Ada City Councilman Bryan Morris

Ada City Councilman Bryan Morris

A six-year veteran of the Ada City Council is hoping to keep his seat for a fourth term.

Councilman Bryan Morris, who is nearing the end of his third term in office, is seeking re-election in the upcoming primary election. His opponent is real estate consultant and agent Scott Sweeney, who serves on the Ada Metropolitan Area Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Zoning Adjustment.

Morris and Sweeney are the only two candidates running for the Ward 1 seat on the council, so whoever captures the most votes in the Feb. 12 primary election will claim the seat.

The Ada News recently interviewed Morris about his decision to run again and other topics. Here are questions and answers from that interview, edited for clarity and length.

The Ada News: What made you decide to run again?

Bryan Morris: Unfinished business.

The Ada News: Could you elaborate?

Morris: Absolutely.

One, water issues that have not been resolved. Of course, when it comes to water issues, it’s going to be years and years and years. But certain things I’d like to see get done. I’d like to see the city have a comprehensive water plan moving forward. I’d like to see us make more strides in buying water rights.

There are some exciting things that are coming up. I know that I anticipate they’ll be coming up over the next two years. One of them will be further economic development. We, I believe, are on the cusp of having several new businesses come into town.

I’m interested in how our Proposition 2 economic development monies will be spent moving forward.

The Ada News: How about the Penny for Our City projects?

Morris: There’s some unfinished business there, too, I’d like to see get done.

The sports complex is coming along. We’re making great strides there. I’d like to see the next phase implemented.

I’d like to see the amphitheater project completed. I’d like to see renovations to City Hall completed.

The Ada News: You touched on a comprehensive water plan. What other water issues are there?

Morris: The city is going to be under constant attack when it comes to Byrd’s Mill Spring and the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer, and I want to make sure that we continue in the direction that we’ve been going in preserving our rights under Byrd’s Mill Spring. Because that’s our water source.

The Ada News: (What do you mean) by “constantly under attack”?

Morris: It was Oklahoma Farm Bureau regarding the maximum annual yield for a period of time. And then, as other cities start looking for water sources, they’re going to be looking at the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer.

As far as pending ones right now, I don’t know of any cities that are doing it right now. But I think there are cities out there that are discussing it, checking into the economic feasibility of building a pipeline and having water.

The Ada News: Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the progress the city has made over the last six years?

Morris: Mostly satisfied. I see some areas that we’re struggling with. I think economic development’s one of them.

I think that the city needs to sit down and really develop a more comprehensive economic development plan than what they have. Currently, the city has retained an advisor to assist in attracting businesses to Ada, and I think we can do more. 

Eric Swanson is the City Hall and general assignment reporter for The Ada News. He spent 15 years working at the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kansas, before joining The Ada News’ staff in 2012.