Stillwater News Press

Local News

April 5, 2014

Vice-Mayor ends tenure on Stillwater City Council

STILLWATER, Okla. — Most people feel fortunate to have one successful career but Stillwater’s Vice-Mayor Chuck Hopkins is wrapping up his third.

Serving on the Stillwater City Council for the past six years is a job he has taken seriously.

He said he spends at least 20 hours a week on council business by the time he reads the materials prepared by staff and does his own research.

Doing your homework is an individual commitment every councilor needs to make, he said.

 “Research and communications are key,” he said. “That’s what it takes if you really do it correctly; you can’t do it by just showing up on Monday.”

Hopkins said his ability to see beyond immediate concerns and focus on long-range planning made him successful during his 30-year career at the Oklahoma Department of Career Tech and led to a post-retirement consulting career.

It also carried over to how he viewed issues as he sat on the City Council.

He ran on a platform emphasizing infrastructure needs and that remained his focus during his two terms, he said.

“Infrastructure affects everything the city needs to be doing, and that’s including fire and police,” he said.

He’s pleased the city has a plan in place for  improving its water service and the resources to get it done, he said.

Knowing he took a leadership role on keeping water issues in the forefront makes him proud but there’s more work to be done and issues that weren’t resolved during his time on the council, he said.

He’s still worried about sections of the water pipeline from Kaw Reservoir and would like to see the original inspection plan followed to completion.

He said the city only has three days of water in storage and repairs to some sections of the pipeline would take two or three months.

The city needs to be prepared in case something happens to the pipeline.

He’s also still concerned about roads and wishes more had been done to address them.

The hardest issue is zoning, he said.

Hopkins advises the new councilors to get out and learn where people are on issues.

“The hardest thing to do is to keep all your people happy,” he said. “Whatever you do needs to be done for the good of Stillwater not for individuals.”

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