NORMAN — Earlier this month George Skinner, Cleveland County District 2 Commissioner, celebrated his retirement after 22 years of service in office.
The retirement reception was held at the Cleveland County Courthouse where friends, family and coworkers celebrated the end of Skinner’s career as a public official.
“I loved being a county commissioner,” Skinner said. “There were always different things to do, different people to meet with. I just really enjoyed it — if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have done it for 22 years.”
Skinner first took office January 7, 1991 and has stayed busy over the years. He said they have done a number of projects and bond issues over the years that have saved tax payers a lot of money.
Whether it was getting schools funding for buildings or working on county roads, he was doing what he could to help serve his district and Cleveland County. When he took office in 1991 he said most of the roads in the eastern part of the county were dirt or rock. Today most of they have a hard surface.
“My road crew is better than anybody’s. We surfaced and resurfaced enough roads to where you can travel to Dallas and all the way back almost,” he said.
The most challenging project he took on was replacing Hog Creek Bridge on 149th St. he said. There were 3-5 acres of wetlands that were destroyed during the project, the road had to be built up about six feet and they had to curve it behind high-line poles.
“But we were able to get it done,” he said.
Road projects and bond issues weren’t the only changes that occurred over the years though. Skinner switched political parties about 10 years ago, changing from a Democrat to a Republican. Republican beliefs became closer to his beliefs he said.