Lawton City Council handles full agenda

Acting City Manager said he'd approve up to $50,000 towards hiring an outside firm.
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 10:21 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Tuesday’s Lawton City Council meeting had a full agenda with items covering everything from new traffic measures to the hot topic of hiring a new city manager.

This was even after a few items were removed from the agenda.

One of the first things the council was able to lock down is adopting a resolution that would allow for the installation of measures to better control city traffic.

Council Member Linda Chapman led the effort. She said she lives off of Meadow Brook and has seen plenty of people speeding in the area. Because of this, she proposed that a 4-way stop be added at 35th Street and Arlington Avenue, as well as a 3-way stop at NW 37th Street and Meadow Brook Drive.

She said she believes the new measure will help slow down traffic in the area.

“On 35th street, that is the street on the west side of Memorial Hospital,” she said. “From Gore to Ferris, there is nothing to stop that traffic, and there’s a lot of traffic around the hospital, and the employees, and people utilizing that area.”

Chapman added she feels it’s important to help citizens of Lawton feel safe as the city grows. Her proposition was approved by an unanimous vote.

Another topic of discussion was what the council plans to do to hire a new city manager, after the most recent manager resigned last week.

They discussed the possibility of hiring an outside firm to help make the hiring process smoother.

The city’s human resources director, Craig Akard, weighed in on the subject. He said this process will take a lot of work and then explained an outside firm’s responsibilities.

“They take all the responsibility to go out and get the applicants to do the initial consideration of the applicants and the candidates,” he said. “Then they supply to you 10 [to] 12 names that they think would fit this... They do the interviews, the initial interviews, send those to us. Then y’all look at those and narrow it down to who you want to come locally,” he added.

The council is left to decide which firm they’d like to use. Acting City Manager John Ratliff said he’d approve up to $50,000 towards hiring a firm.

The council decided to wait until a later date to decide which firm will best fit their needs, to give them more time to make the best decision.