Slinging a Smooth Stone
Oklahoma State has made a lame decision
An apparent hard-nosed business decision by the Oklahoma State Extension Office will, in the long run be a loss for the youth of Cimarron County.
The Cimarron County Commissioners and Excise Board made the only decision they could have when they cut the county funds for the local Extension Office. If the money isn't there (about $13,000) then the cut had to be made. It isn't that the commissioners chose not to fund the office; they had no choice. Their employees had already taken a pay cut and lost insurance coverage.
However, Oklahoma State doesn't have the same problems. They have made the arbitrary decision to close the Cimarron and Major County (Fairview) offices. How many of the other 75counties suffered a similar fate I have no idea; but I'm betting the office in Payne County (Stillwater) is still open.
I can appreciate that the university wants each county to be “invested” in the program. In good years, the non-drought years; this should be expected. But this area, this state, has been suffering through a five-year drought. We in Cimarron County have very little industry which might drive our economy forward and bring up our tax rolls. We probably have more school land and receive less back on it's being leased from the state, than any county in Oklahoma.
This isn't about the fact that my wife has lost her job. Linda is intelligent and has a dynamite personality; she'll find work when she wants/needs it. (Although the county's economy can ill afford to lose three good jobs.)
This is about nearly 60 kids growing up in a rural county who want and need the support of the Oklahoma State Extension Office. These children, many of whom will one day step into the boots of their fathers and mothers, will never live in the Boise City School District and be able to receive the support of the FFA. Oklahoma State, and the Extension office is all they have or will ever have; they need this office open and operating. Their parents need it too.
The last time the office closed, the 4-H banner was picked up and carried by volunteers such as Lon and Laurie Davis in Griggs and I assume Michelle Coats in Felt; I hope they can all do it again.
This county needs OSU's help in continuing to teach our children about agriculture. As the largest Ag school in the state, this is their job and they are shirking it for the lack of a few thousand bucks.
If it's all about the money; if that few thousand dollars is so important; then lets's go back to T. Boone Pickins and get some more. For a few million dollars the school prostituted themselves to honor a corporate-raiding water thief and changed the name of their football stadium in the process. So, for a few thousand dollars maybe they'd name a hog barn or a privy after him too.
Let me add this; the loss of funding to the library and Cimarron County Fair is also important. But for those entities we have no one but ourselves on which to depend. Those projects are up to us alone.
The word for the week is propriety.
Boise City News, P.O. Box 278