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Voter-backed sales tax for zoo used wisely

Published: July 13, 2012

Linda Kennedy Rosser (Your Views, July) has it right. The 1/8th-cent Oklahoma City sales tax that's dedicated to the Oklahoma City Zoo was created by a vote of the Oklahoma City electorate. The plan was originated by Steve Wylie, then director of the zoo, and embraced by the zoo trust and Friends of the Zoo, led by the late Ron Rosser. Then-Mayor Ron Norick and the Oklahoma City Council pushed the vote and the proposition passed.

I was the municipal counselor when the tax was established. This tax is in place, dedicated to the zoo and nothing else, until the Oklahoma City electorate repeals or revises it. The tax has helped provide reliable funding, which has been wisely used by the professional staff to create a magnificent treasure. Our zoo has international recognition and is highly regarded in the zoo world. The zoo project was a prelude to MAPS, which under Norick's vision has transformed our city into a suitable home for our Thunder.

Thanks to Rosser, Wylie, Norick, the electorate and to the younger visionaries such as Clay Bennett, Aubrey McClendon, Jeff Records, Bill Cameron, Jim Couch and those who served, and are now serving, on our city council for their dedication and willingness to do what has brought our city to these glorious days.

Robert D. Allen, Oklahoma City