Tuesday is going to be probably one of the most important city elections in recent Henryetta history.
In the past four years, there has been more improvements, more positive steps taken than in the decade before.
The present city council has been battling a determined group who wants to stop all that progress and, along the way, costing the city and its citizens thousands of dollars. Most of that has been to feed one person’s ego.
Look at the progress:
A new splash pad that gives a new recreation opportunity for the children. There has been new playground equipment installed removing the outdated and dangerous toys.
Nichols Park has been slowly returning back to the center for family fun and entertainment. The beach area today provides hundreds of people with a place to go and enjoy. Renovations are being done to the bath house, the park is being cleaned up making it more attractive.
There have been new street signs placed around town getting rid of those faded pieces of metal.
New businesses are coming to town due, in part, to a more positive attitude and willingness to work with them.
A dormant piece of land where the smelter once sat is being turned into a new business with the plans to build a new health facility. That means more job opportunities, an expanded payroll and increased sales tax revenue.
The same is said with the announcement of the QuikTrip and Shoney’s business ventures.
All of that has not happened smoothly.
Detractors in the community have battled everything including sending out emails and letters urging those businesses not to locate here.
One of those people is a candidate for city council.
There are three council seats coming open and three of the seven candidates stand out ahead of all the rest.
Voters will benefit Henryetta, its residents and its future by casting their ballots for Jennifer Clason, Janna Duggan and Bill Goodner.
Jennifer has been a positive force on the council. She has spent countless hours behind the scenes working for the community. that includes being a board member for the Eastern Oklahoma Economic Development District. Through that group she is in a position to get grant funding to help the town. That has already happened for the dilapidated water tower east of town.
She is in the forefront promoting the town and working with the chamber and other entities to make it better.
Bill Goodner started the ball rolling when he was elected to the council several years ago. Even though he had to take a hiatus for family health reasons, he still worked for the community. After making a successful drive for the doughboy statue, he continued to work to boost the community working with veterans. He was the organizer for the Christmas children’s candy bags that delighted any number of families.
Janna Duggan has the drive and enthusiasm to keep the community moving ahead. She is a professional at Henryetta Hillcrest Medical Center and is dedicated to our town.
Those three will join the team on the city council that will keep Henryetta moving ahead and start growing toward becoming the community everyone wants.
The other candidates pale in comparison. They do not have the good of the community at heart.
Where are they when there is something good to be done for the community? None have been seen even so much as picking up trash, straightening up the corners on Main Street or being on a chamber of commerce committee
Instead, several sit behind the scenes spouting off accusations in rude, profane emails sent to anyone who disagrees with them as well as personal attacks and outlandish claims about city funds.
Several of those wild claims are easily disproven by a review of the city meetings.
Wild statements and accusations have been mailed out in recent days regarding Nichols Park. Photos taken showing the bridge repairs while it is under construction lead people to think that is the final product. A lie.
Accusations of thousands of dollars spent on the HOTT trail at Nichols is another fabrication. Individuals have spent their own free time doing that work.
A promise to lower water bills is just a hollow campaign statement. The city requires funding from the water revenue along with other sources to operation. By cutting that funding, the town would be in the same shape as the state with major cuts required in personnel and services.
Monies spent behind the scenes on the past and planned for audit could have gone to other projects including street work. Instead, this band of detractors including two council candidates, would see that money tied up to no avail. A 2014 audit failed to get anyone indicted, now another costly audit is going to be held. And to what good?
It is really a simple choice this Tuesday when the election is held.
Vote for Henryetta growth and progress by selecting Jennifer Clason, Bill Goodner and Janna Duggan.
A vote for the other candidates is a step backward and an invitation for a city council that will be in constant turmoil and bickering.
Please vote for progress and a brighter future for Henryetta. Tell your friends and your neighbors to vote for Clason, Goodner and Duggan.
By Bruce Jones,