ALTUS, Okla. (TNN) - A former Comanche County Commissioner, State Auditor and gubernatorial candidate is now the acting city manager for the City of Altus, and he believes his work experience makes him the perfect man for the job.
Gary Jones stepped into the city manager role in early September after former city manager Janice Cain offered her resignation. Jones is no stranger to southwest Oklahoma. He’s from the Cache area and is well acquainted with the City of Altus, saying over the last few weeks he’s liked what he’s seen.
"I was very impressed with Altus from Day 1 when I first came over here, what a pioneering spirit they have. They come together, they address problems and work together as a community. We want to help harness that energy and move the city forward,” Jones said.
Jones believes his work as both a Comanche County Commissioner and the State Auditor have given him the skill set needed to run the city.
"First, it’s going in there and analyzing your situation, if you have a problem, determining what that problem is, looking what the possible solutions are, determine what solutions are available to you, making a decision and moving on. Probably the biggest mistake that any government entity, whether it’s a city, county or state, is you sit there talking about trying to deal with the problem and you don’t implement a solution. I think I have a good history of identifying problems, coming up with solutions and getting them implemented,” Jones said.
Jones said he has found there are a lot of good people in Altus and he hopes to help bring those people together in the coming months.
"I can understand people are passionate about things, but you don’t have to be disagreeable about it and you don’t have to take things personally. I think the main thing is focusing on the mission at hand and if we get everybody focused on a common mission, a common matter, I think that gives us less time to argue about the things that don’t matter as much,” Jones said.
Jones said for the time being, the position is only temporary. But, if things continue to go well, he will consider putting his name in to fill the position permanently if the City of Altus decides to do that.