Big Changes In Blanchard As Voters Oust Council Members, Mayor, City Manager

Friday, April 22nd 2011, 4:29 pm
By: News 9

Adrianna Iwasinski, News 9

BLANCHARD, Oklahoma -- People living in the small town of Blanchard have seen some big changes in their city leadership this week.

First, voters elected three new council members and voted out their longtime mayor. Then, 48 hours after taking office, the city council voted three to two to oust City Manager Bill Edwards.

Shortly after, Blanchard Police Chief Tom Linn resigned.

Some might be concerned over so much upheaval, but most of the people News 9 spoke with say they are happy about the changes.

"It's a new day," said Mayor Frank Broyles. "The people have spoken and I think it will be a good thing."

There also seems to be less tension at the Blanchard Police Department.

Half the officers had filed grievances against the former police chief and city manager. At one time, the department was down five officers who had either been fired or quit. Now the Blanchard Police Department is fully staffed, and the officers say they fully support acting Police Chief Dennis Fury.

"Now we can finally do our jobs," FOP Vice President Steve Lanier said.

No word yet on what former chief Tom Linn and former city manager Bill Edwards are doing now. As for the former mayor, Greg Shupert, he says he's going back to his private business ventures.

"It was a privilege to serve the people of Blanchard," said Shupert. "I am praying for the community."