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December 13, 2006

Voters approve park plan by wide margin

Woodward voters overwhelmingly expressed their approval for the Crystal Beach Master Plan in Tuesday’s election.

By a margin of 81 percent to 19 percent, the 1,512 citizens who voted approved a one-cent sales tax extension to fund the plan, which will bring renovations to every area of historic Crystal Beach Park.

Several supporters of the plan held a watch party at Woodward Regional Hospital where they anxiously awaited the election results.

Mayor Bill Fanning said the atmosphere of the watch party was quiet at first but excitement began to build as reports of the precinct results came in.

Lester Neill, president of Woodward’s Parks and Beautification Board, which is overseeing the project, said that once they heard the final results everyone was ecstatic.

Darrin Kline, co-chair for the Woodward Moving Forward committee, which was formed to promote the project, said the evening had been nerve-wracking, so he felt relief at hearing the good news.

Kline said the overwhelming approval also made him feel proud.

“I feel proud to be from Woodward, proud of the people that came out and voted yes,” he said.

Kline said his co-chair of the Woodward Moving Forward Committee, Kimberlee Smithton, was also excited about the results.

“She couldn’t believe the final numbers and how overwhelming the support was,” he said.

“I think the citizens of Woodward sent a loud and clear message tonight that we’re going to be progressive, we’re going to be the hub of Northwestern Oklahoma, we’re going to be the place to live,” said Kline.

City Manager Alan Riffel said through the election Woodward citizens have given their vote of confidence in the local government’s vision for the community.

“They embraced this vision of what Woodward could be,” he said. “And now we are going to show the world what we can be.”

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