By Everett Brazil
The Newkirk Herald Journal
Bill Wiggs has literally seen the world. From more than a decade on a Naval ship to later traveling in his youth, there isn’t much he hasn’t seen. He also has seen smalltown life in Newkirk, Blackwell and Ponca City. He wants to put his service and experience to work in Newkirk to make it a better place to live as a city commissioner.
Wiggs was raised in Blackwell, and following high school spent much of his adult youth in service to the U.S. Navy.
“I was in service to the U.S. Navy for 11 years,” he said. “I’ve been around the world twice on seven aircraft carriers.”
He would later be discharged from the Navy, and returned home to Blackwell and Ponca City, where he would continue serving the U.S. Post Office for 28 years, eventually retiring and later relocating to Newkirk.
“I’ve had 40 years in government service,” he said. “In Blackwell, I put up ramps for the elderly free of charge. I did it for a service. That is the kind of person I am.”
It was a quiet evening when a few friends and family members approached him about potentially serving as a city commissioner, and with his background in service to the community, it is something he is taking seriously.
Like many people, he sees places for improvement in the community.
“There are things people take for granted so much that they need to know about it – the water system, sewage system, even the electric department needs new equipment,” he said. “They need the right equipment to do their job.”
Wiggs sees potential in more grant writing for the equipment, something he has seen put to work in Blackwell with their own water department.
“Blackwell’s water failed when I was there, and they got a grant and had a company come in and build a new water plant,” he said.
He would also like to address potholes in city streets, he said.
He said those departments are the primary issues he would focus on if elected.
“In the town, I don’t see any other issues except getting the right equipment for the workers,” he said.
Like his four decades in the U.S., he intends to do what he can with Newkirk’s municipal government, and the people.
“I’m going to do what I can to improve all the things we can, and above all, I want to work for the people,” he said. “I grew up good, the military taught me well, and I believe in people helping people.”
The election will be April 4. Concerned citizens can meet the candidates for city commission and school board at 7 tonight at Newkirk Main Street, 116 N. Main.