McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

March 11, 2011

Letter to editor: Put a lock on McAlester finances

By Charleen Samuels

McALESTER — Editor:

I have been a tax-paying resident in McAlester for over 20 years and I am mad and very disgusted with the MPower board for giving the Executive Director Shari Cooper a $10,000 raise, a $6,500 bonus plus her car expenses.

I have one question, “What has she done to have earned this?” It’s my understanding that she has not brought in any money as yet. Did they think they would give the raise and bonus so maybe she would put out more effort in doing the job she was hired for?

What about out police and fire departments? They put their lives on the line every day and we know we can depend on them if they are needed. If my house was being broken into, I could pick up the phone, dial 911 and there would soon be one or more police cars in my driveway. If my house caught fire, I would pick the phone and also dial 911 and again the police would soon be here along with the fire department. We depend on each of them every day but with the shape of the economy, they can’t get a raise.

Is the MPower executive more important than those that we depend on for life-saving situations.

Then there are the streets that are in terrible shape but the money is not there to do what needs to be done. The city comes along and puts fine gravel in the holes every so often but within two weeks, it has already been knocked out and the holes are still there.

So do we really have money to throw away when it’s not being earned?

I say the city council of McAlester should put a lock on their finances until there is a great change or the voters should vote the council out. When I pay taxes, I don’t have a say as to how it is spent but I do have a say by voting.