I love my hometown, and I am concerned about many of the challenges that are facing us. No challenge is more important than the decline in the population since the last census in 2010. A declining population, along with the start of online shopping, has led to many vacated buildings and properties and has resulted in a decline in sales tax revenue, which is a major source of funding for the city. The next largest funding source is our utility collections, which are also decreasing due to the declining population and water conservation, and causing City leaders to look at utility increases as the answer. Our public safety employees are leaving because we can’t find the revenue to keep their pay competitive. Our other City employees have had to go without raises in multiple years.
I am running for mayor because Lawton is at a crossroads. We are violating some foundational principles that are causing problems throughout the City. Division is the enemy of progress, and we are trying to build a city on top of a foundation of division. Our citizens need a leader that understands that Unity is the building block of progress. We need leader that will work to bring everyone to a focus. We all want the same things, better paying jobs, quality of life, safety, better roads. We must have a leader that will keep us focused and work to build relationships that will restore Unity to City Government.
For the last several years that is exactly what I have been doing in my civic service, bring individuals, and groups together to work to toward common goals where they had not previously been collaborating. That, along with my thirty-eight years of business experience is a good footing to build Unity in our City Government.
Division is the enemy of progress, and Unity is the main building block of progress. We must unify if we are to tackle the challenges facing us, and we must unify now.