LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - It's the final stretch of the campaign for Lawton's Ward 4 City Council seat. Current councilman Jay Burk and challenger Jody Maples advanced to next Tuesday's runoff as the top two vote-getters in July's election.
Despite both spending most of their lives in Lawton and being Cameron graduates, Burk and Maples say they have very different reasons for why they are running for the council.
"I don't like the direction we're currently going in our city council, we need to make some changes, city council has done some good things but overall I think the direction needs to be changed and overall I think we need a representative in Ward 4 who is accountable and who is responsive to the citizens of Ward 4, so that's why I'm running," Maples said.
"I believe number one, it takes time to be a leader on the council and I believe I'm one of those leaders on the council to get things done, I also believe there have been some committees I'm selected to that nobody else has ever been on in the city of Lawton," Burk said.
Burk has been the councilman for nearly nine years and said he has several projects currently in the works that he would like to expand upon, while Maples said if she is elected, she will do her best to get answers to a few questions she has.
"We're working on SE 45th St., it needs to be finished. It goes all the way to Arlington, I want to finish it from Arlington all the way to Cache road because the middle school still has a lot of traffic issues, we've got kids walking in the middle of the street. This new street will have sidewalks on both sides, it'll have a bike path. It'll be all the things we want it to be," Burk said.
"I want to know where the money is at, why are we raising the water bills when we don't know where the money is at. Where is the money being transferred from one account to the other to pay some of our bills is a big question. The other thing is we need to make our city responsive and helpful to our citizens," Maples said.
With election day rapidly approaching, both candidates said they firmly believe they are the best candidate to represent Ward 4.
"I know that I can make a difference, I don't mind digging deep, asking the hard questions and pushing to get those answers. I've got some solutions to some of our issues and I believe I can build those partnerships and those relationships to make a difference," Maples said.
"I just believe I'm still the guy for the job, I still have a passion to make Lawton a better place to live, so our kids want to stay here when they graduate or when they come back from college so that they have an opportunity, an economic opportunity so not only can they get a job but a good paying job and it takes somebody that is willing to work hard to make that happen and I believe I'm the guy to make that happen," Burk said.