Incumbent City Councilman Brian Jackson and former City Councilman Harold Neal spoke at a Chamber of Commerce forum Monday morning at the Sand Springs Tulsa Tech campus. The two are running for the Ward Six seat and the election will be held Tuesday, February 13th.
Jackson, 35, is in his third three-year term on the Council. He graduated Charles Page High School in 2002 and Oklahoma State University in 2007 before taking office in May of 2009. He is currently the Development Manager at Junior Achievement of Oklahoma.
Neal, 65, was a four-term councilman from Ward Five, serving from 2003 to 2015 before moving to his current ward. He graduated Liberty Mounds High School in 1970 and currently serves on the Sand Springs Planning Commission.
Jackson pointed to teamwork among the existing Council as pivotal to the recent community successes such as ALDI and Starbucks. According to Jackson, he first suggested that the City work to put a splash pad on the South side of the river at Pratt Civitan Park.
Neal says he was recruited to run for his first term by current Mayor Mike Burdge. "I had a big interest in this city as far as the golf course. I was in that business for thirty years." According to Neal, he was an advocate for the golf course at a time when it wasn't as popular, pointing to the sales tax it generates at local convenience stores and eateries from out-of-town visitors as immeasurable.
Jackson said Angus Valley Park is in need of new equipment but that the passage of a recent general obligation bond will pave the way for a new playground by Spring of 2019.
Neal identified sidewalks as an area of concern in the ward and said he would advocate for more neighborhood sidewalks if he is elected.
"I wish more people would call their councilmen when they have complaints," said Neal. "I've never failed to go to the City if one of my voters had a problem. I go to the City and take care of it for them."
City Councilperson is an unpaid position. The City has six wards and one At-Large position. Click HERE to view a map of the City wards. Only residents of Ward Six will be able to vote. The winner of the election will be sworn in at the May City Council meeting.
"Brian's always been a good friend of mine," said Neal. "We worked on the City Council together...I don't feel like I'm running against him. If he beats me that's fine, that's not a problem."