The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Progress 2014

April 12, 2014

City committees are like a 2nd pair of eyes

ENID, Okla. — At any given point, more than 100 people serve on boards and commissions associated with Enid city government.

Those 21 boards vary in size and scope, with some merely advisory and others offering substantial input on policy. Some boards contain elected officials; others have only an honorary Enid City Commission member.

Some even come mixed with county officials or representatives from stakeholder groups.

Will Gungoll’s day job is an Edward Jones financial adviser. Outside that, though, he serves on three city panels: Park Board, Board of Adjustment and Enid Public Transportation Authority.

When he moved back to Enid in 2011 his old friend, City Manager Eric Benson, suggested he take a look at some open seats.

“So I ended up getting on a couple of them. It’s like all volunteer positions; they’re not going to tell you no for very long,” Gungoll said.

And why serve? His family and business is here to stay.

“We just as well better make it as good as we can and make everything the way we like it to be,” he said.

Still, Gungoll downplays his contribution.

“It’s not like I do that much,” he joked. “Maybe here and there, there’s some work outside of the actual meetings that has to get done on my end, but it’s not too terrible. Really I give up about three or four hours a month.”

Enid Woodring Regional Airport Director Dan Ohnesorge said he appreciates the value his advisory board members bring to the table.

“The value is they see things I don’t see. Sometimes they’ll have questions on things I haven’t thought of,” he said.

An analogy he uses is that outsiders “trip on the furniture.”

“I’ve been here for five years now, so I unconsciously walk around the furniture. So they see things sometimes I won’t see,” Ohnesorge said.

That outside view recently proved useful. Air Force Lt. Col. Dave Chael, a member of the Aviation Advisory Board, brought up an issue with the airport’s runway night lights.

Woodring’s tower crew goes home at night, and the runway lights are powered down. Pilots flying in after dark can automatically turn on the runway lights from the air. The problem? The system only works for one of the airport’s two runways. Chael could only land on the north-south runway in a crosswind. Expanding the automated system to the second runway is deemed too costly.

“We decided that when the wind is strong from the northwest, we’ll just ask the tower to leave those lights on all night in case someone comes in,” Ohnesorge said. “There’s a perfect example of something I hadn’t thought of before, but he brought up the issue. We came up with a really good solution.”

Gungoll was part of a Park Board that recommended playground equipment spending and renovation of existing city green spaces.

“I suppose one of the things we discussed, and is now becoming policy, is taking care of the parks we’ve got,” he said. “It would be great to have new parks, but we’ve got to take care of what we’ve got. We’re doing that now.”

On the Board of Adjustment, he joins others to hear and decide zoning appeals.

“Whatever the variance is, is it something that causes a detrimental impact on our town? Probably not? Then we need to get it done for business’ sake,” he said, noting Napoli’s painted sign and the signage installed for the new CVS pharmacy. “I go at that stuff with a pro-business mindset.”

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Progress 2014
  • City_Boards_2_BH.jpg City committees are like a 2nd pair of eyes

    “The value is they see things I don’t see. Sometimes they’ll have questions on things I haven’t thought of." — Enid Woodring Regional Airport Director Dan Ohnesorge

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • progress cover.jpg Growing Forward

    The Enid News & Eagle is publishing eight special sections that explore the progress made and the challenges faced in Enid and northwest Oklahoma. Please click on the ENE's Progress 2014 section front to view the featured individuals, businesses and organizations, concluding this week with Community Service, and see prior editions, Health and Wellness and Economic Development, Education, Northwest Oklahoma, Family, Agriculture and Energy and Faith.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Watermelon_1_BH.jpg A historic trail from trash to treasure

    When Frank “Watermelon” Campbell kicked off his 42-year career with the railroad, he was given a lantern.“It didn’t prove very satisfactory because it would go out on me,” Campbell said, adding railroad officials told him to buy a new lantern and throw the first lantern in the garbage. “Well, I never (threw) it in the garbage. I kept it at home. And that’s what started my railroad collection.”

    April 12, 2014 4 Photos

  • Visual_Art_1_BH.jpg Recreating city of Enid into a work of art

    “Overall, I hope to see some art that adds vibrancy and creativity throughout Enid. When you have a vibrant and creative town, it attracts more residents and work force.” — Visual Arts Committee member Kelly Tompkins, Main Street Enid director.

    April 12, 2014 3 Photos

  • ATSCounseling.jpg A great partnership

    “There is no doubt we have good numbers. We can’t brag on ATS enough for our guys, because it’s rare.”
    John Lipsey, DOC Assistant Supervisor for the Northwest District

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Suzy_Miebergen_BH.jpg Roots dig deep to keep Enid beautiful

    There is property value, pride, visitors coming, businesses coming,. The way your city looks, they’ve proven over and over again it’s in the top five things they’re going to notice.” — Suzy Meibergen, chairwoman of Keep Enid Beautiful

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Master_Gardners_BH.jpg Project is growing

    Garfield County Master Gardeners is brought to the county by Oklahoma State University Extension, and there currently are more than 60 members of the volunteer group.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Doug_Newell_1_BH.jpg Life for ESO director is more than music

    I have just been very fortunate to be around so many people with so many diverse skills. I don’t think there is anyone I’ve ever met that didn’t make an impression, that didn’t make me a more well-rounded person.”
    Douglas Newell, music and executive director, Enid Symphony Orchestra

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Park_Avenue_1_BH.jpg Park Avenue Thrift is passionate about Enid

    “People are jealous of David and I because we have a wonderful job. But we’re nothing without our people.” — Paula Nightengale

    April 12, 2014 3 Photos

  • EHS_Community_Service_1_BH.jpg Getting involved all part of a good education

    Jenny Root, special education teacher at EHS, has served as sponsor of Community Service Club at Enid High School for about 10 years. “I believe community service is an important part of education,” Root said.

    April 12, 2014 3 Photos