Do you remember the song Jerry Reed made famous? The title is “She Got the Gold Mine, I Got the Shaft”.

Well, here we are, the taxpayers, hearing about how much the present city council is going to raise our utility bills and a terrible thought hit me about the gold mines in and around McAlester, and the foundations.

They got the city councils over the past 15-plus years to invest the taxpayers’ money into their projects and they told our elected it would make money for the city. It ain’t.

Taxpayers’ money was invested into grants for foundations and incoming business. We are now busted.

The city’s elected officials need to look at the door of an old U.S. Naval Ammunition Depot vehicle. It has vehicle number 94-78634 and under that these words: “For official use only.”

That should be the watch words for the taxpayers’ money: “City use only” — simply because the city is not an investment company, bank or loan entity.

All money collected through the city should be used for city improvements, such as enlarging the kitchen at the senior center, traffic lights at Strong and Wyandotte, a new fire station at Peaceable Road or new location for a police station.

But right now, none of this will happen.

So, now you can understand Jerry Reed’s song, “The foundation got the gold mines; the taxpayers got the shaft.”

And in January, they want us to pay again.

They say, “You can’t take it with you.” They won’t let us keep enough of our own money to let us try. January is 67 days away.

Hey, I can’t see the end of that shaft, even with a flashlight.

Olen Free