Monday, January 22, 2018

Jamison Has Ideas for Sallisaw

Robert "Bob" Jamison

“I’m an idea guy,” said Sallisaw mayoral candidate Robert “Bob” Jamison, and Jamison has many ideas he would like to help initiate in Sallisaw.

Jamison grew up in Sallisaw and is a 1976 graduate of Sallisaw High School. He got his juris doctorate from the University of Tulsa in 1990 and practiced law in Tulsa until moving his practice and himself back to Sallisaw in 2014.

Jamison said he moved back because “I want to make a difference.”

Jamison is an active member of the Old Sallisaw High School Association. The association’s members have taken over the grounds of the old Sallisaw High School and revamped the grounds as a park.

Jamison said he would like to help foster more of that kind of community spirit.

“Back in the old days,” Jamison recalled, “everybody knew each other, and everyone came to town on Friday and Saturday nights. You’d see everyone you knew.”

Jamison said that community spirit is included in his three goals for Sallisaw.

“I want to get the people behind me,” he said. “I want the people to have community spirit and improve the downtown. 

“It will grow off that. It can be done. I’ve seen it happen in other communities. This town has unlimited possibilities.”

-About the proposed splash pad, Jamison said he would like to see it built where planned, on the old middle school grounds and close to the Sequoyah County Boys & Girls Club.

“We have to have it,” Jamison said. “I’d prefer it to be at the old school because it would be in conjunction with the Old High School Park. Sallisaw desperately needs a new swimming pool.

“And there’s not a whole lot to do in town for adults either,” Jamison said about the often-heard complaint that there is little to do for youngsters.

“I’d like to see the city take over the auditorium,” Jamison said, “where we could have community theater, concerts, and things for kids too.”

-About the upgrade of the water treatment plant, Jamison said he would have to review the city budget and the money required for the upgrade. 

He said, “That is a necessity. We need to find the money.”

-About upgrading the city charter, Jamison said, “It probably needs to be done. The charter needs to be made more clear and more simple.”

-About incentives to attract businesses and manufacturers to Sallisaw, Jamison said, “We need to make our town desirable and show community spirit. If people are happy and talk up their town, others will listen. We have so much we could do, just little things.”

-About raising utility fees, Jamison said, “No! People shouldn’t have to keep paying, and paying, and paying. They need to get something back for their money.”

-About the food trucks that have set up in Sallisaw and compete with brick-and-mortar restaurants, Jamison said, “I like the food trucks. They are the coming thing. And competition between restaurants is always going to be there.”

-About helping the Sallisaw Chamber locate to a new building, Jamison said the city should assist the chamber. Current chamber leadership said the building which now houses the chamber has many problems, and with a new U.S. Highway 59 planned, the new highway will take away the chamber’s front-door parking.

“There are plenty of buildings available,” Jamison said. But he added, “The chamber needs to do more for the city.”

Jamison said he would like to see more tourist attractions in Sallisaw such as concerts. 

“Tourism means more money,” Jamison said. “I’d like to see Diamond Days move to the rodeo grounds where there is more room. I’d like to see the Farmers’ Market stay open all day, not just til noon. I’d like to see more concerts.”

Jamison said he has seen other communities flourish when community residents worked together to promote their community. He would most particularly like to see more voter turnout on Feb. 13.

“Only 245 people voted in the last election,” Jamison said. “That’s a ‘don’t care’ attitude. I’d like to see that change.”

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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