Skiatook's form of government could change

SKIATOOK, Okla. - Decision-making in Skiatook could be up for some changes as leaders take steps to possibly modify its form of government from a town to a city.

But the final say will be up to voters.

It may seem like just a label, but the designation as a city or a town is much more than that.

Right now Skiatook is governed by a board of five trustees.

"Any population over 2,000 can be a city, and there are benefits to being a city," said Skiatook trustee J.D. Prather.

Prather says as Skiatook grows, officials are looking at ways to keep up.

"Basically, it's who's the CEO? Who gets the final say?" he said.

Tuesday night, the board will vote on which city government they'd like to put on the ballot. There are three options, from a council-city manager form of government, to strong-mayor or
weak mayor.

After the decision, voters will decide if they want to make the switch.

Some officials say becoming a city could bring more opportunities to Skiatook, especially economic development. They'd like to see more store fronts busy downtown, and more chains and retailers.

But not all residents think that's a good thing.

"Having a city would bring more businesses and jobs, which would in turn also put more revenue into the town. But it would no longer be a town, it would just be another city," said Rick Myers.

They worry more development could bring more crime.

"More jobs would be better just for the younger, but I don't like the fact that it's going to change and get bigger," said Tallulah Hall.

Others say becoming a city could add to the quality of life.

"We definitely want stuff coming in. More choices than what we have here in town," said Sean Canavan.

But as long as Skiatook's small town charm stays in place.

"You always want to see it stay a community, but you've got to have growth to grow to begin with, and have jobs," Canavan said.

Voters will decide this November whether or not to change from a town to a city.

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