Lead Technician for Communications Company
WorldCom/MCI/Verizon Business 2000-2010
City of Tulsa 1994-2000
US Army 1986-1994
1997 - 2000 Tulsa Community College Tulsa, OK
1993-1994 Micro Computer Technology Fairfax, VA
Combat Signaler and Electronics
1986-1987 United States Army Signal School Fort Gordon, GA
Tulsa County Sheriff's Office Reserve Deputy (retired) 1999-2016.
What experience, insights and abilities will you bring to the City Council that make you especially qualified for the position?
I have probably the most diverse background of any candidate currently in office, or running. As a combat veteran, a retired law enforcement officer, father, husband, previous business owner, corporate employee, former City of Tulsa employee, I'm not sure anyone can match my life experience. My decision making looks at long-term gains versus short-sighted. I involve as many people as possible to have as many facts available for critical thinking. I believe in wise spending of tax dollars, instead of wasteful spending to emulate the ideas of other cities incomparable to Tulsa's infrastructure. Identify and eliminate special interest groups from having louder voices than citizens, that have agendas that are counter-productive and control leaders.
What are your top priorities for your constituent area?
The TOP issue that people voice, are the number of unlawful businesses operating in East Tulsa. This culture that has been allowed to fester, and has angered folks. Allowance has caused legitimate business to leave East Tulsa. We need to create a coalition of businesses in East Tulsa. Public safety. Create more focused groups in neighborhoods that don't have formal HOAs, by using the 4-house approach. Continue the drive to get more participation in the RING doorbell program with TPD, and additional officers at higher times of opportunity for crime. Light up the neighborhood campaign, to make it less attractive. East Tulsa diversity group. Get all cultures together to discuss issues, and determine how we as neighbors can solve some of our own issues without government. Identify respected leaders in those communities. Shed the term "Little Mexico" as a derogatory term used by citizens to describe East Tulsa.
How do you plan to involve citizens in the decision-making process?
I plan on using Town Halls, Nextdoor app, and Facebook. Folks who have busy schedules need alternative methods to stay connected in order to know what's going on in their community. I believe that these avenues give more than a handful of folks the knowledge and understanding that is missing with current leadership. They claim to understand the citizens, but don't use the tools readily available, and where their constituents are most connected. Leaders should keep citizens informed, and when big issues arise, such as the mask mandate, they should lead the discussion to involve as many citizens as possible. Votes on an issue shouldn't come as a surprise to the community. Until I started my campaign for City Council, I had never met, nor heard of my representative. This speaks volumes to me as to how little effort was made to reach out to the whole, versus a few.
What would you do as a City Council member to positively impact efforts to attract new employers and retain those we currently have?
We have to create a place that people want to visit, and spend their money. The Gathering Place was a great start, but it's not enough. Bell's was a great family venue that many people have expressed regret in losing. We need to find more business that has that same appeal. Recreational venues are what drive our dollars down the road to OKC. We have to fix that, and create additional attractions for families, and teens. I personally would love to see Bell's come back with updated equipment, but if not them, some other operation. We need to make it easy for businesses to do business in Tulsa by creating tax packages or TIFs that encourage new business. Tesla not choosing Tulsa is a loss of jobs and revenues. This is the most recent, but what caused Tulsa to lose other big opportunities? These are the questions the public needs to know. We also have to eliminate unlawful businesses.
Do you believe the mask mandate is helpful? Please expand on why or why not.
I think the intended mandate is having the intended effect as it relates to our services, and business communities. This is where the partnership of the City's government should have created its coalition in the first place in my opinion. The great aspect of business, is that it's not public domain, so they can and may institute restrictions on those they tender services to. I think groups like the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor's Office could have used their influence effectively without resorting to a mask mandate. With controversy over fraud, testing, reporting of data, and selective certification of experts, it created a divide. Leaders need to do a better job at answering questions surrounding this, instead of letting disinformation spread throughout the community. Leaders need to embrace opposing sides of every issue in public forum, so that citizens can better understand, and more readily accept decisions made.
Are you planning to accept/have accepted campaign contributions from the Fraternal Order of Police, and if so, why?
The FOP decided in November 2019 to support the incumbent Connie Dodson without entertaining or determining who would be on the ballot for the upcoming election. My campaign started in August of 2019, and I was told at the Tulsa Regional Chamber luncheon that they would be supporting her. I've never met, nor spoken to anyone in the FOP, and wasn't even given a reason why they wouldn't support a retired law enforcement officer. Since the FOP gave Connie an award in 2019, their support was purely political, and they told my strategist that they didn't think I could unseat the incumbent. Being a retired law enforcement officer, and not being supported by a law enforcement group, it has been a little more than discouraging.