7News catches up with acting Lawton City Manager

He says the position is different from what he's used to, but in a good way.
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 6:24 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - The sudden resignation of Lawton’s City manger left the city with the task of finding someone new.

In the meantime, City Attorney, John Ratliff has stepped into the role. He said the position is different from what he’s used to but in a good way.

The city manager position has given Ratliff more of an executive role.

“When you’re legal, you’re just kind of telling the decision-maker, ‘hey, this is legal, or this is not’,” he said. “So it’s cool to be able to make the decisions.. and to lead the city on any given path of endeavor.”

Though he never imagined himself as City Manager, Ratliff said he’s glad he’s been able to fill in.

“You know, I’m just trying to help the city through this period of transition,” he said. “So it’s been really interesting and rewarding so far.”

Ratliff also wanted to acknowledge that he hasn’t been able to do this alone and that he’s received a lot of help from Deputy City Manager Dewayne Burk.

“Dewayne is absolutely involved, I’m lucky to have him. He is somebody that I’ve relied on pretty extensively since I’ve been up here,” he said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the contributions that he’s made.”

Ratliff added that City Council has received plenty of applications and will review those in a special council meeting on Thursday during executive session.