Rep. Hardin, Sen. Brecheen Spin a Bad Deal

by Stephen on 10/27/2015

NOTE: The Madill Record and Durant Democrat publish my articles. This commentary responds to a story about Oklahoma State Rep. Tommy Hardin and State Sen. Josh Brecheen in the current Madill Record.

In last week’s Madill Record, (10/22/15), “Hardin Updates on State Land Deal,” our State Rep. Tommy Hardin said little is known about the settlement agreement between the Commissioners of the Land Office and Pointe Vista Development.” Based on “CLO, PVD Settle Lawsuit,” (Madill Record 9/24/15) we learned much.

So far we’ve learned the CLO excluded our elected officials and mediated a settlement behind closed doors. It releases Pointe Vista from all of their development obligations. They would no longer be required to build a thing. Plus, they get to keep over 700 of the 758 acres of Lake Texoma State Park sold to them in 2008. The land sales were based on a promise to build a hotel and convention center.

Rep. Hardin and and Sen. Josh Brecheen appear to know enough about the settlement to support it. They said, “Many of us had concerns this lawsuit would go on for years, thus further delaying development at Lake Texoma, with a settlement being reached it will allow plans to be implemented.” Who are they kidding?

It is stated in Biblical scripture that the most potent tool in Satan’s arsenal (or that of evil personified) is deception. There is no development plan with this proposed settlement. Unless they are talking about Pointe Vista’s plan to keep our park land and do what they want with it. Who does that serve but Pointe Vista? It doesn’t serve the citizens and taxpayers of Marshall County.

The CLO settlement would reward Pointe Vista by relieving them of all construction obligations, PLUS let them keep our park land. The CLO would take back the job of contracting out a new hotel on 50 acres repurchased from Pointe Vista. Pointe Vista also wants the state CLO to purchase an additional 1,022 acres of federal park lands on their behalf, based on an obsolete 2008 contract between Pointe Vista and the Tourism Department. This makes no sense.

Why would the Corps of Engineers agree to sell the state more park land (Area C, including the Lake Texoma State Park campgrounds), if Pointe Vista is abandoning their development plan?

Pointe Vista wasted six years on false promises and excuses. The CLO wasted almost two years posing as if they were going to prosecute Pointe Vista in the court. Together they wasted eight years on total deceit. Now Tommy Hardin and Josh Brecheen join them in the continuing smoke and mirrors. They are really glad we won’t be “caught up in the courts for another 8-10 years.”

Pointe Vista was first and last to raise this threat of a continuing delay that would result from litigation. Whereas, the real threat comes in not holding them legally accountable, and letting them keep the bulk of our public park land. Let’s not fool ourselves about this.

The CLO, Pointe Vista and McAfee & Taft attorneys came up with this bizarre wish list of a settlement. It is a distraction. Their only goal is to keep our park land privatized. The last thing they intended was to prosecute their case and actually risk winning in the Oklahoma County court. Judge Stuart should reject this corrupt settlement and order the case to trial. The CLO and Pointe Vista can forget about buying any more land from the Corps of Engineers. It ain’t gonna happen.

Stephen Willis, Kingston

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