Stanstamper’s Blog

January 15, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
As we say farewell to 2008, I think it is important to stay positive and not lose sight of a whole bunch of blessings.
As a state, Oklahoma has fared significantly better than most and is among only a few to have a substantial rainy day fund. Many other states are basically bankrupt and face huge financial challenges. Other states, such as South Carolina, have bankrupt unemployment funds and aren’t sure how they will deal with ongoing costs.
I’m disappointed Oklahoma’s political leadership hasn’t been able to herald the state’s solid financial condition and the fact that Oklahoma law requires a balanced budget, as the Feds should do.
I have always said that most successful Choctaw County (and Southeast Oklahoma) business owners operate in a constant state of hunker-down-ness.
Unlike the federal government, they are frugal and know that they can’t survive making bad business decisions.
Local banks and businesses have been mostly untouched by the Wall Street and international banking debacles. Several local businesses are reporting either record, or near-record sales.
Unlike the metro newspapers, Hugo Daily News has experienced one of the best years in its history and we see a number of positives in the marketplace as we trek into twenty-oh-nine.
Two new hotels are presently under construction in the county and another has purchased land.
The Choctaw Nation is in the process of constructing a mega-gaming center in Grant which will generate several hundred new jobs.
The Nation is also planning to break ground on several million dollars worth of new health-related facilities on Hugo’s west side.
One local business is planning a substantial expansion project in 2009 that could easily be several million dollars.
Hugo residents will see more than 50 blocks of streets paved in the coming year and work on expanded youth and hospital facilities is also anticipated.
2009 is certain to have its challenges, but Choctaw County and Southeastern Oklahoma residents may fare better than many areas of the nation as our relatively small economy chugs along.
Tourism will continue to bring north Texas families to this beautiful part of Oklahoma where families can relax and play more affordably than almost any place else.
We will have ample time to take wayward politicians to the woodshed for stupid decisions and for not minding the store.
Perhaps there’s just more American in Choctaw County residents, who know what it is like to roll up their sleeves and work.
To a large degree we can choose what kind of year we want 2009 to be. If area citizens, communities and boards work together and work responsibly, Hugo and Choctaw County will come through 2009 with flying colors and we can look future generations in the eye and know that we left our local world in better shape than we found it.
Happy New Year to all!

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