Throughout the relatively recent history of modern America, nothing produces needed results on promised projects quite like the urgency of a pending election. For years and years, politicians have promised new roads in Lawton during their campaigns and subsequent pushes for tax revenues, but the delivery of those promises have always flown away in lieu of pet projects that the public usually learns about as it's happening. Love it or hate it, that's American politics all the way down to the local level.

You and I both know I've held our elected leaders metaphorical feet to the fire ever since they surprised everyone with the backdoor purchase of Central Mall, and as citizens, I think it's fair. After all, if a plan is so good for a community, why is there a need to hide it from the community? It all started the day after Lawton voters opted into a new CIP tax in 2020. For weeks, out politicians towed the line that it would be used to fix and replace our ancient ridiculously rough roads. The moment it passed, city officials announced they were going to buy the Fairmont Creamery building. The masses revolted realizing they had once again been lied to.

Learning from their mistakes of sharing public information, I think the purchase of the mall went off with a very minor "Hey, we might buy the mall" sort of thing, and all of a sudden the city owned the mall. Little to no talk about it hardly at all. The better part of a year, some stalled ever-changing plans, and a few failed inspections later, I think everyone has pretty much forgotten the mall snafu or at least made their peace with it. Luckily enough for our elected leaders, they've had a global pandemic playing distraction for them, but that's a whole other story too.

I honestly feel a little bad for our city council and Mayor Booker. I know several of them beyond a professional level, and they're not bad people. If you've never interacted with Mayor Booker, he's really just kind of a sweet old man, we all wondered why he ran for mayor in the first place. Who wants that kind of constant pressure from all sides? City councilors draw ire the same way. Does that mean we can't be critical of the decisions they make? No. As much as it has to suck for them, it's the job. Still, it would be nice to see a lot of those good intentions followed through on to finished projects.

No doubt about it, the boys in hi-viz have done a tremendous job in patching some of the more noticeable problem areas of Cache Road over the last couple of weeks and months. It may not always make for the speediest commute or trip across town, but you can't deny the results of their dedicated work. Fifteen years in Lawton, this is the first time I've experienced a relatively smooth drive down Cache Road ever. I'm sure as time goes on, so long as our elected officials let the people that do the actual work do their work, more of our overwhelmingly horrible roads will slowly become a pleasure to drive... as long as the city doesn't make this progress strictly an election year habit.

A big shout-out to those improving the schools too. Hard and hot work shouldn't ever go unnoticed.

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