MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

July 10, 2014

THE PEOPLE SPEAK - Pay employees, not consultants

Today I read in the Muskogee paper that the city manager was going to present to the city councilors the progress being made to develop a three- to five-year strategic plan for Muskogee. This plan was started by a two-day retreat facilitated by a $14,000 consultant.

This is only one of many consultants the city has brought in this year alone, paying them thousand of dollars to tell us how Muskogee might grow and attract business to Muskogee and keep people shopping here. However, no one seems to look around and see plainly part of our problems for free.

For example, Civitan Park is only one of many parks that the city parks department is to maintain. There is a wonderful walking trail, great playground, Frisbee golf course, and a community garden. Each year, I have made repeated calls on the grounds looking more like a hay field instead of a park. The beautiful pine trees are being choked to death by vines taking over. A couple of years ago, thousands of dollars were spent on the drainage problem. Whoever designed it apparently didn’t think it through. Before the concrete ditch starts, there is a huge area that water stands in, rain or shine, which of course is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

From my information, the parks department has the same budget that they had 15 years ago before many of the parks were built. I know the employees get minimum or maybe a little more and the equipment is always breaking down.

Would it not be of more benefit to hire more Muskogee residents at a larger wage and get better equipment to maintain our city parks and streets than to pay all these outside consultants thousands of dollars? The consultants aren’t going to spend their income in Muskogee, but good, paid city employees would be spending their dollars in Muskogee. I know the billing department for the city water, sewer and trash hasn’t been done locally for years.

JEAN GOAD

Muskogee

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