Lawton Council delays decision on sales tax vote

LAWTON--Another debate on a sales tax at Lawton city hall Tuesday night, and once again, no decision from the council.   They had hoped to decide between two proposals and then come back next week to finalize the wording that would go on the ballot for voters in April.

But, Monday, Comanche County Commissioner Ron Kirby complained about both options, and then put forward one of his own.  That complicated things for the council.   Some of the council members wanted to talk about how the money would be spent, instead of how the money would actually be raised. Councilman Keith Jackson opened the debate, and defended his proposal, which was an extension of an existing sales tax.

But, the debate quickly turned into a discussion of how the money would be spent.  Janice Drewry wanted to use some of the money to provide more police officers.  Rex Givens backed Drewry, and said more money was needed for the fire department, too.  Councilman Bob Shanklin disagreed, and said it should be the city manager's job to determine how the money should be spent.  Mayor John Purcell tried to bring the council back to the original question of debating the two proposals, or coming up with a combination of the two.  He let councilman Randy Warren present his proposal, but again, the debate got bogged down in how the money would be spent.  There was also some concern over the objections that had been brought up on Monday by Commissioner Kirby.

Mayor Purcell even suggested getting all the council and the commissioners together to try and work out their differences. What they did decide, is to come back next Tuesday, and try again. But, time is running out to put the sales tax question on the ballot in April, like they had hoped