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Lawton City Manager Finishing Second Week

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LAWTON Okla_ He said it runs in his blood. Both his father and grandfather were city managers, and now Bryan Long is finishing up week 2 in that same role for Lawton.

He's calling for the people to get more involved when it comes to the city's matters, because those matters are directly impacting your quality of life. Long said he understands the people are part of the process. He thinks the best way to serve you is to get your feedback. Long said it's all a part of his interactive and approachable style, a style he hopes will improve the city of Lawton.

Bryan Long said Lawton is unique, largely because of its military roots.

"It's because of the camaraderie that's present," Long said, " And the way that families bind together when their loved ones are away."

He and his family know something about that. 6-year-old Carter, and 13-year-old Bailey weren't around yet, but Long's wife, Michelle, was often left alone with now 16-year-old Tanner. She took care of him on her own, while Long was nearing the end of his 10 year stint in the Marine Corps.

"We can look back now and perhaps even offer some advice to those families," Long said. "It's a good feeling to relate to that and truly appreciate it for what it is."

That "it" he talks about is an involvement for the greater good, a sacrifice. Long said cities require involvement and engagement just like the military does. He wants citizens to ask questions and propose ideas by serving on city boards.

"I need to ensure that each and every interaction that our citizens are having with community and with our local government in particular is a positive one," Long said.

In return, he plans to be more engaged with them and work to understand the city and its people better than he ever has before. After all, he said his job is about the people.

"It's why I do what I do," Long said. "I enjoy doing it. I wouldn't deny the fact that sometimes it can be tough, but it's also the most rewarding aspect of my job."

While it does have its rewards, Long's job is overwhelming. So, he reduces his stress by cycling, and he does have a favor to ask about that.

"Don't run over the city manager please," Long said. "If you are trying to hit me, please avoid my wife."

Long said he's been putting his plan into action by first asking city employees their thoughts on next year's budget. He didn't go into detail, but said they have some great ideas and that he hopes to incorporate them into his proposal.

Bryan Long is not from Lawton but he is an Oklahoma native from Mustang. He had two city management jobs, one in Spencer, Oklahoma and another in Oak Hurst, Missouri. He accepted the job as the Assistant City Manager here in Lawton almost 5 years ago.


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