MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

March 24, 2013

Wagoner council hopefuls share goal, differ on approach

One focuses on stores, the other on industry for economic development

— Economic development and infrastructure improvements were cited as top concerns by two Wagoner candidates for a four-year term as City Council representatives in Ward II.

The contest pits Phillip Sullivan, a supervisor in the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, and Bart T.J. Bogle, the owner and operator of Bogle’s Automotive Repair. Sullivan was appointed in January 2012 to serve the unexpired term of the late Bob Vanbrunt.

Both candidates for the at-large position cited economic development as a key issue in this year’s municipal races.

Sullivan argued there is a need to bring in more retailers.

“We are always looking to bring new business to town and bring jobs for our community,” he said. “We’ve got Orscheln’s, which looks likes it should be open soon, and QuikTrip is still in the process.”

Bogle emphasized the need for industrial development, which he labeled “the most important issue” of the April 2 election.

“The main problem we have here is the lack of industrial development,” he said. “Industrial development is what we need in order to see growth in our community. We are kind of stagnant in that area.”

Bogle advocates a closer working relationship between the City Council and the Wagoner Industrial Development Authority. He said he would “work side by side” with trustees and encourage them to work closer with city councilors.

Sullivan also cited the need to continue efforts to improve the city’s infrastructure. He said work needs to continue at the city’s water treatment plant, which is operating under a consent order by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.

As personal strengths, Sullivan touted his professional and personal connections developed through work and his service with Wagoner Area Neighbors, the Masonic Lodge and his church.

“I know you can’t do it by yourself. You have to work with people, too,” he said. “I have lots of experience working with people and getting things done.”

Bogle said he is the candidate who represents “growth and prosperity.”

“Growth and prosperity for our community and our citizens. That is what I am about,” he said. “If you want our town to grow, you need to vote for me.”

All candidates in the four City Council contests are invited to attend a forum at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Wagoner Civic Center.

Registered voters who want to vote by absentee ballot have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to submit an application. In-person absentee voting will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and April 1. Precinct voting will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 2.

Reach D.E. Smoot at (918) 684-2901 or dsmoot@muskogeephoenix.com.

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