By Mike Smith
The Duncan Banner
Before getting to official business Tuesday night, city leaders in Duncan — and a former state lawmaker — reflected on the tragic death of Christopher Lane and urged residents to unite in moving forward.
“In our healing process let us pull together in the same direction and work to overcome the things that are being said about our city of Duncan worldwide,” Mayor Gene Brown said in opening the Duncan City Council meeting.
Brown said residents must work to reach young people, encourage them to respect others and themselves, support schools and the law and help to get parents involved in their children’s lives through activities, sports and church.
The crime committed Aug. 16 — when Lane was fatally shot while jogging along Country Club Road — does not define Duncan, Brown said. Three teens from Duncan are accused in his death.
“How we react to what happened to us defines who we are,” he said.
Ed Apple, a former state representative who has lived in Duncan for 45 years, attended Tuesday’s meeting with his wife Betty. Both have been active in the community for years, and Ed Apple gave a brief prayer before the meeting.
He said afterwards that his faith in the community and in the living American principle of “we the people” moved him to come and encourage others to find strength.
“Frankly I’ve had a lot of experiences in my lifetime and but I’d say that nothing has occurred in my community that has struck me like this,” Apple said. “The senselessness, the purposelessness, the evil.”
Apple said since his days as an aviator, he has believed strongly in debriefings — analyzing what went right and what went wrong and learning from it.
“I think that’s where we are as a community,” he said.
But he said some events are simply impossible to understand.
“There is nothing in my mind where I can reconcile a thought that the society of Duncan created this circumstance,” he said. “It was the creation of minds that are beyond civility.”
Said Brown: “We all have struggled with asking why this happened, what could have prevented this tragedy. I have not found the answers.”
In official city business, the Council voted to:
n Spend about $23,000 for a new pickup truck for the Lakes Department. City Manager Jim Frieda said Rusty Smith and his crew have been getting hand-me-down vehicles for years, most recently from the Police Department, and a new four-wheel-drive truck was needed.
n Use insurance funds to purchase a $27,000 SUV interceptor for the Police Department. A previous one was totaled in a wreck.