This is my first effort to collect my thoughts and let you, the folks of Hominy, see how things look from my perspective as City Manager. My purpose is to inform you of what is happening and give you a bit of insight to the decision factors that influence me. I hope you find it informative and maybe a bit fun.
I will start off by discussing two items this week. One is this very article. I received a load of requests to know what is going on. I have mentioned the posting in this newspaper and many times hear “Oh, I don’t read the paper.” Why not? This is the information I would subscribe to if I were you. As a matter of fact, I have been a subscriber for many years before taking the job with the city. I actually subscribe to four publications to keep up with county activities and differing perspectives on key topics that will appear, in all of them to get a better “rounded” perspective of things.
The City has a website. We are refreshing it. Here, you can click and add yourself, to what I call, ‘robo call’ emergency updates. Water and power outages, storm warnings that are local, will ring on your phone to let you know what is happening. You can also read about meeting announcements, current information, and contact information.
There is a City of Hominy Facebook presence. This will also share similar “late breaking” announcements. Finally, I plan to continue a quarterly “Meet the City Manager” gathering; similar to the one I hosted and advertised, for Oct. 8 at the Hominy Community Center. Twenty-two folks showed up and we covered many topics.
This leads me into the second item, one of the topics I discussed. While picking up speed as any “newbie” and dealing with the unscheduled and urgent issues of every day, my focus is on our infrastructure improvement, long term. This would be our water system and electric grid. Our City’s safety is also of great importance, and we have outstanding Fire, Police and EMS personnel who are dedicated to responding to emergencies in our community.
I will drill down into the details as we go along in future editions, but I will leave this as a general overview and introduction. In closing, I would like to say I am so impressed with the employees who serve this community. From the front desk of City Hall to the folks mowing, and working electric, water, sewage, senior center, and staff our library, all I have engaged with are truly dedicated to serve. We are blessed.
Hominy City Manager
Following an update by City employee Frank Hudson on work being completed at the A.J. Powell Memorial Cemetery, he was presented with a plaque commending him for his tireless work throughout the community.
Mayor Cha Fairweather spoke candidly about Hudson's dedication to Hominy at the October City Council Meeting, and thanked him on behalf of the City, for his contributions over the years. Hudson, who is a former Hominy City Councilman, has worked for the City as a groundskeeper at the cemetery in recent years.
Thank you Frank for your dedication!
The City of Hominy will be installing a water hydrant near Hamilton Road on the morning of Tuesday, October 11, 2016. Beginning at 9:00 AM, water will be off in the areas surrounding Hamilton Road, in the Indian Village, during the installation. Water should be restored to the area by midafternoon.
We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we work to bring improvements to our city.
Gary Lanham, Hominy’s new City Manager, began his duties Mon., Oct. 3. While many know his name from the weekly American Legion article in our publication “News from the Hut” and his active participation with the Hominy Community Center, many are not aware of his professional and educational background or why he applied for the position.
“I have lived just outside the city in the Hominy district for eighteen years and always enjoyed the hometown feel and friendliness of the folks here. I have really come to love the rich history and heritage of Hominy and grown close to the “seasoned” citizens that have so many things to tell and share about the past” Mr. Lanham said.
“I felt that I had something to offer this town, especially with the challenging environment we find ourselves in”. The offering includes a twenty-nine-year career in the USAF/ANG that culminated in the rank of Chief Master Sargent, a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management, and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management. Mr. Lanham retired as a senior manager with AT&T two years ago and has kept busy heading up various community oriented efforts like the outdoor showing of “Playground of the Native Son” film last May.
He expressed gratitude to interim City Manager, Larry Eulert, for taking time to show him “the ropes” making introductions, providing him with the broad picture of the City and its promise, as well as its issues. “Larry has been fantastic, taking time to introduce me to our managers and employees and giving me insights to our situation and the job position. Hominy has been fortunate to be in his capable hands”.
Mr. Lanham hosted a meeting last Saturday morning at the Hominy Community Center to discuss his plans for the City of Hominy, as well as to address the concerns and questions from citizens.
Last Saturday, a water line break occurred on prison grounds and drained the water tank west of the prison, as well as significantly reducing the water levels in our water tanks on the hill above Hominy. The Water Department has been working day and night to monitor and maintain the water production going to the tanks above Hominy. Hominy's tanks have to be at least 20 feet of water storage in order to push water thru the lines to the prison to start filling their water tank. The process of transferring water to the prison water tank started Thursday morning at 7:30 am and will continue until the water tank at the prison is near capacity. Our water plant can produce an average of 600 gallons per minute and still remain in compliance with DEQ regulations.
The City is asking residents to conserve water whenever possible in order to maintain the city's water level in our tanks as well as providing the necessary water to the prison.
Prior to this event, clarity issues were being addressed and once the water tanks are full again, we will be able to redirect our attention to those issues.
There are always questions of what the City is doing for Hominy and I would like to inform our citizens of our ongoing projects we are working on at this time.
Hominy City Manager
An Open Letter to Hominy residents:
With the beginning of a new year, it’s a great time to kick-off an improvement program for our community; a recent assessment of needs and issues can be categorized into three areas of improvement:
Code enforcement, particularly in the area of property maintenance (addressing of properties, exterior sanitation and cleanliness, unsafe and abandoned properties, junk and abandoned vehicles, grass and weeds).
Community, including quality of life, infrastructure (such as housing, roads, parks), community events, downtown and airport development, zoning, utilities, and partnerships with schools and community organizations (Chamber of Commerce, churches, veterans, senior citizens, and youth).
Internal efficiency, by reviewing how the City currently does business, making changes to operations in order to realize cost savings and increased effectiveness, and developing policies and procedures.
It starts now.
The first community assignment is to ensure that every property within Hominy is properly addressed for public safety response (EMS, Police, Fire). Per the International Property Maintenance Code (which has been adopted by the Hominy City Council):
Section 304.3, Address numbers shall be placed on every property in a position to be plainly legible and visible from the street or road fronting the property. These numbers shall be a minimum of 4” in height and shall contrast in color with their background. Note: Just placing numbers on mailboxes does not meet this Code requirement.
Every property occupant/landlord/owner needs to check to confirm that this proper addressing is completed by March 1, 2015. For our senior citizens or others needing assistance with this assignment, City Hall stands ready to help. Just call 918-885-2164
Other major areas of concern are exterior cleanliness of properties, loose trash on ground, unsafe properties, abandoned or junk vehicles, and high grass and weeds.
Starting next week, a code enforcement officer within the Hominy Police Department will start visiting properties to provide courtesy notices of potential violations. Follow-up inspections will then be conducted and formal letters sent to ensure compliance. Non-compliance shall lead to citations.
Please know that our objective is to have voluntary compliance, not to issue citations. We want to keep the City looking great and work together to maintain and increase the safety and quality of life to which all Hominy residents are entitled.