we also have the best City Manager in years trying to un-do the problems that others made with little to no support from the people, It’s a sad state of affair’s here and that is why no business’s will even look at us to come here, It’s sad to hear the truth and most people try to say other thing’s to make it sound like it’s not our fault, it is and we can thank the past leaders for the mess this city is in, but now is the time to take steps not to repeat the same mistakes over again, I hope that people will listen and see that this is the beginning to rescue our town and move forward. If not then I hope that every time you drive down a road and hit a pot-hole you remember that we needed a bunch of cops sitting around doing nothing that this was your choice.. We have to start somewhere and this is IT, It’s going to be interesting to see how this goes down the bumpy roads of Piedmont. from a long time resident. Al Ridgely

  23. bill says:

    Maybe in addition we could recognize how the city got where it is. Assure that we make the right decisions about sustainable growth so we are not destined for the same old outcome. Roof tops for the sake of roof tops did not seem to fund itself.

  24. Charles Coffman says:

    Good comments. Some time ago I was introduced to the concept of cash flow vrs cash profit. Cash flow is income that generates from conditions you create. It does not need much interaction. Cash profit is from transactions you need to initiate. The difference is that with cash flow you can make plans and set budgets. Investors will recognize cash flow as something to count on. With roof tops we get a cash profit. It is income but it is hit or miss, and you can’t make plans around it. Business tax revenue is more like cash low. If you have lot’s of businesses then you can start getting an idea of how you can invest the income. Road projects, staff size, building improvement all really need cash flow type income. When we accepted home construction income as a main source of I come we were really not being very wise. Good money when you can get it, but you can not plan around it. Our cash flow is very weak.

  25. bill says:

    Chuck please…I have been reading financial statements for some 40 years now. A city operates on a much different system than a private company. Government accounting is not the same you can not confuse one with the other. The reality is we have added some 50% to the number of roof tops in Piedmont and increased the population by more than 3000 since the year 2000. In order to know what the influence on the cash available to operate you must consider the related cost. So far no one from the city has ever been able to provide that information. Can YOU? If it were a positive number then we would have the available operating cash to meet all the necessary services.

    • Charles Coffman says:

      The additional rooftops have increased the revenue from the utilities, that is true. But one sewer line project in support of the school and some road work takes a chunk out of the revenue from fees. Fees income from home construction come in a variable amounts, and projects take from those revenues. We did repairs from the floods, for example. But sales tax revenue is steady and you can start to see the margin in revenue stream vrs expenses. Was there a particular budget item you wanted to see more on. I have been sharing our reports with folks that wanted to know. I have no doubts in your experience but it does seem that roof top construction fee revenues build up, then something like the school sewer project are needed and there goes our nest egg. The tax type of cash flow can be streamed into budgeted items because they both are earned and burned at set rates. The other not so much. I won’t pretend to know more than business folks, I have worked with fed budgets ( not congress math, but a departments budget).

      • Charles Coffman says:

        Maybe I should have said that it did look like the increased population was generating more income with the PMA. But our last accounting session mentioned that the margin was slipping because of the 4% yearly increases in water and sewer by OKC. I think because we adjusted our rates we will see a margin go back up in our next report. That means it is positive. But as soon as we say that some folks say we are trying to make a profit off of the water bills. It is more accurate to say it allows us to fix roads. The funds to do Waterloo and 164th west of Piedmont road were from that type of margin. But that is chip a peel stuff even though we did a good base. Sure wish we could do 4″ paving.

        • Kate Kearby says:

          we’ve lived on chip and seal for over 20 years and I was trying to think of how many miles of road Piedmont has done itself since the last county work was done? so $141,000 vs a $1mil mile sounds real good to me.

  26. bill says:

    I believe our auditor attempted to educate the city on this several years ago.

  27. Kate Kearby says:

    no businesses with employees paying full sales taxes,,,,, how come every business in town is begging for employees? from the dog food factory, to city stop to Dr Baca, to dollar general, sonic, subway, whiskey business, MPH auto, the schools and Chesters. all looking for good employees and not finding any or near enough to turn a business with lots of sales tax potential to support Piedmont. So why would a business move to town? and people willing to move to town and WORK, calling realtors constantly looking for rentals last I heard the few rental duplexes in town had a least a 15 person waiting list. .

  28. Charles Coffman says:

    Kate, just curious. Do you think the new apartment complexes on Rockwell by Memorial will help that? I have been watching them go up and wondered what impact they may have on us. Looks like the new school close by them will get the children, but that is a large pool of new workers just a few miles away.

  29. Kate Kearby says:

    NO, they are for those working at farmers, paycom, the hospital complexes and their rents are considerably higher then even the duplexes, so paying over $3 a gallon for gas to drive 10+ miles even in the winter for a starting pay job? are you kidding? It’s tricky with the ‘chicken or the egg’ Having jobs and having housing? means what to have businesses. you have a couple making the combined $25 an hour? paying $1000 a month in day care? and $1000 a month in rent, trying to keep a car on the road to service Piedmont in all those ‘jobs’ that are now going unfilled. Don’t know where all those folks dropping kids off at daycare that qualify for DHS assistance live.

  30. Charles Coffman says:

    Just wondering what you thought about that. I too lived that life some years ago. I am blessed now. I must say that while some businesses do seem to follow businesses (tech jobs next to universities, for example). It does seem like people follow the jobs and schools in most cases. At least until the population base (density actuall) gets to a point that business would consider it. Initially it looks more like cheap land, incentives, and exposure to traffic flow. I am not an urban planner so those are just my own thoughts.

  31. Concerned says:

    Mr. Coffman, it was never intended for Piedmont to be anything other then a farming/commuter community. The problems started when city dwellers moved out here and then wanted to drag their problems along with them. Bad roads? They’ve always been that way. As a long time resident I never expected them to get better. That’s just what you put up with. As long as they can get the big potholes patched on a regular basis i’m okay with that.

    If I needed all the amenities that come with big city living such as grocery stores, restaurants and movie theatres I would have moved there. If Piedmont tries to become as developed as Yukon then it’ll become nothing more then another Yukon or Mustang or Edmond. The majority of people moved out here to get away from that stuff.

    More growth, more people, more businesses doesn’t always mean a better quality of life.

    • Charles Coffman says:

      Concerned, it looks like you will see Piedmont stay pretty much the same for the rest of your lifetime. We will have more houses and additiions scattered around but everything else will pretty much stay the same. Expressway will boom as will Hefner Parkway/Portland. OKC will expand out to council and up Morgan to 150th. Piedmont will pretty much stay the same.

  32. Kate Kearby says:

    Nice input Concerned. What’s wrong with the roads? trade in those sports cars for something with some suspension and real tires. and as far as the city, knock down a bump that’s already got one guy killed at 220th on the east side of Piedmont rd. Ref exposure to traffic flow , Yukon and Edmond are sitting on Interstates, Piedmont has going for it good schools, but Piedmont School district does not require people to live or work in Piedmont city limits. Someone said Mustang isn’t on an interstate, but I knew people that lived in Mustang and took I40 to work at Tinker. ?? who knows. Meantime since Piedmont schools did away with FFA about 25 years ago, this Thursday we are bringing traditional 4H to Piedmont. Have lots of folks interested, hope it works. p.s. I left PAVA this morning, turned in the Sec stuff, not what I thought it was, sad to see the hopes and dreams of another great asset to Piedmont not what it seemed.

  33. bill says:

    Kate not sure what influenced you, however as a supporter of Veterans for some 40 years now I’m glad to know that folks are looking carefully at PAVA and considering a more meaningful way to support our Veterans. Just so you know there seems to be more than one bill on this communications chain.

    • Kate Kearby says:

      Oh bill, it’s a beautiful dream, and could have been so great for Piedmont, but it’s a deal for rich old men. and I’m not including Phil and Hoss in the group, they are just smart businessmen. the Directors have other motives besides serving all the Veterans of Piedmont and being an Organization. Yep, it’s weird, I face the crap with my full name and I’m ‘just a little old woman’.

  34. Kate Kearby says:

    If anyone noticed I applauded Bill Long last night, the right group of Veterans will pay their own way, even the little poor ones. He made a very good statement.

  35. Ant says:

    Kate,
    I have a hard time believing no pava is better than having one. If all veterans would pull together on this thing it could be a really good thing. The conspriacy theories are getting very old and are not good for this city. I hope you left over a single conflict with an individual and not the entire organization.

  36. Kate Kearby says:

    Ant, the directors and President (who did a dr jeckel mr hyde since the last meeting), and for now that’s pretty much the entire organization. From those that I know who left, or on the verge of leaving and have become disillusioned with the plan. Would be great to have an organization even if we never had a building, but there in lies the purpose problem for starters it never started right. .Like I said I had hoped and dreamed, thought it was a good thing, when the directors became dictators.

  37. bill says:

    Thank you Kate. I have dedicated all of my adult life to serving Veterans. It insults me and most Veterans I know to have the community believe that they are quibbling about some charity from the community. It is unfortunate that the PAVA did not reach out to the well established non-profit Veterans organizations to get something more for our local Veterans.

  38. Kate Kearby says:

    oh I thought there should be a ‘Piedmont’ Veterans group, but one with people first, and not a building that appears to be some sort of ego agenda for a few?

  39. bill says:

    There are many people who support and serve Veterans. A large number who have done so with no self centered agenda. They have done so for many years out of sincere dedication and respect. They have all done so without any expectation of reward, or even appreciation. I’m certain there are many such people in our community. I also expect some of those organizations and their members will be interested in Piedmont in the future.

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