Don Hawthorne

County Commissioner

District 3: Road and Bridge Report
Don Hawthorne, County Commissioner District 3

The rains this month have allowed us to grade most of the graveled roads. The slow soaking rains caused a number of roads around the district to become slippery and will require some additional gravel as we go into a “hopefully” rainy spring.

Between the rains, several roads in the Saddle Mountain area were graveled and the roads in Wichita Mountains Estates patched.

We have had a number of requests to stripe some of our major roads. We have gone out for bids to stripe about 50 miles of roads and the company that was awarded the bid is waiting for a week that will have temperatures consistently over 50 degrees to begin their work.

The road crew has used the Bomag recycler on Paint Road between Lee Blvd and Gore, and Deyo Mission Road north of the intersection of Lee Blvd. We also plan to redo the section of Crater Creek Road north of the Lee Blvd intersection. Paint and Crater Creek Roads will be oiled and chipped as soon as the weather is consistently warm enough. Deyo Mission Road from Lee Blvd to Cache Road will be asphalted.

The railroad crossing on Deyo Mission Road has deteriorated to the point it is hazardous and has been a concern to us for some time. Also, we have received a number of complaints about it. After several calls to the Stillwater Railroad Company, they have agreed to fix it.

A fence line on Hwy. 287 Road south of Wolf Road was burned in last year’s fire and before the landowner put his fence up, we cleaned out the fence line and bar ditches to improve the water drainage.

Dirt, trees and other debris was cleaned out from the Bridge on Baseline Road between Airport Road and the Cache Creek Bridge. This will allow better flow of water through the bridge when it rains.

The bridge crew repaired the wing wall on the bridge on Paint Road just north of Jennings Road in the south part of the District.

At the request of the school districts, we provided road and parking lot repair at Cache Schools near the elementary building and the parking lot near the football concession stand, and at the Chattanooga School parking lot near the baseball field.

The cooperative agreement for 112th Street between Lawton and the County has been approved by the Board of County Commissioners and the Lawton City Council. The engineering company has completed the survey of the road and is working on the design for Phase 1 which will take several months. The first phase starts at the railroad crossing and goes to Lee and east on Lee to where the four-lanes start.

Lee Blvd Status: The rains have slowed the completion of the Lee Blvd project. They still need to do ditch work on the last mile and finish putting down the sod. One of the Sheriff’s deputies caught two juveniles in a vehicle tearing up the sod at Lee Blvd and Deyo Mission Road intersection. The two will be charged with destroying county property and will have to pay restitution for the damages they caused.

Several people have asked about putting the white outside stripes on Lee Blvd. The plans did not call for the white stripes; therefore they were not included in the bid and would cost us extra to have them painted. If they were painted, the four-foot shoulders would be taken out of the lane making the lanes narrower and I believe the road is safer having a wider lane in which to drive.

Some people have moved “Road Closed” signs off of Lee Blvd. The signs are up for a reason that is for the safety of the workers. If a person moves those or any traffic sign and there is a death as a result of it that person can be charged with manslaughter.

The District continues to have county traffic signs stolen or defaced. In an attempt to discourage such activity, we will start putting the following message on each sign, “$100.00 FINE FOR THEFT OR DEFACING”.

If you have questions or concerns, I can be contacted at don.hawthorne@comanchecounty.us.

You can access this report monthly on the county web site as well as the County Times. The official web site www.comanchecounty.us is maintained by the Comanche County Public Information Office.

The holidays started off with a snow and freezing rain.  We had a crew out on Christmas day and the day after sanding bridges and intersections.

We have had a rash of stolen signs again.  All the road signs along Wolf Road were taken and a number of stop signs were painted with graffiti. As I have stated before, the money we have to spend on replacing signs is taken away from dollars we could have used for road improvements.  But the most important aspect of this problem is public safety issues.

If you have information regarding the person or persons involved in this, please call 580-429-3217 or the Comanche County Sheriff’s Department at 580-351-4280.  The Board of County Commissioners has approved a reward for information and/or evidence leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone stealing or defacing county road signs.  People convicted of stealing or vandalizing county property can be ordered by the court to pay the county for the cost of any rewards granted concerning the defendant’s case.

There has been an increase in trash dumping along county roads.  If we know who did the dumping, the dumpers have a choice of coming and picking up the trash, or we will turn it over to the Sheriff and they can pay a $1,000 fine.

When the weather has allowed, we have been patching West Lee Blvd, Hwy.115 South, Meers-Porter Hill Road, Four Mile, and Tackle Box Roads.

We took advantage of a landowner taking down his old fence and before he put up a new one we cleaned out the bar ditches on Stoney Point and King Roads.  This will allow better drainage when it does rain.  Gravel was put down on King Road west of Stoney Point Road.

Lee Blvd is still closed between Post Oak Road and Big Bow Road.  The Comanche Nation is funding the building of a bridge over the low water crossing at Post Oak Creek.  The project is about half way completed.

We replaced one of our remaining wooden bridges with a large tinhorn on Holsey Road west of Indiahoma.  The wooden planks had deteriorated to a point we had safety concerns that it might fail when heavy farm equipment crosses the bridge.

Road Foremen Kenny Kinder and I met with officials from the City of Lawton and Oklahoma Department of Transportation to work on an agreement for the resurfacing of 112th Street between Old Cache Road and Lee Blvd.  Last June the ODOT Commission approved $950,000 to redo 112th Street from the Railroad tracks to the Lee Blvd intersection east and to the 4 lane section of Lee Blvd.  Because some of the road is in the city limits, and some of it is in the county, and the state is funding the resurfacing it necessitates a three-way agreement, which has taken some time to work out.

Lee Blvd Status: All but the last mile between Crater Creek Road and 115 has been completed, and the road has been striped from Lawton city limits to Airport Road. The ditches will be sodded later in the spring.

One of the concerns we have received is the lack of striping on some of our major county roads.  We went out for bids on that project, and have accepted the bid of an Oklahoma City company to stripe 48.5 miles of roads in our district, at a cost of $38,861.

During the cold inclement weather Foreman Kenny Kinder and the crew did the spring cleaning of the county barn and yard.  They sold several thousand dollars worth of scrap metal and hauled off a dump truck load of other junk.

If you have questions or concerns, I can be contacted at don.hawthorne@comanchecounty.us.

You can access this report monthly on the county web site as well as the County Times. The official web site www.comanchecounty.us is maintained by the Comanche County Public Information Office.

In the near future, we will be adding Western District #3′s monthly Road & Bridge Report to this website.  These reports are  published in “The County Times” and can also be found on the Comanche County website.

County Commissioners exercise the administrative powers given to them by Oklahoma Statutes and the Oklahoma Constitution.  They are the governing body of the County Courthouse.

County Commissioners:

- Exercise direct control over the county highway system

- Audit the accounts of all officers handling county money

- Make general financial plans for the county, including the county budget

- Audit and approve claims against the county

- Issue calls for bond elections and other special elections

- Organize and direct “911” services

- Approve the county payroll

- Approve bids for major purchases or construction projects

- Develop personnel policies for the county

- Responsible for appointments to various county boards and positions

-Organize solid waste management districts

-Selling and purchasing public land or buildings for the county

-Responsible for improving efficiency of county government

I will be your voice at the Courthouse and work for good, open, honest County Government.

I will work to set up an accounting of all funds spent in the Western District and will set up a method to make that accessible to the public.

As County Commissioner, I will respond to all calls, requests and concerns from the citizens of the Western District.

As County Commissioner, I will aggressively seek out all available funds to maintain good safe roads and bridges  in the Western District.

With a growing population in the rural areas,  I will work to improve fire protection, law enforcement, ambulance and first responder service.

I will work with the rural fire departments to get needed up to date equipment and training.

I support Comanche County Memorial Hospital remaining under local control and would never vote to sell it to an outside corporation.

I will strive to improve the working relationships between the County and City of Lawton as well as the other cities and communities within the District.

HAWTHORNE RUNS FOR COUNTY COMMISSIONER

Don002 Don Hawthorne, a resident of Cache, has filed for Comanche County Commissioner, District 3, being vacated by Susan Ulrich. Hawthorne is retired with over 30 years in federal service.

He was born in Lawton and his parents, Don and Marie moved to the Wesley Chapel Community when he was between his 3rd and 4th grades. For them it was returning to their roots because both of their parents had lived there and were deeply involved in the community and church.

Don graduated from Cache High School in 1960, where he was a member of the Bulldog baseball and basketball teams. He attended Eastern Oklahoma A&M in Wilburton on an athletic scholarship and played baseball and basketball. He then went on to Oklahoma State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Management in 1965.

He began his federal service career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Oklahoma and worked in Utah and New Mexico. Later he transferred to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services and worked in Texas, Colorado and Washington, D.C. before returning to Oklahoma. He and his wife Carolyn returned to Cache and retired in 1999, with 33 years of service.

During his career, Don held numerous positions of responsibility. He was State Director of Utah, Texas and Oklahoma. The most complex program was Texas where he managed multiple levels of funding which came from federal, state, county and private rancher associations. These monies totaled about $5 million. He was accountable to all four levels to (1) be a good steward of funds they had entrusted to him and (2), to implement and manage programs that met the needs of the people. To put it simply, he was always striving to get the “best bang for the buck.”

Other positions he held were Director of the Western Region in Denver and Assistant Director of Wildlife Services program in Washington, D.C.

In each of these jobs, he worked with members of Congress and their staffs, the heads of the state departments of agriculture, state fish and game departments, state health departments and county officials, as well as federal agencies to have effective and productive programs. Also he testified at hearings, and worked with state legislatures on programs and budgets.

During his career, Hawthorne received numerous awards for his leadership and management abilities and effective use of personnel.

Don001 After retirement from federal service, he served as Legislative Liaison for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture during the 1999 Session of the Oklahoma Legislature. He currently runs a small cow calf operation with his brother Arnold Hawthorne.

Don is a Trustee and past Chairman of the Cache Economic Development Authority where he obtained a grant from the McMahon Foundation for the Cache Community Center.  He obtained a loan from Comanche County Industrial Development Authority for improvements to the Hummingbird Golf Course and oversaw the capital improvements.  He is a member of the National Cattlemen’s and the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Associations, the National Rifle Association of America and the Oklahoma Farm Bureau.

Don has been married 48 years to Carolyn Holden Hawthorne.  She is the daughter of Lela and the late, Lee J. Holden of Cache.  Don and Carolyn have 3 grown daughters, Dana, Sheri, Susanne and their families.

He and his wife are active members of the First United Methodist Church of Cache serving on various committees and Don is adult Sunday School teacher.

Hawthorne states, “he is ready to put his years of management experience to work for the citizens of the 3rd District and would appreciate your vote in the July 27th primary.”

June 13, 2010


Cache man announces candidacy for county commission

Don Hawthorne, Cache, announced he is a candidate for the Comanche County Commissioner seat for District 3.
Hawthorne is one of four candidates hoping to succeed County Commissioner Susan Ulrich, who did not seek re-election. Other candidates are Republicans Joe English of Lawton and Doyal Reed of Faxon and Democrat Debbie McDonald of Cache.
Hawthorne, a Republican, is a retired civil servant who was born in Lawton and graduated from Cache High School in 1960, where he played baseball and basketball.
Hawthorne is a 1965 graduate of Oklahoma State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management and conservation.
During his more than 30 years of federal service, Hawthorne worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Oklahoma, Utah and New Mexico. He later transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services and worked in Texas, Colorado and Washington, D.C., before returning to Oklahoma. Hawthorne retired in 1999 with 33 years of service.
Among the positions Hawthorne held during his career was state director of Texas Wildlife Services, which had a combined budget of more than $5 million and more than 200 employees. He was also the director of the Western Region of Wildlife Services, which included the 18 most western states, including Alaska, Hawaii and the territory of Guam. In that capacity, Hawthorne supervised 18 federal Wildlife Services programs and administered an annual budget of over $21 million.
Sunday, June 13, 2010