PRYOR, OK —
Mayor Jimmy Tramel loves Pryor.
It was a point he made again and again at his State of the City address at the Pryor Area Chamber of Commerce Forum luncheon Wednesday.
“There's nothing I love more than being mayor of Pryor, except my family,” said Tramel. “I want to see Pryor grow, I want to see smiles on your faces.”
Tramel was introduced at the forum by Harriet Dunham, who said no matter how often they fight, there are two traits she admires about the mayor.
“He works harder than anyone I know and he has a great heart,” she said.
Tramel highlighted the work he's done in Pryor, pointing out the city budget has risen from $3.78 million per year to $5.59 million per year during his 11-year tenure as mayor. Sales tax revenue, he said, is up 51 percent.
Tramel described himself as a “different” sort of mayor.
“I'm not a very fluent speaker, I say things I shouldn't. I stick my foot in my mouth. I spill coffee on my shirt,” he said. “But that doesn't mean I'm any less passionate about our community.”
Tramel said he is striving to create a passion in the community. One way he is doing this is by creating a system of accountability.
“A lack of accountability is why cities struggle and fail,” said Tramel. “You can't let negativity get you down, negative attracts negative.”
Tramel said it is through strong accountability that chances to overcome weakness are possible.
“You have to identify your weakness and make it work,” Tramel said.
His ultimate goal, he said, is to build and sustain a thriving city, one that is an “invigorating place to be.”
Looking forward, Tramel said building codes are being updated and he plans to get the codes all online within the next month, along with building permits.
“I want to get rid of the dumpy buildings. Getting rid of the squatters is another thing. Did you know we have squatters in Pryor? That will all be a part of cleaning up our community,” Tramel said.
Tramel identified the city website as one of the town’s biggest weaknesses.
“People interested in Pryor will want to know what the school system is like, what the cost of living is like, what the housing market is like. Our website right now just doesn't have that,” he said, adding he hopes to receive grant funding to hire someone to update and maintain the site.
“We are also looking at getting a $120,000 grant to expand our city Wi-Fi,” Tramel said, adding he has hopes the free wireless Internet can cover all the homes in Pryor eventually.
“People like parks. Take a look at our park, we've improved the tennis, volleyball and basketball courts,” Tramel said. “People have told me they want more motels, with weekly and monthly stays. We're working on that.”
Tramel said Pryor Public Schools are second to none, but still need community support.
“Education is key. If your community has a good school system, people will come,” he said.
Tramel told the group there are five established businesses that have expressed an interest in coming to Pryor and individuals wanting to invest in the town.
“That brings us to sustainability. We have to be able to sustain our growth and progress. To endure, we must be willing to transform,” Tramel said.
Tramel said it is his job as mayor to ensure the citizens have a good quality of life and it is the job of the community to communicate its needs to him.
“I'm just tickled to death with Pryor. We all want what's best for the town,” Tramel said.
“I love Pryor, I love being mayor of Pryor. I love you.”