Stillwater Residents Forum w/ OSU

Stillwater Residents Forum with OSU, Stillwater Public Library at 4:00pm.

Student Forum w/ OSU@ 7:00pm (see below)

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9 Responses to Stillwater Residents Forum w/ OSU

  1. Tamara Colbert Maschino says:

    The Petition looks great, and we can help get signatures. The fact that a viable economic impact statement has not been produced on this project is a disgrace and the fact it has not been up to the people for a vote or even valid discussion on alternate locations is incredible. We feel the lowball , hurry up type offers is almost bordering on criminal, especially on the most vulnerable of society. We have heard two theories on the rush, one is to get the appraisals and offers in before property owners receive the new valuations in the mail and the second is to create a plateau or base of paid OSU acquistions of lower evaluations in the event of a court case. In either example, it clearly illustrates how low this University has sunk.

  2. Dr. Ted Douglas says:

    If osu is truly doing this in an attempt to drive down prices, then maybe the homeowners should go ahead and begin a class action lawsuit concerning reverse condemnation and seek to recover the decreases in value that osu is causing.

  3. Lee Agnew says:

    (I sent the following letter yesterday to the Daily Oklahoman and the Tulsa World. I heard back from the World; it may actually get into print. We’ll see. And the media need to keep hearing from the rest of us too.)

    “OSU Forum Coverage Incomplete”

    Opponents of the athletic facility expansion called for in OSU’s proposed Master Plan base their objections on emotional appeals and indulge in intemperate outbursts, motivated mainly by a desire to obtain more money for the property OSU wants to acquire, right?

    That is certainly the impression one would get, if one were to rely on media coverage of the February 6 Forum in Stillwater.

    Both major metro daily newspapers highlighted the confrontational aspects of the meeting, while more temperate exchanges were omitted.

    A local attorney asked several detailed questions about how OSU’s property appraisals compared to Payne County assessment figures. Other speakers asked for specific details about the decision-making process for locating athletic facilities; and what the Board of Regents did and did not imply when they approved renovation of the stadium and field house in 1997.

    When the consultants hired by OSU compared the “synergy” of the proposed Athletic Village to Oklahoma City’s Bricktown and MAPS projects, a speaker pointed out that MAPS had been voted on democratically by the people of Oklahoma City — a basic right that evidently is not going to be extended to the citizens of Stillwater.

    The stories were accurate, as far as they went, and no fault should be laid at the reporters’ feet. Confrontation and emotional outbursts create drama, and drama sells newspapers. But, as one who has studied journalism at OSU under Professor Harry Heath, I know that reporters can also do real investigation and analysis, and do not have to rely on repeating he-said/she-said arguments.

    The media can do better. Studies citing figures which call into question many of OSU’s assertions have been provided to all of the State’s major outlets. An examination of the information contained in those studies would be a good place to start.

    Sincerely,
    Lee Agnew

  4. Dr. Ted Douglas says:

    Good letter Lee. Why not any comments about citizens having to stand outside the room and stand against the back wall while the entire athletic department took up 1/3 of the seating capacity? I mean, if Asst AD Dave Martin has to come to the city forum to get information, then the university has some unbelieveable communication problems. {Edit}

  5. I feel that OSU brought in the athletic department honchos so that we would be muted by their celebrity. They were also there to make sure any mention of repealing the use tax was squashed. A friend of mine on campus said the deans and department heads had been “encouraged” to produce a good turnout at the community meeting. Forgive me Dr. Douglas but OSU doesn’t have any communication problem other than everyone is no longer buying their “company line”. Dr. Schmidly, athletics and the OSU Foundation have not changed their position. They treat this like a need to know operation, where the less they have to admit the better for them. At public meetings I have made Dr. Schmidly and other OSU/ Benham officials admit to numerous false/incomplete/vague statements. The most telling sign was that throughout the public meetings they have repeatedly referred to the area between McElroy and Eskridge/ Duck and Washington as “the athletic village” not “the area in the 20 year plan” or something similar. They don’t care about us. Like a bunch of 2 year olds they want what they want and they want it now. Unfortunately if we as a group do not start becoming less civil and hold them and our elected officials to the flame they are going to get it. I just hope that the city’s recent volley requesting compensation for the infrastructure in our neighborhood is their attempt to show OSU the real cost of their plan and not some carpetbagger attempt to fatten their coffers at our loss. I have been criticized for being hostile to OSU officials concerning this land grab. While it is true that you get more flies with honey then with vinegar, I have come to believe that the OSU flies want to strip our neighborhood clean like flies and maggots on a carcass. We need to start tossing some vinegar to drive them away before it is too late.

  6. Trude Coonrad Naff says:

    My sister and I own two pieces of property in the area between Hall of Fame and McElroy. Since I’m not able to attend the majority of the meetings that take place, I depend on recaps from those who are able to attend.

    At the risk of showing my stupidity and/or ignorance, I’m almost as confused about the diversity of directions the property owners are taking as I am about the “communications” we are receiving from OSU and its representatives.

    Owners who have sold their properties to the OSUF are complaining they were paid much less than their properties were worth. So why did they sell? For those of us who haven’t accepted the rhetoric of the OSUF and the Board of Regeants, and still own our properties, what is the game plan? Are we united in this, or is it to each his own and hope for the best?

    Frankly, it’s my opinion that those of us who still have our property and integrity in tact need to decide what we want to do, how we want to accomplish it, when we want to act, and get on with the business at hand.

    As individuals, we can write letters, appeal to the sense of fairness of the powers-that-be, and tug at their emotions. But the reality is that at the end of the day, unfortunately, we will have accomplished what we have to date — nothing.

    In Sun Tzu’s, “The Art of War,” he simply states a simple and most essential element to prevail in a situation of conflict: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” We know our enemy. Do we know ourselves?

  7. Marion Agnew says:

    Trude, I’m in the same boat. From 1200 miles away, it’s hard to know what most property owners think or what their plans are. It’s also hard to get a sense of the level of support from people whose homes aren’t threatened.

    Each property owner faces a different situation. Although some people might be able financially to hold out and force OSU to use eminent domain to take their property, others would be ruined by that action. Although I hope that some brave souls will be able to hold out, I can’t blame those who sell, though they have been selling too early.

    That’s why my efforts have been to stop the decision. If OSU changes the substance of the Master Plan before presenting it March 3, or if the Regents don’t approve the Master Plan as written, then homeowners aren’t put into the position of choosing more emotional and financial devastation or less. Meanwhile, OSU could still pursue its vision of greatness. It’s a win-win: I don’t understand why those in power don’t see that.

    Yes, changing the situation before the vote is a long shot. But from this distance, I don’t know what else to do.

  8. Tamara Colbert Maschino says:

    You are right about homeowners not always being able to hold on financially. There is another issue, the extreme stress of this situation on the elderly and how long they can handle it without experiencing health issues and strain from the daily stress. Every day these homeowners have this on their minds , their very security has been threatened . They are fending for themselves the best they can. I cant believe the University has not helped with advocacy or help with issues. It is a disgrace.

  9. David Demezas says:

    I am extremely bothered by a comment made by an OSU official at the Feb 9th meeting. The comment was that the OSU Foundation is buying up land between McElroy and Eskridge and donating it to OSU as a gift. Did anyone else hear it this way? This really bothers me that OSU is may be preceeding with the land grab without the apparent approval of the Regents using this “loophole”.

    Also, it is ludricous to think that OSU would be happy buying only the property adjacent to Washington and adjacent to Duck and leaving the homeowners in the middle alone as suggested by Dr. Schmidly. Dr. Schmidly suggested maybe to place the tennis courts on the property adjacent to Washington and the new and improved baseball field adjacent to Duck and leaving a core of homes sandwiched between these two venues. The tennis courts must find an alternative location and the current baseball field should be renovated where it is!

    *Moderator’s note: At that meeting, Schmidly was asked if the Board of Regents had approved buying of property North of McElroy either directly or indirectly and he said “yes”. Anyone want to find that in the Board of Regents’ minutes at the college library?

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