Friday, August 17, 2012

And let the battle begin...

Imagine you are at Friday Night Fights, or in this case, Oklahoma fights.

In one corner, you have the powerful Oklahoma Tourism and Parks Department.

And the challenger in the other corner, the people of LeFlore County, represented by the Poteau Chamber of Commerce!

The fight will be to decide if there will be a Christmas Light Display at Wister Lake this year, or, more appropriately, will the tourism department help, like they have done since the event originated in 2003.

The first blow was delivered by the tourism department: No, there will be no help! We don’t have the manpower to assist in the display. Do it yourself! We will let you do it, but no help from us!

The challengers came back with a request that isn’t it your job and duty to actually support events like this, to bring tourists to Oklahoma? That is what the tourism department is designed to do and our tax payers support your department.

Tsk, tsk, the department shakes their head as they engage in a staredown. Don’t these people learn? Can’t they remember the Runestone? We do what we want. The governor is a buddy of our director, fools!

But wait, the locals fire back, we raise money every year to buy more and better displays. We don’t ask for your help in buying lights, just in putting up and taking down the displays and lights. This brings people from as far away as Arkansas to our state to visit and spend money, contributing to our state’s economy.

We will not use our manpower to put up or take down the lights, the tourism department counters with an uppercut. Even though we have $300 gazillion hidden away, we won’t spend the time or money for something in LeFlore County! What, you think you people down there are important?

The good people of LeFlore County are about to deliver a solid combination when Rep. James Lockhart fights through the crowd to join the fracas. He sends a solid right with a letter to the governor of the state, who will likely hide in her office and not get involved, much like the way she did during the tourism department’s foolish decision to close state parks.

The tourism department takes Rep. Lockhart’s fight and counters with the old we are losing money at the park and have had to take a 22 percent cut in the department!

The fight continues, but winds up in a draw!
There are no winners. The tourism department slips out the side door without making any changes. The chamber forges ahead with plans to try and keep the display, even without the help of our tourism department.

And once again, LeFlore County and its people are ignored.

1 comment:

  1. You hit the nail on the head, Craig! Of course, we found out just how "helpful" Snodgrass and company were when they visited during the Runestone fiasco. Props to James Lockhart, our state representative, for trying to help. We need him to continue his fight for our district. I don't think he will let the tourism department ignore us. They may try, but his voice will always be in their ear. Thanks for this great blog, Craig.