How do you see the Altus Comprehensive Plan 2025 developing?
The plan, in its present form, outlines the general strategies, directions and priorities of the community which will be used to make specific decisions as to the actions that must be taken, the department or agency responsible for the initiatives, the actual process and timeframe for completion, and the source of funds necessary to implement the recommendation. If we secure the city's commitment to implementation, including those who have a vested interest in how the community develops, such as landowners and developers, business owners and managers, civic clubs and organizations, and other key stakeholders, then we will have the resources necessary to achieve short-range objectives and long-term visions of the plan.
What do you see as priority projects and how will you work to implement them?
We will have to update regulations, make land-use decisions, capital improvements, create economic incentives, encourage private investments, adjust city personnel staffing to focus on this on-going project, and develop funding sources. Our Unified Development Code will support the Altus Comprehensive Plan. The plan calls for appointment of an Action Task Force for day-to-day management of the implementation program, which would report to the Planning Commission, who would then make recommendations to the city council as necessary. Department heads will provide the technical assistance for program tasks and activities.
What do you feel are Altus' options in the worst case scenario that Altus Air Force Base is closed in the BRAC process?
The federal government attempts to help communities affected by BRAC to find alternate uses for those facilities no longer needed. An example is Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, which is now largely commercialized. Doing so would be more challenging in a small town, however.
What can Altus do to prepare in case the base expands?
Thought is being given to what effects expansion produces. The base would grow differently depending on whether new missions were largely training, operational, or guard/reserve functions.
How do you stand on the pit bull and excessive noise ordinances?
It saddens me to know that at our animal shelter, most of the unwanted dogs destined to be euthanized are pit bulls. They are being over bred for the purposes of dog fighting. The dogs that aren't aggressive enough are abandoned while some are even used as bait by the dogfighters to increase aggression in training. Our animal control officers tell us that very few of the pit bull owners are good owners who have the welfare of their animals in mind. Nationally, the pit bull breed is implicated in many tragic incidents involving injury and death to humans and other pets. I would like to see far fewer pit bulls in Altus, and for owners to take secure measures to insure the safety of family members, neighbors, and other pets.
Our excessive noise problem is mainly caused by inconsiderate people playing their exaggeratedly powerful car stereo sound systems too loudly in public. Unless a person's house is extraordinarily well insulated, the low frequency audio spectrum bass notes being played can be well heard from several blocks around an offending car as it travels through a neighborhood. It is ironic that car sound systems are being made capable of producing even louder volumes despite medical evidence of permanent hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noise. Perhaps the offenders are simply compensating for existing, self-induced hearing losses by playing their music ever louder in order to hear it.
Why do you think you're qualified to be a member of the Altus City Council?
Serving on the city council requires serious commitment to thoughtful stewardship of the entire community, and I am eager to help in every possible way. Council work requires committee meetings, study, training, and travel, and my current duties as a private citizen allow for that. My background has largely been in education, having earned a B.A. and M.A. in English, and an M.Ed in school administration. I hold an Oklahoma teaching certificate and principal's license for grades 7-12. My teaching experience has been with Tulsa Public Schools, Tulsa Community College, Bacone College, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, and Western Oklahoma State College. I served in the Army from 1966 to 1969 as a transportation movements specialist and was honorably discharged at the rank of E-5. I am a member of the First Presbyterian Church, the Altus Lions Club, and the Shortgrass Arts and Humanities Council.