ENID, Okla. — Question: What is the biggest issue facing your ward in the next term?
De La Cruz
De La Cruz said Ward 6 has newer infrastructure than older parts of the city, and the city needs to focus on preventive maintenance to keep streets and roads from deteriorating.
“Ward 6 is a little different than the city’s other wards,” he said. “It’s a newer part of town, and some of the infrastructure problems don’t exist there like they do in the older wards. We need to be proactive rather than reactive, and maintain what we have there.”
Meibergen said the city needs to focus on water, and make improving transparency and accountability a priority across all wards.
“Most of the concerns I’ve heard concern the water rationing,” he said. “People want to feel confident something’s being done, and they want to know what the plan is for maintaining and improving our water infrastructure.”
“The people want communications and transparency from their city government,” Meibergen said. “When you say you’re going to spend something, you need to be accountable to that number.”
Vanhooser said water concerns are the biggest concern for the city as a whole.
Regarding Ward 6 specifically, he said the city needs to ensure upcoming road improvement projects in the ward are completed on time and within budget.
He said the forthcoming widening of Willow between Cleveland and Oakwood will be of particular concern.
“We’re not going to give someone a 365-day contract to do a two-month job,” Vanhooser said. “I’m going to fight tooth and nail when we start letting contracts to make sure we get a contractor who’s going to put a full crew in there.”
He said the city needs to impose stiff penalties for contracts not completed on time.
“We need those contracts to be performance contracts,” Vanhooser said, “and they need to get in there and get the work done.”