Months ago, reporter Joe Johnson covered a city council meeting and didn't like what he saw. His
determination to do something about it let to his being elected the youngest mayor in the state. Johnson,
easy going mustachioed and with sun bleached blond hair touching his ear lobes, is 24. Although his
victory over three-term mayor Tulley O'Reilly, a man 40 years his senior, is three months past, Johnson
is still campaigning.
He wants reform and wont settle for anything less. Things are changing for the young mayor
who has a fisheye view of the town of 2,000 plus at his office door. “I was dissatisfied with the past
and the way things had past and the way things had been going.” said the former journalism student
and reporter for the Eufaula Indian Journal. “People weren't really aware of some of the things that
were going on at City Hall.” Johnson said his background in journalism helped him shape his own
ideas on a government's responsibility towards citizens and the importance of keeping voters informed.
The Eastern Oklahoma State College graduate began working election night and has been at it ever
since. Unneeded jobs are being eliminated through attrition at a savings of 14,000 a year. City
employees are getting a salary boost, the town’s tourism potential is being better realized and a
menacing juvenile burglary problem is being placed under control.