Ann Williams

My home was built by my parents in 1950. After my mother passed away and my father moved to an assisted living facility, I returned to Stillwater in 2000 and remodeled my childhood home. In remodeling, I tried to retain, restore and preserve everything possible. Obviously, I love my home and our family history here.

I have spent an untold number of hours working in my yard and have been told by many that they truly appreciate its beauty. I am finding it close to impossible to continue maintaining my property for the purpose of bulldozing.

I do understand that only change and taxes remain constant…. and that change is necessary. There are, most often, difficult aspects in change as well as good aspects.

The OSU Expansion Plan is worthy of awe. However, extremely difficult decisions must be made by property owners in the expansion plan area, whether the owners live in the homes or utilize the property as rental property for their income. Do we stay in Stillwater, reinvest in another area? Do we move to another city? And if so where? Are we financially able to remain in a City in which taxes will increase to such a great level, due to the expansion.

I, obviously, tend to be a very sentimental person. I also believe I am a very fair minded person and fight for fairness for everyone in any situation in which I am involved. I am so saddened and hurt, probably to the greatest extent in all of this, by the insensitivity, unfairness, and lack of respect shown the property owners by MY university.

According to the “presenter” of the masterplan during the Nov. 10th meeting, this basic masterplan was approved in July of 2004. There was no consideration or discussion with any of the property owners, to my knoweldge until we read it in the newspaper.

I read the paper, and noted that the OSU Foundation was heading the project and that a meeting was to be held Nov. 10. On Monday I called the Foundation and talked with Gary Clark, to find out the time and date of the scheduled meeting. He did not know, however, did find out the time and later called to inform me of the meeting location. I, of course, am quite anxious to know the timeframe, etc. regarding the acquistion of my home.

I attended the meeting and learned that I could have some of my questions answered at the homeowners meetings taking place on Nov. 16 & 17. I read in a letter to the editor (Stillwater Newpress) that acquistion was to be completed by June 1 of 2006. Could that be correct, I wonder. I am still trying to remain “calm” and “reasonable” and wait too hear.

My point is simply that I am tremedously disappointed that my university did not see fit to inform property owners in a timely manner and give us an oppotunity to “adjust” and “consider our re-location options”, when the plan was first approved and known to “those in charge”. I feel this is not only insensitive, but bordering on cruelty.

I have loved my university. I am a Posse member and have held season tickets for football, wrestling, baseball, softball, women’s basketball, and am still on the waiting list for basketball. I go to the arena before basketball games and buy tickets from people selling tickets they are not using. I have attended women’s soccer events and equestrian events. I have been a loyal and dedicated fan of our athletics. I love to see us excel, yet still love them when they are down. Half my attire is Orange and Black and if it’s orange (from decor to wearing apparel) I buy it. My enthusiasm for OSU and its sports has been unlimited.

I did not like having to miss the wrestling ranking matches due to the masterplan meeting. I attended the women’s basketball game and the men’s basketball games on the 11th and the great football game on the 12th. I will have to admit that even though I was thrilled with the games, I found I had lost my voice for cheers and my heart was not as fully involved as it has been in the past.

Ironically, I have never attended a tennis match, although I do enjoy tennis, and now my home and property are to become the tennis courts.

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5 Responses to Ann Williams

  1. Cathy says:

    I realize that the current leaders of OSU do not have the historical perspective that our family and many others in the proposed expansion area have. Some of the current residents of this neighborhood and their ancestors were crucial to the growth of Stillwater and Oklahoma State University in the early 1900′s. Certainly though their contributions pale in comparison to Pickens’ multi-millions, they are no less important. In fact, OSU might not exist as it does today without their financial, emotional and political support in those critical early years.

    One of the saddest things to me is that the planners intend for my grandfather’s orchard, with its cherry, peach, apple, pear, pecan and magnolia trees to become tennis courts. I remember my fascination and surprise as a 4 year old, watching my grandfather pick and eat an apple off his tree WITHOUT EVEN WASHING IT! One of my grandfather’s favorite things in the last years of his life was pickled peaches, which he pickled himself. My mother now cans and jellies much of the produce. The pecans have always been both a blessing and a curse; cracking and picking out pecans, an ongoing saga in our family. : ) There are many varieties of pecans on the property. The OSU agriculture faculty members sometimes used my grandfather’s trees for grafting.

    I have to wonder if the planners ever walked down Washington and looked at the neighborhood they have designated to be razed? Or have they done all their planning based on satellite images?

  2. Anonymous Graduate says:

    Fortunately, I am not a Stillwater homeowner, but I am an alumnus with two degrees. I am so incensed over the University’s use of eminent domain, and this “Athletic Village” that I won’t ever donate another dime to OSU, nor will I give my highschool senior son any money for college should he choose to go to OSU. This includes the campus on Portland in Oklahoma City.

  3. Marion Agnew says:

    That’s a fine sentiment, to never donate another dime or not support OSU athletics — but you have to TELL people THAT you’re doing it and WHY. Send an email to the Alumni Association, the Athletic Department, and the Regents. Tell them you’re just one person and you’re not a bazillionaire (or maybe you are, Anonymous), but you’re horrified and incensed. Then write a short letter explaining this same thing, and send a copy to the Tulsa and Oklahoma City newspapers. Send a letter to ESPN and to the Big 12 Conference administrative office. They don’t like negative attention.

    The people in power have to know that their actions have consequences, not just for the soon-to-be displaced students and homeowners, but for themselves. They’re charting a course for OSU that is short-sighted. Driving a wedge between Town and Gown isn’t in the long-term interest of either OSU or the city of Stillwater, never mind the students.

  4. mike says:

    This response is exactly why OSU has the second class University in this state. But I’m beginning to see that just maybe that is the way you like it.

  5. Mixer says:

    >

    Being a top-rated institution of higher learning was never decided over the size of said institution’s athletic department.

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