Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Front Page

June 18, 2014

Helping others is Mann’s reward — Helping the residents of his district and finishing the things he’s started are big a part of why Johnny Mann is seeking yet another term as a Garvin County commissioner.

First elected in 1990, Mann is hoping to earn his seventh term as the District 3 commissioner during the June 24 primary election.

Mann is set to go against challenger Mike DeArman of Paoli in the summer vote.

“It’s rewarding,” Mann said about his work as a commissioner, which he adds is a 24-hour, seven-day a week job.

“You get to help people. That’s the most rewarding part of my job. That’s what I like the most about my job.

“Another main reason I want to keep going is to continue the projects I have in the works.”

When Mann was first elected to the office he was approached about running by the previous commissioner, Mandy Burnett, someone Mann has known his entire life.

Mann initially worked with Burnett during programs in the summer. After spending some time in the oil field he worked as a road hand for Burnett before serving for a couple of years as his road foreman.

Burnett saw Mann as his possible successor when he decided to retire.

This month’s election is now only the third time Mann has faced an opponent during a run for a new term.

He gives plenty of credit for the long run to the “support and friendships” he’s made in the county over the years, along with his District 3 staff.

“I’ve been fortunate and blessed to have had the employees who’ve worked for me over the past 24 years,” Mann said.

“They try to do the job right the first time. They’ve always treated people with the highest regard and respect.

“We try to do for everybody what we can. Every foreman who has ever worked for me has had the same instructions — I don’t care who walks through that door, if we can help them we will, if we can’t do it for them we’ll try to find someone who can.”

Like any other job Mann says time and experience has provided him with the lessons needed to be a better and more effective commissioner.

“It’s taken some time but you get that confidence and are assured of what to do in any situation,” he said.

“I know how to solve problems because I’ve been through them. It takes years to learn the business as a commissioner — what you can do and what you can’t do, who you can help and who you can’t help.”

One of those big lessons is the always important skill of how to deal with the money and ways to stretch it as a way of getting more done with less.

Mann stresses that’s a big deal when tackling the thing commissioners are best known for — maintaining county roads.

He adds the county receives money for road maintenance from a 1 cent fuel tax.

“In all the years I’ve been county commissioner a lot of things have changed,” he said.

“The increases in the cost of bridge and road materials has gone way up, while the money available for county government has not.

“We’ve seen no increases in funding but the cost of materials has gone up.”

That means less money to maintain the hundreds of county roads and dozens of bridges in District 3.

An example comes with the cost of road oil.

In the past it cost $10,000 to $15,000 to chip and seal the surface for a mile of road. Now that cost is upwards of $40,000.

“I’ve learned how to chase down state and federal money through other sources,” Mann said.

“You’ve got to chase the money. That’s the whole deal about our jobs. Our jobs are being aware of all these programs and where all the state and federal money can be found.”

Typically that means grants, which are less plentiful than in past years.

Adding to the situation is county roads these days are forced to deal with larger industrial trucks, something the roads are not designed for as they deteriorate even faster.

Those roads are made even more difficult to maintain with the bone-chilling winters and desert like summer heat.

As for the accomplishments while in office, Mann looks to the work of the county commissioners to bring the Walmart Distribution Center to Garvin County and specifically Pauls Valley.

Another big one is the voters’ approval of a half cent county sales tax back in 2007 and its successful renewal earlier this year.

Revenue from the tax has supported the sheriff’s office, the county 911 center and the ongoing maintenance of the county courthouse building.

“When the general public thinks about the commissioners they see us as the ones who take care of the roads and bridges,” Mann said.

“They don’t realize we’re the governing board of the whole county. We deal with the total budget and the problems of the county.

“When the buck stops it stops here.”

Text Only
Local News
Prep Team Finish

The Pauls Valley Panther Prep Team finished second in the OK Kids State Tournament losing in the championship game to Weathford 11-9. Members of the team are sitting right to left Chase Sawyer, Jared Perry, Kaleb Galaviz, Tyler Thompson, Clint Cosby and Ethan Gonzalez. Back row from left are coach Colby Arie, Jeremy Sawyer, Keegan Moore, Tyler Butts, Matt Perry and coach Greg Perry.

  • Lisa D. Brinkley

    Lisa D. Brinkley of Springdale, Arkansas was born to Clarence (C. L.) and Bertha (Wright) Pelfrey on November 3, 1947 in Yuba City, California and passed from this life on July 15, 2014 in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma at the age of 66 years.

    July 17, 2014

  • Roger Glen Clayton

    Roger Glen Clayton, of Wynnewood, was born April 22, 1960 in Arizona to Sonny B. and Wanda Ruth (Riddle) Clayton. He passed away July 10, 2014 in Newcastle, Oklahoma at the age of 54 years.

    July 17, 2014

  • Reba Joyce Dawson

    Reba Joyce Dawson of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma was born to Ben and Gertie Mae (Gates) Crawford Jr. on July 28, 1934 in Carthage, Texas and passed from this life on July 8, 2014 in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma at the age of 79 years.

    July 17, 2014

  • Lawatha Dean Gilley

    Lawatha Dean Gilley, of Pauls Valley, passed away July 8, 2014 in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma at the age of 80 years.

    July 17, 2014

Community News
State News
  • Purcell, Lex bridge ready for traffic

    A couple of area communities are likely feeling a collective sense of relief as a normally well traveled bridge is set to reopen this week.

    June 13, 2014

  • Robbery Suspect Search on after bank robbery

    A manhunt is on for a lone man who robbed a Pauls Valley bank early Monday afternoon.

    June 11, 2014 1 Photo

Business Marquee
Entertainment Reviews
Dawn of Apes Poster

Poster for "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," showing this week at the Royal Twin Theater of Pauls Valley.

  • ‘Dawn of Apes’ takes franchise to best level yet

    Since I’m not rolling in the corporate movie profits and typing from a solid gold i-Pad, you’ll just have to trust me that I’m not being paid off to write so many glowing sequel reviews in recent years.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Texas Gov. Rick Perry Visits Iowa