LAWTON, OK (KSWO) – Lawton City Council elections are less than three weeks away. In Ward 6, residents are being asked to decide if they want to keep the incumbent Cherry Phillips or go with the challenger, Sean Fortenbaugh.
They both agree the streets in Ward 6 are a huge problem and need to be fixed. Cherry Phillips wants to continue to work on it, but Sean Fortenbaugh said its time for a change.
The Ward 6 city councilor represents residents who live West of 67th Street, from Rogers Lane to Lee Boulevard. It's a title Cherry Phillips has held for the past three years.
"I have spent a lot of time learning about how City Hall operates so that when I do need something towards Ward 6 I know exactly who to call and I know what they can do," said Phillips.
Phillips, a personal trainer for older adults, said wants to continue to help the people. In fact, it's the reason she's seeking re-election.
"I feel like I have now paid my dues so to speak as far learning about the city and how to maneuver through it and I want to continue that," said Phillips
Her competitor is Sean Fortenbaugh. The Army brought him to Lawton 20 years ago and he now owns two pizza shops.
Fortenbaugh lost to Phillips last term and said now it's time for a change.
"I've been volunteering with the city, volunteering with the police department, serving on different committees for the mayor and the city. I've been heavily involved," said Fortenbaugh.
He said in order to effect change, there has to be a shift in local government.
"Because I'm all about change, and everybody has been watching what's going on with the City Council forever and that's what I tell everybody we need to start changing out people on the council, vote out the incumbents and put new people in there. That's the only way its going to change, and I'm for change," said Fortenbaugh.
One thing both Fortenbaugh and Phillip agree on is infrastructure. They said the streets in Ward 6 are in bad shape and need to be fixed. Especially on Gore Boulevard between 67th and 82nd street.
"There is a stretch of road in Ward 6 on Gore Boulevard, it has been messed up for decades. We finally had a plan in place to fund that road we had almost 2 million dollars there ready to go, the council voted to give that money away and go to another project. So now I don't know when that road is ever going to get done but it needs it because its bad," said Fortenbaugh.
"I did that because we can not fix Gore between 67th and 82nd without ODOT money. ODOT has not approved the money," said Phillips.
Both said the roads are top priority and they're committed to doing whatever it takes to get the job done.
City council elections are set for September 12.