This Tuesday, April 4, Claremore residents will head to the ballot box to vote on several items, including the one-penny public safety proposal, the Hospital Sale Trust question, and to select a new Mayor and decide a Ward 2 Council seat.
If approved, the new one-penny measure will allocate restricted funding to meet the growing needs of Claremore’s public safety programs. The revenues generated will be dedicated to the Claremore Police Department and Claremore Fire Department to address staffing shortages, decrease response times, bolster our school resource officer needs, increase patrol and investigation personnel, future fire station 4 and both police and fire training facilities.
Passage of the one-penny measure will also free up current general fund allocations used on the aforementioned purposes for increased investment in our aging roads, water, sewer and electric infrastructure.
Over the past several weeks, I have hosted a series of town hall-style sessions to discuss the proposals and answer questions. We have posted a video of my presentation online at www.claremore.com/onepenny for those residents who have been unable to attend a meeting but are interested in learning more.
The other proposition on the ballot will authorize the Claremore Public Works Authority to transfer money currently held in the Hospital Sale Trust Fund to the City of Claremore General Fund. Currently the Trust is realizing a minimal return on a significant investment. If approved the City Council could better invest funds resulting in a higher rate of return therefore working smarter for the citizens of Claremore. The interest from this new investment will continue to be utilized for debt reduction as appropriated by the Council.
Finally, several outstanding individuals have stepped forward to serve our community. A new Mayor and 5 councilors will be sworn into office at the City Council meeting on May 1. Some of those councilors are incumbents and some will be new. I look forward to working with this new team and appreciate their willingness to serve and support Claremore.
Voting is a privilege and a responsibility that should not be taken for granted. I urge each of you to visit your polling locations Tuesday and share your opinion on these impactful items for Claremore.
You can view a sample ballot, find your polling place and check your voter registration status on the Rogers County Election Board website.
Get out and vote this Tuesday, Claremore!
John W. Feary
Claremore City Manager