Monday, August 29, 2011

More manure from OTRD

Xavier Neira wrote a truly thought-provoking column recently in the Norman Transcript.

Neira wrote in the column that the closing of the seven state parks was truly a “win-win” situation.


He said all the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department employees were able to keep their jobs. This would probably come as a surprise to Lester Rowland and Vickie Hurst, the former employees at the Runestone, who are no longer working for either the OTRD or the park they dedicated much of their life to serving.

After the OTRD dumped the seven parks, locals were forced to come up with a plan to save the parks. This will enhance local operations, according to Neira..

At least the locals will actually care about the parks, something the OTRD does not.

Now, the local communities, already hurting for money because of the bad economy, will have to raise funds to keep the gates open for those visitors who help support those same local economies and bring in revenue to the state, without one iota of help from a state organization that is in operation to promote the state and bring visitors into Oklahoma.

Neira wrote of the savings for the state. Wow, a supposed $700,000! It’s a good thing the OTRD is sitting on over $30 million in various funds. Plus, as you will recall, the total savings for the Runestone (not counting employee salaries) was around $4,000.

He also wrote the OTRD showed innovation in helping those local communities. Innovation? It was more like sticking the proverbial middle finger out to the rural communities. Also, Neira proclaimed the OTRD showed efficient workforce management to ensure the most efficient use of resources.


The most efficient use of resources would have been to keep the parks in operation and not fling them back at the local communities like some object that had been picked from a nose.

Sadly, Neira complained that the Oklahoma Public Employees Association has brought a lawsuit against the OTRD for transferring employees. Even though the OTRD has been dedicated to preserving the jobs of those impacted!

See Hurst and Rowland above.

He says all but two were transferred to a park less than 30 miles away. Yep, that is a good way to preserve those employees. This was that efficient workforce management he alluded to earlier.

And to wrap it up, Neira wrote that Oklahomans should be proud of the OTRD!

I am not making this up.

I have an idea for efficient management for the OTRD. Get rid of the current director and don't allow the governor to place a buddy in charge of operations and name who she wants on the committee. Let the legislature hire somebody qualified in running state parks and not one who helped raise a bunch of campaign money.

By the way, Neira is a new member of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.

The column can be seen HERE.


  1. And to add insult to injury, our Ms. Traci Barnes and Mr. Lundy Kiger link arms with these people that came rolling into Heavener, taking away the jobs for two of the best people in the county. Kinda makes me sick to my stomach when Ms. Barnes writes these sickening sweet columns on how she LOVES HEAVENER.
    Bottom line is exactly what you said, Craig. Get rid of the current director and don't allow the governor to place a buddy in charge of operations.

  2. Craig, is there any way we can send a message to Xavier Neira and let 'em know the real story?