One thing is certain in economic development and that is without a solid foundation to build upon; a community cannot be successful. Fortunately, the citizens of Claremore made a very wise decision over 40 years ago to invest in one of the key components of laying that foundation. Public Safety is a concept many disregard when thinking of growing a community. We often focus on new restaurants or retail and occasionally the lucrative new production facility which will employ hundreds and invest millions! However, there are a number of reasons those investors choose a community. They vary from access to a capable workforce, quality of schools, utility rates, quality of life and of course public safety. Global manufacturers consider all of these & more. Public Safety often can be the most important as such capabilities demonstrate Claremore’s ability to respond to any & all potential hazards as well as establish ISO ratings that determine insurance costs. When Claremore established the dedicated funding for Police & Fire via a YES vote as one of the revenue producers for these departments, they clearly told potential investors that we are open for business. On February 11, 2020 the citizens have the opportunity to renew the dedicated 1 penny for police, fire & parks just as they have every 6 years since 1978. This funding has ensured access to equipment, training, vehicles and numerous other amenities such as the new Claremore Lake Splash Pad and Cat Creek Dog Park. If this renewal were to not be approved next Tuesday, there will be some very difficult conversations on how the city moves forward. The 3 pennies of sales tax are each restricted and can only be used for purposes voted on by the citizens. The remaining 2 pennies could NOT supplement funding for the departments this penny currently benefits. Citizens would see a reduction in services and potentially a reduction in personnel in departments across the city and that does not send a message of continuity or confidence to our citizens or potential investors. Please join myself & the CIEDA Board of Trustees in supporting our city police, fire, parks & capital equipment needs by voting YES on Tuesday, February 11 and let’s show the world we are committed to a providing an environment where we can safely live, work & play.
John W. Feary
Executive Director, Claremore Industrial & Economic Development Authority