Infrastructure among main issues discussed at Durant council forum

DURANT, Okla. (KXII) - Ten of the 11 candidates vying for three spots on the Durant City Council took the mic Thursday night addressing some of the issues they'd be faced with if they win those seats.

Infrastructure seemed to be the biggest issue at the forum, which was moderated by News 12 anchor Maureen Kane.

The condition of the streets took center stage, along with the current division on the city council.

The candidates got one minute to introduce themselves. They each were given five questions prior to the forum.

Those questions focused on the candidates' visions for the city, improving infrastructure and how to continue economic growth.

Doug Murray was not in attendance and two candidates called in to take part.

Here's what each candidate felt was the most urgent issue for Durant and how they propose to fix it.

"I think the most urgent issue facing Durant today is our infrastructure. And faith in our leadership," said At-Large Candidate James Lowrance.

"We must despite how smart we think we are, research issues and ensure it is the best option for Durant, not the best option for one person or one company," said At-Large Candidate OC Dunn.

"Although we have constructed multiple buildings above ground that people can see and there are some phenomenal facilities we have neglected over the years, and I'm talking decades, our infrastructure," said At-Large Candidate Steve Brittingham.

"I do not feel like ad valorem tax increases are the answer. We have far too many citizens in Durant Oklahoma that are on a fixed salary," saud Ward 4 Candidate John Cathey.

"Our citizens out there they're very upset about what's going on with our roads. I think the lack of transparency and accountability has gotten Durant in this situation," Ward 4 Candidate Sharon Walker.

"I do plainly see a division in conflicts in past city councils and city administration ideologies. Special interests appear to me to have had influence with operation and financial issues in the past," Ward 4 Mike Morris.

"Durant is very lucky and fortunate to have these growing pains, there are many communities that don't. I think the best way to address these are to develop a comprehensive and long-term plan," said Ward 3 Candidate Danny Sherrer.

"I think that the biggest issue it comes back to effective communication. I think that the last proposal that was presented to our citizens to work on our streets. It had some sound thinking behind it. But the proposal was not communicated in a way to where we could understand it to vote for it," said Ward 3 Candidate James Bishop.

"I think the most urgent think now facing Durant after being on the council for two years is trust. Somewhere along the line, we've lost trust in each other in Durant," said Ward 3 incumbent Mike Dills.

"The agenda comes and they vote on it. This is one thing I will say to you. I pledge right now that I will do the research and I will pray on everything that comes in front of me," said At-Large Candidate Michael Ellis.

Early voting takes place Thursday, March 28 and Friday, March 29
from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the county election board office.

Election day is Tuesday, April 2.