After serving six years on the El Dorado City Commission, David Chapin decided to take the next step and run as mayor.
“I have two years left as commissioner and Tom (McKibban, mayor) decided not to run again and more than likely I will be done after eight years of public service so I would like to finish off as mayor,” Chapin said.
One important issue for him is Towanda Street and getting that repaired.
“Towanda Street is the only major street we haven’t fixed,” he said.
While the city wants to improve that street, the problem arises because half of the street is in the county.
“I want to work with the county and landowners and make it a project that is fair and equitable to everyone,” Chapin said. “The citizens deserve to have the last major street fixed.”
That is the only really big project Chapin sees coming in the near future, with several projects completed over the last six years.
Those projects include West Central, the North Main and Ninth Street bridges, Vine and Central intersection, Sixth and Main intersection, Boyer Road and Third Street and School Road, as well as revamping the sewer and water lines.
“We need to take a break,” Chapin said.
They also have seen a lot going on in the industrial side of business, including BG Products bringing their plant online in the next couple of months and the Barton Solvents plant.
Another major project was the BG Products Veterans Sports Complex.
“What the stadium is doing for the college, school district and community pride doesn’t have a price on it,” Chapin said. “The stadium is one of El Dorado’s gems.”
The new schools are also something that will benefit the town, he said.
“For the last six years, it’s pretty impressive what’s been accomplished,” he said.
Chapin credits the city for having an honest and hardworking staff.
Throughout the projects, he said citizens have been able to watch him question the details on the projects, looking out for citizens’ best interests.
With those projects, they also have kept taxes in line with where they have always been.
Chapin said he is realistic with what the city is doing and how they spend money and he doesn’t want to “dream” with taxpayer dollars.
“Being in business, I understand the value of the dollar and how budgets work,” he said.
Page 2 of 2 - Looking at taxes, Chapin said he will support the sales tax that will be coming up for vote. He said that is important for the property tax relief it provides as well as funding for upkeep on streets and other projects throughout the community.
He also is in support of projects such as the spray parks, which he said have been a big hit, and bike paths.
Some of the input he has received on these issues is from the Youth Commission, of which he has been involved for several years.
“Every year I’ve had great kids,” Chapin said. “Most go on to be very successful in college.”
Regarding selling water to Wichita, Chapin is in support of the idea, but pointed out there is not a buyer yet.
“Once we have a buyer, we will have the opportunity to be a seller,” he said. “We need to see how the numbers flow, but I think it will be a win-win.”
Another issue still of importance to people is Prairie Trails Golf Course.
Chapin said he believes purchasing the golf course was the right thing for the city to do.
“It was one of the necessary things that made a lot of people happy and a lot of people mad,” he said.
A recent project is the wind turbine, something Chapin questioned throughout the process to make sure everything was in place.
“I don’t think we hurt ourselves with the investment and I think it will do what it should when it gets fixed,” he said.
It was damaged by the wind a few months ago.
“I think we all will benefit from it in the long run,” he said.
Chapin also feels they have united the city in the last six years, and now have fewer people complaining and more people praising what is being done.
“I am there to represent them,” he said of the citizens.
Chapin is a member of El Dorado, Inc., the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club. He is the owner of Caravan Carpet, which he started in 1984.
He also is a pilot and enjoys spending time at the airport. He has two children, his son, who is 26, is a geologist, and his daughter, who is 20, is a junior at Southwestern College in Winfield. Chapin grew up in Augusta and his parents still live there.