During November’s regular meeting of the Hominy City Council, the City’s governing body was presented with a proclamation to recognize one of Hominy’s former citizens. City Manager Gary Lanham read the proposed proclamation, which if approved, would name the Saturday preceding Pearl Harbor Day as “Kenneth M. Taylor Day.”
Kenneth M. Taylor grew up in Hominy after moving here with his family shortly after his birth. He spent his formative years here and eventually graduated from Hominy High School in 1938. After graduation, he enrolled in the University of Oklahoma and joined the Army Air Corps.
On December 7, 1941, a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the US Navy base in Hawaii, by the Imperial Japanese Navy sent the United States to the forefront of World War II. During the chaos of the attack, Taylor with the help of a fellow pilot, was able to get a fighter plane into the air where he shot down multiple Japanese planes.
Taylor sustained some injuries during his heroic efforts and went on to receive the Distinguished Service Cross and a Purple Heart, as well as several other awards over his 27 years of active duty, where he eventually retired as a Colonel in 1967. He went on to be an Assistant Adjutant General for the Alaska Air National Guard. In 1971, he retired from military life as a Brigadier General and Commander of the Alaska Air National Guard.
In 1970, Taylor was portrayed in the film Tora! Tora! Tora! for which he also served as a technical adviser.
Though Kenneth Taylor passed away in 2006, his bravery and service to his country will always be remembered, and our community is fortunate to have been able to call him one of our own. The City Council passed the proclamation, which was signed by Mayor Fairweather officially recognizing Taylor for his contribution to our country. The proclamation has been sent to the Governor’s office where it will be considered to recognize Mr. Taylor on a state level.
The film, Tora! Tora! Tora! will be shown in honor of Mr. Taylor at the Hominy Community Center on Saturday, December 3, 2016, “Kenneth M. Taylor Day.” The showing will begin at 5:30 PM and is free to the public.
Greetings from my desk where I have a glass of unsweetened tea to assist me with my ramblings. Well, as my first month ends I will share my thoughts and feelings about things as they are and as they should be.
As with any new start, I come with an outside perspective and can have ideas that need adjustment when details become apparent I could only know from the inside and not the outside. The ladies at the City Hall have been exceptional, sharing insights and information that has kept me from honest blunders. They have amazing patience. Some things, however, are not rocket science. With revenue
down and belts tightened many of the city’s issues seem more difficult and magnified.
One of the issues (among a long list) I am currently addressing are houses abandoned and in extreme disrepair. Our Code Enforcement officer has done a wonderful job identifying and tracking the legal processes that are required by law to resolve these locations. We meet almost weekly to review each location’s status and determine the next step. The several we have are in one phase of the process or another. We cannot simply tear down a property. Several attempts of notification and hearings are required, title searches, and legal steps must be made, by law, to protect the individual citizen’s rights, as well as the City as an entity.
Another important issue is the condition and future of the Senior Citizen’s Center. The aging condition of the current facility presents enormous challenges from an economic and physical safety perspective in the future. There are many viewpoints on what to do. There are many parties involved with governmental concerns that include standards, requirements, funding, and future planning. This will require a careful focus on all aspects. I am a member and have many good friends at the Center so this is particularly of importance to me.
The Lake is also on my list and I am happy to report that we had our annual inspection of the earthen dam and the results were great. Before I started as City Manager, Mr. Eulert had the brush and foliage removed by our city’s fantastic Public Works employees and the inspectors had only positive comments on its condition. There are improvements coming but I can discuss that later.
I am working with issues concerning our streets, water/sewage infrastructure, EMS, and fire department almost daily. I also have been taking time to sit with citizens who have concerns or questions about monthly bills they are unhappy with. Sometimes they are pleased with the discussions, sometimes not. I may not make everyone happy but I promise fairness and a cup of coffee.
I want to close this week’s quick snapshot with my personal feelings. There are some great folks in Hominy. I mean that. Good folks with good hearts that have endured trying times and difficult situations. Sometimes growing weary is unavoidable when things seem bleak. Things will get better, good times come and go, but our character is what determines how we react to them. Be strong and of good courage. If you cannot be, find those that are and hang out with them. It will rub off, I promise.
Hominy City Manager
Waste Connections of Bartlesville observes the Thanksgiving holiday, so if you are on the Thursday route, your trash will be picked up on FRIDAY and the Friday route will be picked up on SATURDAY.
Trash services will resume the normal pickup schedule the following week.