By Conrad Dudderar
As election day draws closer, Ken Wilkins believes his background and experience have given him the ability to lead on the Yukon City Council.
“I understand that, along with authority, comes great responsibility,” said Wilkins, who is seeking the next four-year term as Yukon’s Ward 4 representative.
Wilkins, 60, faces Aric Gilliland, 41, in the Tuesday, Feb. 11. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for Ward 4 voters to cast their ballots.
Wilkins desires to see the City of Yukon continue to grow and prosper without losing what he called “close-knit” community connections.
“I would like to see some much-needed road improvements across the city,” the Yukon business owner said. “I also feel we should take advantage of the national interest in revitalizing Route 66, make some investments and improvements, and increase tourism in our great city. We have so much to offer.”
Wilkins served in the U.S. Navy and in the Royal Rangers, a national scouting organization. He previously has been a safety manager for both a local electrical company and a national trucking company.
“Making tough decisions takes honesty and integrity and a willingness to see them through,” said Wilkins, who owns Archery Traditions of Oklahoma.
During the campaign for the city council seat, Wilkins has reached out to his fellow Ward 4 citizens through personal visits, phone calls, mailing, attending community meetings, and advertising.
Responses have been positive, with many people thanking Wilkins for being willing to serve his community as a volunteer council member.
“They obviously have ideas and concerns they have shared, which I will bring up to the council whether I am elected or not,” he said. “Many have voiced a need for a diverse council. They also want fiscal responsibility and accountability to the Yukon citizens.
“I believe I can fill that role.”
Wilkins is trying to learn as much as he can about Yukon city government. He’s attended Yukon City Council and Yukon Park Board meetings and reviewed various board meeting agendas. He’s also visited with other council members, city and county officials, civic and business leaders; as is a regular attendee at the weekly Yukon Community Coffee and monthly Yukon Legislative Breakfast.
In his bid for the Yukon City Council seat, Wilkins has been endorsed by four Yukon-area elected officials:
Yukon Mayor Mike McEachern, Canadian County District 1 Commissioner Marc Hader, District 43 State Rep. Jay Steagall, and District 22 State Sen. Stephanie Bice.
‘ALL IN THIS TOGETHER’
If elected to the Yukon City Council, Wilkins said he will not only represent and address the needs and concerns of Ward 4 – but all of Yukon and its citizens.
“We are all in this together and all of our needs and concerns are important,” the council contender said.
Wilkins is a Bethany native who graduated from Putnam City West before joining the U.S. Navy. He has lived in Yukon’s Ward 4 since 2011, when he returned to Oklahoma after seven years in Colorado.
After moving to Yukon, Wilkins in 2015 opened Archery Traditions in the Old Mill Plaza shopping center. Archery Traditions was honored as the Yukon Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 “Small Business of the Year.”
Wilkins’ business was recognized for supporting the missions of non-profit organizations across the community. Archery Traditions hosts fund-raising benefits throughout the year at its spacious indoor range.
“That’s a big part of who we are,” Wilkins said in January 2019 after being honored by the Yukon Chamber. “We just feel it’s important to give back to the community, especially to the non-profit organizations that do so much. We’ve helped individual families with our benefits as well.”
Living in Yukon and building a business here have given Wilkins the opportunity and honor to get to know so many of Yukon’s leaders and citizens.
“We are extremely blessed to live in such a great city,” he said. “The love and support for others is a high priority with so many in our community.”
With the Ward 4 city council election just a few days away, Wilkins said his connections to the Yukon community – combined with his leadership experience – place him in a position to help lead Yukon to a prosperous and stable future.
“I am a man of faith, honesty and integrity,” he said. “If elected, the citizens of Yukon can count on me to keep their best interest at heart.”
FOUR POLLING PLACES OPEN
Four Canadian County polling precincts will be open next Tuesday, Feb. 11 for the City of Yukon’s Ward 4 municipal primary election:
201 – Richland Nazarene Church, 10825 N 6th (in Richland).
204 – Yukon First Church of the Nazarene, 525 E Main.
206 – Bethel Community Church (Bradford Family Life Center), 4901 N Sara Road.
210 – Yukon Fine Arts Auditorium, 850 Yukon Ave.
Since only two candidates filed for the seat, the winner will earn the next four-year term on the five-member Yukon City Council. The winner will begin serving in May.
The current Ward 4 representative, Mike McEachern, could not file for re-election due to city council term limits. McEachern now serves as Yukon’s mayor appointed by the council.
Other council members are: Vice Mayor Donna Yanda, Ward 3; Rick Cacini, Ward 1; Shelli Selby, Ward 2; and Jeff Wootton, At-Large.