Monday, January 7, 2008

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings

Upcoming Town Hall Meetings

One of the more enjoyable tasks I have performed during the past few months has been to organize and host a series of town hall meetings across House District 31.

As a candidate for State Representative, I developed a position that if elected, I would institute a constituent contact program that excelled at representing citizens of House District 31.

An important part of this program has been to host town hall meetings. This has allowed me to make a great number of new contacts, and most importantly, has kept me in touch with citizens. I feel that one of the ways special interest lobbyists have been able to have such a strong voice at the state capitol has been because they can so much more access to the legislators. I do not feel it is healthy for legislators to have more contact with the lobbyists than the people in their districts. I believe the proper focus for a state representative should be in his or her district, with the people, as opposed to lobbyist-hosted events in Oklahoma City. These town hall meetings have allowed me to maintain that contact.

One of the other exciting aspects of town hall meetings is the opportunity to provide county and state updates to local residents and to receive feedback. It has been rewarding to see the interest people expressed in becoming involved. The past meetings were well attended, with over 100 present at each meeting.

Two of the key concerns expressed by the people have been the need for proper funding of county roads and comprehensive property tax reform. This has confirmed my belief about the passion of the people on these two issues. These concerns will remain at the forefront of my goals to address in the legislature.

If you have missed the town hall meetings or would like to attend one, I invite you to two upcoming forums. On January 15th, at 7:00 p.m., a meeting will be held at the Crescent Community Center. The meeting will focus on the upcoming legislative session and issues of relevance to Northern Logan County residents. State Senator Patrick Anderson will be in attendance.

On January 22nd, at 7:00 p.m., a town hall meeting will be held at Waterloo Road Baptist Church. The meeting will focus on tax reform issues. Attending will be Representative Randy Terrill, who as Chairman of the House Revenue and Tax Committee, is a leader in the fight for tax reform. I intend to explain my desire for eliminating state income tax and the need for comprehensive property tax reform. I also look forward to talking about efforts to modernize state government during the past legislative interim and how this important process could make the substantive tax reduction I am advocating for possible.

I look forward to these meetings and the opportunity to communicate with Logan and Oklahoma County residents on issues of concern to them.

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