Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

March 7, 2013

Blevins looks to see things through

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — Maybe it’s a little bit of ego, maybe it’s just a desire to see some big issues through to the end. Maybe it’s a little of both for Hal Blevins who’s decided to seek another four-year term on the Pauls Valley City Council.

Going for his second term on the council, Blevins is set to receive challenges from Jeff Paine and Zac Brumley during a municipal election on April 2.

The 79-year-old Blevins admits telling several people in the days leading up to the recent filing period he had no intention of running for the office again.

He began to reconsider the decision when a number of people started encouraging him to stay right where he was on the council.

“That sure tipped me over; people asking me to stay on the council,” Blevins said. “I’m sure ego played a part of it.

“I felt like I hadn’t accomplished as much in the last four years as I had hoped,” he said.

“The hospital is number one, the drought and water situation is second and number three is the last 1 cent sales tax.

“I want to make sure that tax is spent the way it’s supposed to be spent.”

Blevins got his start in a ranching family in west Texas. They “salvaged enough” to come to Oklahoma in 1960 where they bought some land in the nearby Katie area.

He eventually worked as an X-ray and lab technician at PV’s old hospital, which today is a parking lot next to the local First Baptist Church.

Now legally blind, Blevins continued his work at a couple of medical centers until his eyesight began to fail him.

“I feel I’ve had an inside look at how hospitals work. The turmoil with the hospital now is one of the primary reasons I decided to seek another term,” he said.

“We need to have emergency services here; we need to have a hospital here. The essential hospital services are needed. We need to keep a functioning hospital even if we have to cut some services that aren’t profitable.

“It’s absolutely essential to keep the hospital operating. I feel like it’s so important to the community.”

Another big issue for Blevins is the ongoing drought and how it impacts the city’s water supply.

Related to that is the aquatics center now under construction at the Reynolds Recreation Center.

Blevins has been an opponent of the size of the project because he thought it was just too big for the city to afford.

“I was in opposition to the water park because I thought it was too expensive,” he said.

“We could have built a good community swimming pool at a cost of about a fourth of this water park. That was my only opposition. I didn’t think we could afford it. I pray that it works out.”

The park is an example of Blevins’ desire to help the city keep the costs down for any projects.

One of those is the desire to see that a 1 cent sales tax approved by voters in August 2010 to stay in place is spent for its intended city purposes.

From the tax half is earmarked for ongoing street repairs in PV, while a quarter each is meant for recreation and general government.

“I want to be certain this dedicated money is spent for their dedicated purposes,” Blevins said.

“We need to prioritize what we spend this money on."