Meet the candidates – city

The Purcell Register

Editor’s note: John Hobbs has withdrawn from the city council race due to a conflict of interest. Hobbs is employed by the city as host for the train station and the Heartland Flyer.

Why are you running for City Council?

Justin Carr – I am a lifelong resident of Purcell and have seen the changes over the last 40 years. I own multiple small businesses and my kids attend Purcell schools. I’m invested in multiple aspects of Purcell’s growth and development.

This is my home and where I plan to spend the rest of my life. Due to this, I want to make our city the best it can be. My life motto is to use your blessings to help others. Serving on the council would allow me a chance to give back and serve our town.

Allen Eubanks – The decision was not easy and several factors have contributed to making this decision.

First is that God put me together with a Servant Heart. I have always worked to serve others in one way or another. Whether at church, at work, as a neighbor, as a friend, as a member of a service club like Rotary or a volunteer committee member, I repeatedly place the needs of others before my own.

I view serving as a City Council member as a continuation of this core purpose in my life.

Being at a place in my vocational life that will allow me the time to serve our community fully would be second. Having recently stepped away from the ownership role at Purcell Ace Hardware has opened up my availability. I now have the time to engage the public to understand their needs and wants as well as the time to learn how the city can help meet those needs and wants.

In recent years I have been encouraged by others to give back to our community by becoming a City Council person. They have all pointed to my work ethic, business acumen, community involvement, problem solving skills, big picture view and leadership skills as my attributes that would make me a good Council member. Now that I have the time available to dedicate my energy to the position, I feel I can meet that call and exercise my abilities to their fullest.

And most importantly is the complete support from my family for me to take this step and throw my hat in the ring. As I have told several I would not be able to do this without 110 percent support from my wife, Lisa.

What are your goals for the council and City of Purcell?

Justin Carr – I want to make Purcell an attractive city to entice new businesses and families. Growing up, Purcell was a safe, charming and vibrant town – a leader of small communities in the area.

I want to help ensure those standards are maintained while our town continues inevitable economic and population growth.

Allen Eubanks – I want to continue to enhance our community for the benefit of its residents and its attraction to our visitors. With Mr. Danny Jacobs’ decision to step away from the Council, I believe it is important to continue his legacy of community service and community enhancements.

Our community’s attributes are envied by many other communities. We have access to I-35 that will be enhanced within 8 years. We have rail service and an Amtrak stop. We are 20 minutes from the urban OKC/Moore/Norman area, yet we have maintained our small town and rural community identity. We are served by excellent pre-K thru 12 and vocational education systems and facilities. We are the county seat with all of the county administration and services in our downtown. We have natural resources in our lake and parks. We are building a brand new hospital when many rural communities are seeing their hospitals close. We are the home to many unique boutiques, antique shops and restaurants. The list goes on and on.

I want us to capitalize on these many attributes, enhance them and even develop new ones. For example, I want our Main Street business district to continue to grow and become an even more vibrant destination not only for our residents but also for our visitors. I want to enhance our park settings to include more outdoor recreational opportunities for the young and old alike. I want to continue to improve our city services and utility infrastructure including broadband with more reliable services and to absorb future growth. I also want our community to become known as business friendly so new and existing businesses will take advantage of the growth and expansion opportunities in our town.

Can we get a city swimming pool?

Justin Carr – I am in favor of having another vote for a new municipal swimming complex. Kids and families of Purcell need more options and a water park would be ideal. It could bring entertainment and economic opportunities to the complex, but also to surrounding businesses from visitors to Purcell.

Allen Eubanks – I have always said with enough time, money and manpower anything is possible! So yes, it is possible.

The real question I believe is WHEN will the city get a swimming pool. That question is much more difficult to answer as it is dependent upon full financial support from the community to build and sustain such a large endeavor.

The initial land and construction costs will easily exceed that of the new hospital which is currently under construction. The hospital is being paid for by a community-approved one cent sales tax over the next 20 years. We will have to come up with the ability to fund the construction with tax revenues above and beyond those that are already being collected to meet current needs and commitments.

Once built the pool facility will have to be sustained. Earlier projections indicated a considerable gap between revenue and operations costs that would have to be subsidized by tax dollars. The source for those new subsidies will have to be determined as well.

Once we have answered to the source of funds for building and operating a pool, we would then be able to answer the WHEN!

What do you see as deficiencies in Purcell?

Justin Carr – To be its best, Purcell has to find a way to attract and maintain higher paying jobs. People here want to work, but often drive to Norman or the city to make more money.

One way to do this is investing in the infrastructure and beautification projects across town.

Allen Eubanks – Like any small, rural community in Oklahoma we have many opportunities in Purcell to improve ourselves. We just need to be able to articulate our master plan that leads to those improvements.

While some components of our master plan already exist, there is not a complete, inclusive plan for our whole community. I want us to complete that plan.

We can create the “what” of the master plan with a community visioning process. The process involves the various stake holders from within our community and having them come together to create a “vision” of what our community will look like in 20 years. From that “vision” we then can create a master plan for each component of the vision that the city government is responsible.

Once we have a clearly defined path by the master plan to follow, we will achieve the “vision” we created.

In my experience, once defined, communities realize their initial “vision” sooner than later and find themselves coming back to the table to refine the future “vision” as a more in-depth and far reaching plan than initially envisioned.

And the greatest surprise of the process is the vision can be accomplished utilizing the resources, energy and leadership that currently exist within our community. I want to be a part of the effort from a City Council position and can only do so with the votes from Purcell voters. Thank you all in advance for your consideration and support of my endeavor.

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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