Fort Gibson's new mayor, Michael Sharpe, said he seeks to improve the quality of life in Fort Gibson.
Trustees appointed Sharpe as mayor and Tim Smith as vice mayor at their recent board meeting.
Sharpe said he wants to work closely with the board to improve Fort Gibson "in every way possible."
"I would like to see it continue to improve with our infrastructure and roads, maintain them, make them better," he said. "Maintain the fleet that we have as far as sanitation fleet, police department. We really have good equipment with each of our departments."
Sharpe has been on the Board of Trustees for four years. He originally came on to fill an uncompleted term.
"I was approached by Chief of Police Donnie Yarbrough to consider running for the open trustee position," he said.
Sharpe said a lot of good work already has been done. He cited the recently-improved water treatment plant as an example.
"It's as good as you can get," he said.
Current plans include converting a recently-demolished downtown building into a parking lot.
"We're working on a trail system around Fort Gibson," he said. "It's still a work in progress. We're working on some grants for that. But that's a long-term project."
Sharpe said he also would like to see Fort Gibson grow and attract business.
"At the same time, I would like to see Fort Gibson keep that small-town character," Sharpe said. "I love that small-town character. I love living in Fort Gibson."
Sharpe said things he likes best about Fort Gibson include the people, the small-town atmosphere and the "overall positive attitude."
He said the town also has a fantastic school system.
"We have many hard-working people that are proud of Fort Gibson," he said.
A native of Illinois, Sharpe recalled moving many times growing up. He said his father served in the U.S. Air Force before retiring in 1969. After the retirement, the family lived near the small town of Hudson, Florida.
After graduating from high school in 1973, Sharpe spent four years in the U.S. Air Force.
"While stationed at Grand Forks AFB I was part of a team that worked on Minute Man III missiles," he said.
Sharpe came to the Muskogee/Fort Gibson area from Joplin, Missouri, about 35 years ago. He said the school system attracted them to Fort Gibson.
He worked with Oklahoma Department of Corrections for about 26 years. He started as a corrections officer and worked as a counselor, case manager and a probation and parole officer.
Sharpe said he is always open to citizens' suggestions on how to improve Fort Gibson.
"I would like to improve the town," he said. "Leave it in better shape than when I walked in."