Contact the Governor & State Legislators

It is very important that you express your concerns regarding the expansion plan to the Governor and your state legislators and encourage other Oklahoma residents to do the same. You might explain to out-of-area Oklahomans that by making their objections known, they are not only speaking for expansion area property owners, but for all Oklahoma property owners who may be subject to eminent domain for non-essential use in the future. No private property is out-of-reach. When most of the homes in the proposed expansion were built, the area was considered “in-the-country” and “up-scale”. OSU has even taken property west of town, in the floodplain, in recent years.

Speaking from experience, Matthew P. Smith emphasized this course of action in his Letter to the Editor, published in the Stillwater NewsPress, Dec 12, 2005.

The Board of Regents is appointed by the governor. Let the governor know how you feel and how you will vote next election, should the board approve this plan. They are supposed to govern over the land grant universities. The president and CEO of the OSU system, Dr. Schmidly, is supposed to work for them. Make sure the dog is wagging the tail and the tail is not wagging the dog.

Contact the state representatives and senators for this area. Tell them how you feel. Then call your friends and family in other towns in Oklahoma and have them contact their elected officials and let them know they will not get votes in the next election if this goes through. The Legislature appropriates money for OSU every year. The university needs their support and does need the legislators unhappy with them.

Since the Kelo decision, the Supreme Court case regarding the use of eminent domain in Connecticut, it is clear that the primary authority for regulation of eminent domain is the state government.

Now that we’ve been schooled in the fact that state level eminent domain issues will not be addressed by the Federal Supreme Court, but are matters of the state legislative branch, do you think we’ll now see the citizens of Florida stand up for their neighbors who are at risk of being pushed aside? For those of us in other states who have no say in the impending actions at Riviera Beach, Florida, this will be a lesson in how much one state’s citizens care enough to prevent land-robbery in their state.

Apathy Watch: Florida Case, Valhall, Oct 3, 2005

State officials for the expansion area are listed below. Oklahoma residents outside the area can look up contact information for their officials at Project Vote Smart. Enter 9 digit zip code in search box near upper left corner of home page. There is a link for looking up 9 digit zip code by address, if unknown. List of all officials for zip code 74075-4238, includes biographical info, as well as contact.

Governor & state congresspersons for expansion area

Governor: Brad Henry
Web address: www.gov.ok.gov/message.php
Capitol Address: 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Rm 212, Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Voice: (405) 521-2342 Fax: (405) 521-3353

Representative: Terry Ingmire
Email: Capitol Address: 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Rm 301-B, Oklahoma City, OK 73105 (405) 557-7411
District Address: 5713 W. 7th St., Stillwater, OK 74074 (405) 743-2628

Senator Mike Morgan:
Email: Capitol Address: 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Rm 422, Oklahoma City, OK 73105 (405) 521-5565
District Address: 1008 Woodcrest, Stillwater, OK 74074

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5 Responses to Contact the Governor & State Legislators

  1. B.A. McCrary says:

    My parents have lived in their home north of the campus in Stillwater for over 50 years. They built the home of their dreams hoping to raise a family and retire there. That dream almost came true. Their home, and many others nearby are owned, not rented. They are not run down. They share the misfortune of being on the site chosen for the new home being built for the OSU president. My parents are at an age when it is financially, emotionally and physically impossible for them to start over.

    The orange blood runs deep in my family. My parents met when they were young instructors at OSU following WWII. My father spent his career teaching at OSU. His three children hold six degrees from OSU. He has two grandsons attending OSU (they, too, will loose their housing). My parents remain active citizens of the OSU and Stillwater community. However, there is now a deep sense of betrayal in our family.

    My question: How can OSU justify taking the homes of people like my parents to build a new presidental home when there is currently a president’s home sitting on a huge lot just a few blocks north of the newly selected site? Could it be so that a suite for T. Boone will be available when he visits? So that he will have a clear view of his stadium? Can anyone explain the justice in this situation?

  2. Ann Williams says:

    I cannot resist responding to the comment made by B.A.
    I hear so many stories of this same theme. I think we all can deal with life’s tough situations, but feeling so betrayed by what we love is somehow harder to manage.

    We find ourselves feeling betrayed by our country, our city and our university in our property being taken so unneccessairly. It seems to be a “right” that most of us, as strong supporters of and as citizens of the United States of America, our cities, and the alumnae of Oklahoma State University never dreamed would be so trampled. We are being hit by the loss of much we have loved. We are angry, hurt, stressed and grieving. We are losing respect.

    Ed Long, former member of the Board of Regents and a former State Senator said at a meeting I attended that he would like to see a list of all the people in the acquisition area and what they had contributed to the university. He didn’t think it would be much and OSU would not miss them. I am sure he was referring to monetary contributions.

    We have many who have, for years, attended nearly all sporting events of OSU, supported the university through bond issues, projects, activities, pride and through contributions they could afford monetarily. We have many in the area that are either currently teaching at the university or are retired professors.

    It is as if, as Mr. Long suggested, that the feeling of “those in charge” are of the same opionion. How sad for the university we have known and loved for so many years.

    It would be understandable if there was no other way for the campus to progres and expand. I am sure the people in the eminent domain area would have had no qualms about giving their property rights to OSU, if this were the case. Many in the area would have been quite willing to sacrifice for OSU. But OSU has close to 25,000 acres in the Stillwater area on which no taxes are paid. Much of it is vacant land. And we wonder why real estate and property taxes in our City are so high.

    It seems as if worth is measured by OSU in $ only. Even games can be attended by those of “greater means”. But, the real measure in life will be one’s action and one’s soul. I hope we can all remember that.

  3. Marion Agnew says:

    Thank you for that reminder, Ann.

    And I have been meaning for some time to apologize to Craig Buchanan. Craig, I spent several weeks in Stillwater in 2004 and 2005, but your property fight never made it onto my radar screen. I can’t imagine having to go through this great a loss without community support. I’m sorry that OSU treated you with so little respect. I wish I had been paying attention and could have spoken up then.

  4. dr. ted douglas says:

    I’ve received word that the city attorney found proof this week that Hall of Fame is a city owned street. We’ll see what Mayor Bud does with that tidbit. The position of Mayor will be up for election this spring. The only names I’ve heard running are Bud Lacy and Martha McMillan, two university employees. Ann, is there any way that you would consider running? I think someone from this area needs to run or maybe we could talk Hank Moore into a run. There needs to be a voice for Stillwater in that position!

    Ann’s reply: I really got a chuckle out of that! And I need one at this point :-) Thanks for the compliment, but that would be waaaaay beyond me. I may not even be in Stillwater to serve a term. I am NOT an “activist”…hard to believe with this, isn’t it. I AM concerned about “politics” and all that is happening in the grand ole US of A, let alone right here in Stillwater, America. Besides, I do not desire to become “corrupt” :-) Also, Hank has been asked, but said he did not feel capable of handling budget issues, etc…..just yet. Maybe we could push him.

  5. Lee Agnew says:

    Hi Barb, good to hear from you; wish it could have been under better circumstances…

    The “New President’s House” is a new wrinkle for me; I can’t find it on either of the Master Plan “Project Lists.” But then, I used to think that your folks would get a reprieve, since they’re located in the “20-year” area rather than the “Immediate acquisition” area. Guess I was wrong?

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