I love Lawton, and I am concerned about many of the challenges I see the city of Lawton facing. No challenge is more important than the significant decline in the population since the last census in 2010. A declining population, along with shopping online, has led to many buildings being vacant in Lawton. Along with that, we have seen a decline in sales tax revenue which is the major funding source for the city. Our next largest funding source is our utility collections, which are also decreasing due to the declining population and water conservation. The revenue needed to keep the pay of our growing police force in the top percentage in the region is also decreasing.
I am running for mayor because Lawton is at a crossroads. Our citizens and community leaders need someone to pull us closer together to reach our full potential as a city. For too long there has been much division in our city. I will bring thirty-eight years of business experience as an entrepreneur and countless hours into our community as a civic leader to the table. I have been instrumental in bringing nationally recognized speakers to Lawton on subjects such as economic development and future technological advances in the world to come. I am confident my experience, knowledge of this community and passion for this city will bring about needed change. Lawton is my family’s home. I have worked hard to provide the best that I can for my family. I will pour that same work ethic into making the city we all call home flourish.
Lawton's best days are ahead. It is time to realize that we all have the same future view for our city: a future of opportunity for our children, of growth and prosperity, and a future full of hope. The decisions that we make today will determine our future. We must develop a business friendly and business progressive reputation and mindset that will create jobs and will keep our children in Lawton. Our future view of growth and prosperity can only be realized when we come together to work toward common goals.
Division is the enemy of progress.
My number one goal for Lawton is to transform it into the most efficient city in the state of Oklahoma. Some important steps to reaching that goal are outlined below:
Our children are our future, and they are leaving. We need to transform our quality of life components so that our children will stay here to raise their families and pursue their careers. OKC went from being a city where nobody wanted to move to one of the top 10 places in the country that young people want to move. It is possible, but it has to be a focus and a goal. Everybody wants to live in a city where young families want to raise their families. And it all starts with becoming the most efficient city in Oklahoma. As we become more efficient, we will be able to address quality of life issues, like safety, arts & entertainment, streets, etc. Addressing Quality of Life issues will transform our City!
Division is the enemy of progress. Unity is the building block of progress. For too long we have had a culture of division, and it is keeping us stuck in the mud, even going backwards. We all want the same things, but we are fighting over how to get there. As Mayor, I will work diligently to bring everyone to the focus on the same goals, and work to give everyone a voice in the how. When we Unify, we will transform our City!
Everyone wants to feel safe and this needs to be a priority in our City. We are paying to train police officers, and then they leave for much better paying jobs. It just makes sense that we need to pay our officers in the top percentage in the state. When we become more efficient, we can do that. Additionally, our police cars have no technology in them. This causes an officer to spend 2-3 times the amount of time on a traffic stop, and keeps them from other patrolling duties. Technology for our officers will transform our City!
We must develop a business friendly, business progressive atmosphere. When someone wants to start a small business City Hall needs to be as accommodative as possible. Our Tech Center and University both have business incubators that can help with startups and City Hall needs to work hand in hand to help entrepreneurs be successful. OKC has 10,000 new entrepreneur startups that are providing jobs. If that were reduced to Lawton, it would be about 900 new jobs. This is so possible with technology, as online business startups are everywhere. If we will gain a reputation of being business friendly and business progressive it will transform our City!
You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. We need to work on the entrances to our City so that they project a positive image. This includes coming from the airport, and along the highway entrances. We need to raise the expectations along our main corridors. There is no reason that they cannot be clean of dirt and debris. Lines need to be painted. This will be the new expectation. We will also work to get businesses to buy into the new expectations and join us in raising expectations. Raising expectations will transform our City!
Our technology is antiquated, and the citizens just don’t trust it. We have issues with simple management task where technology should be the driving force. We will have to find the funds to invest in up to date technology in order to drive efficiency for our City. It is not out of the question for investments in technology to pay back 30% in their second year, and even more after, and that is a very good return for the tax payer. Investments in technology will make us better managers, and will drive efficiency. Remember for every 1% more efficient we become, we will have nearly $1,000,000.00 to spend on something else, or maybe just keep the water bill from going up so often. New Technology will transform our City!
We need a user-friendly City Hall. Many cities have adopted an attitude where the citizen is seen as a “customer.” Then customer service training has to happen. We have good employees at City Hall, but we must train for the result that we want. Part of that customer service training will be how do we accommodate the customer, or how do we find a way to yes for this customer. Just like a business, City Hall does not exist without the customer. A company/customer attitude will transform our City!
Transparency builds trust, and accountability makes us better. Many cities have technology at your fingertips with everything posted online for citizen review 24/7. This has to be a part of any new technology that we invest in. Accountability makes us all better by adding in reporting of progress to the citizens, and progress is expected. When someone has to report progress, it will keep the focus and they will perform better. Transparency and Accountability will transform our City!
While we have had some big successes in the past, our economic development has not been successful in recent years and we need to evaluate everything that we are doing. I recognize those who volunteer their time in economic development, but we cannot keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. We must study other cities and see what is being successful today. We also need to take a look at funding, as Duncan puts more dollars into economic development than we do, and they are only ¼ the size. Big wins like Goodyear are great, but small business employees most of the population in this country so we should also focus on small companies as well. We must reinvent and reinvigorate our economic development in order to transform our City!
My roots are deeply planted in Lawton. My family moved to Lawton when I was in the 2nd grade, and I am a proud graduate of Lawton Public Schools class of 1974. I married my high school sweetheart, Paula Pollina, in 1975. Paula was born and raised in Lawton. We recently celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary. I am also the proud father of one son, Brian. Brian and his wife, Allison, were married in 2015. They added a bundle of joy, Julia, to our family in May 2017. Julia is my pride and joy.
After attending Cameron University, I made my living in the grocery and commercial real estate businesses. At the age of 24, I moved my family to Marlow, Oklahoma. We purchased a Hop & Sack Convenience Store and in few years added 5 more stores and started investing in other commercial real estate. Twenty-four years later, I divested of these successful businesses and began focusing on commercial real estate.
In 2005, an old friend of mine, Johnny Owens, provided me with an opportunity to work with him in the commercial real estate business. We were very excited to have this opportunity to move back to Lawton. In 2009, I began to concentrate on my own real estate investments.
In 2014, Brian joined the family business and has taken over the management of these properties. This has given me more time to enjoy my family and to increase my civic activities. I have served as a Sunday school teacher and deacon at First Baptist West and as President of the Greater Lawton Rotary Club. In 2015, I initiated the Lawton Rotary Leadership Institute, and served as its first Chairman. By starting the Institute, I have fulfilled a long held passion to train and encourage leadership growth in others. I believe that when leaders get better, everyone wins.
Thank you for your interest in my campaign. If you have a question concern, or would like to help with the campaign, please fill out the form below.
When we work together, great things happen. Find out how you can get involved and start making a difference. Your support is important and valuable to Stan. There are many ways to participate in his political efforts to facilitate change. Whether you would like to volunteer your time, or make a monetary donation, every little bit that you dedicate helps tremendously.