Candidates for Wagoner's city council, Ward I, answer questions about the issues in their community.
1: What do you consider to be the most important issue that affects the residents of your community?
ERIC LEMLEY: "Communication or lack there of. I have spoken with many residents and most have expressed that the lack of communication from the current administration is a major issue."
MARVIN STANLEY: "Probably the overall health of the economy. Worrying about keeping their jobs and if they have lost their job, how will they make ends meet. Trying to keep up with the everchanging COVID-19. Wondering about the new presidential administration and how their new policy and regulations may affect them in the next four years."
PATRICK SAMPSON: "Road conditions, youth sports and economic growth in the community."
MICHAEL SCROGGINS: "I consider the roads to be the biggest problem in our city."
2: What specific steps would you take to address that issue to improve the situation for your constituents if you are elected?
STANLEY: "I will continue to be a good steward to the taxpayers of Wagoner and work within the means that they are able to provide. I will make sure that the City of Wagoner is able to provide the basic services that they are accustomed to such as water, sewer, electricity at a cost that will provide stability to the systems and be fair to consumers. Monitor the COVID-19 and not implement any regulations other than what is provided for by the CDC. Work closely with the Mayor's office and other organizations within the City of Wagoner and throughout Wagoner county to keep moving the quality of life in Wagoner to a higher plane."
SAMPSON: "Work with the councilman, councilwoman, mayor and city officials to come up with a plan to fix those problems. I’m also planning to become a federal grant writer to help file for federal grants for our roads and parks and recreation. It would be huge to get federal money to help with the infrastructure of our community."
SCROGGINS: "The first thing I'd do is try to get all of the council on the same page, working together. And then, I'd start finding out what needs to be done to get it started with the state. I believe you could find the right person to speak to that could get the ball moving. I think with me, that you could get an update on the progress as it is happening and if not, I'd let you know what the holdup is."
LEMLEY: "As a councilor my phone would always be on, door always open, and will be accessible to all residents."
3: Why do you think you are the best candidate to serve the interests of the community and those you would represent if elected?
SAMPSON: "I believe that anyone can be a candidate. As long as you are able to listen, be transparent and fight for what your constituents want. But as for me, I’m a natural born leader. I have a servant's heart and would listen to all my constituents' concerns."
SCROGGINS: "I think I would be the best candidate for the job because I'd care about all people the same, and with me, you would be treated the same. That's a promise I can hold true to."
LEMLEY: "I have lived in Ward I for 30 years and have experienced and felt frustration with a lot of the same issues residents are facing today. I understand their problems and want to work towards the solution."
STANLEY: "I have served for the past eight years as a city councilman. I am honest and trustworthy. My actions have shown this by the way I approach the issue at hand. I represent all of Wagoner; I do not hold membership or belong to any special interest groups. I represent the voters of Wagoner and make decisions for the majority. I look at all sides of the issue and respect the views and opinions of my other councilmen. I approach all issues with an open mind and integrity. I have experienced over the past eight years just how much time it takes to do this job. The amount of reading is extensive, answering calls of constituents is accomplished day and night, being on sub-committees and leading sub-committees and meetings is almost a weekly event. It is so much more than just meetings on the first Monday of the month. I always work my family life and personal time around the city council work. That is what the voters expect, and that is what they should get. It takes a lot of commitment from myself and my family, and I am willing to make that commitment of my time for four more years and I am motivated to do the job right."
4: What specific skills do you have that will help you accomplish the goals you hope to achieve as a public servant in your community?
SCROGGINS: "I'm not a 'yes' man. If a vote needs a 'no' vote, I'll vote no. I'll be a fair councilman."
STANLEY: "I have served on the Wagoner City Council for the past eight years. I have attended in-service training designed for city councilpersons provided by GRDA, the Oklahoma Policy Institute and the Oklahoma Municipal League. I have received training in municipal purchasing procedures, Oklahoma Open Meetings Act, Oklahoma Open Records Act, municipal budgeting requirements and procedures for conducting meetings. I also work for a large state agency and have been through leadership training and professionals training for the past 35 years. Working for a state agency has given me great insight for understanding city policies, procedures and the application of Title 11 and its statutory requirements. It also has provided me the ability to comprehend city ordinance and code regulations. My career and life experiences have given me the skills and ability to listen and understand my constituents' concerns. It has given me the ability to effectively communicate with the community and the other council members in an open meeting seating."
LEMLEY: "I have a 30-year background in construction. I believe my experience in project management, bidding, codes and ordinances will be vital to projects within the city. I’m currently employed as the organizer for Ironworkers Local 584 and as such help represent over 300 workers and am involved in the day-to-day operations."
SAMPSON: "I’m a leader, a veteran, a businessman, a wrestler, and my degree is in Organizational Leadership. These attributes had molded me to the person I am today. I will ask the hard questions, I will find a solution to my constituents' problems. And I will work for my constituents."
5: What is the first issue you plan to tackle if elected?
STANLEY: "I plan on continuing working on the issues that face the city. As a well-balanced city councilman there is no one issue that is greater than others. Of course, there are emergency issues that come up during the year and we handle them immediately. But the overall operations of the City of Wagoner and the Wagoner Public Works Authority have their own unique problem. It takes time and work to make the right decision. The voters entrust and expect a councilman to have a broad view and not be single-minded with any department of the city when it comes to solving issues."
SAMPSON: "The first issue I would tackle is transparency with our constituents. Then, infrastructure of the roads, and parks and recreation."
LEMLEY: "Better communication and transparency for the residents."
SCROGGINS: "I bring to the table multitasking and living on a budget that is not wasted, and I'll be looking for ways to trim the fat, so to speak, and it looks like there is some to trim."
Meet the candidates
NAME: Eric Lemley.
FAMILY: Wife Jennifer, daughter Alyssa, sons Hayden and Dylan.
EDUCATION: Wagoner High School, 3-year Apprenticeship with the Ironworkers.
HOBBIES: Hunting, fishing, cooking.
NAME: Marvin Stanley.
OCCUPATION: Oklahoma Department of Wildlife.
FAMILY: Married for 35 years, two adult children.
EDUCATION: Attended Bacone College and Southeastern University.
HOBBIES: Hunting,fishing, traveling, antique shopping with my wife.
NAME: Patrick Sampson.
HOMETOWN: Coweta (Wagoner transplant).
OCCUPATION: Insurance adviser.
FAMILY: Wife, Katie; Son, Maddox, 8; Daughters, Harper, 3, and Halle, 14, and Dog, Daisy, 9.
EDUCATION: Southern Nazarene University: Bachelor’s of Science Organizational Leadership.
HOBBIES: Coaching youth wrestling, football, and baseball. Fishing and hunting with my children.
NAME: Michael Scroggins.
OCCUPATION: Truck driver.
FAMILY: Wife, Marla; "Between us we have five children and about 12 grandchildren and one on the way."
HOBBIES: "Like to fish, hunt, work on small engine projects. I find it challenging."