Ever since the first land run in United States history, Guthrie has had a legacy of firsts for Oklahoma –the first licensed drugstore (Lillie’s Drug), the site of the first federal jail, the first public library for African Americans (which was also the first publically-funded library in Oklahoma), and even the first Bedlam Game (played in Mineral Wells Park). The slogan “Oklahoma’s First Capitol” remains evident and undeniable even now, from the buildings and the historic district and markers to the history lessons taught to children across Oklahoma. The past holds a multitude of lessons to learn from and build upon to continue our legacy of Guthrie firsts.
My goal as City Manager is to take the best practices from the past to help guide Guthrie to the future as ranking first in Oklahoma in many areas:
* First in Service – ensuring exceptional Fire/EMS and Police response, strong infrastructure, amenities, and high quality interactions and benefits provided by City staff to impact and improve the daily lives of our citizens and neighbors.
* First in Education – strengthening our local public schools to building relationships and partnerships with Langston University, Guthrie Job Corps, and Meridian Technology Center.
* First in Job Growth – offering beneficial and progressive economic and community development policies and partnerships with businesses, entrepreneurs, and the local Chamber of Commerce, as well as developing and building a strong workforce.
* First in combining Historic Preservation with Economic Vitality – preserving the past while working toward a stronger financial foundation, whether through events such as ‘89er Days Celebration and Territorial Christmas, to creating and enforcing policies ensuring the preservation of the historic downtown architecture.
* First in Family – working to keep Guthrie safe and friendly to families, providing recreational spaces such as parks and lakes, public events and opportunities for work and leisure.
* First in Entertainment – encouraging options such as productions at the Pollard Theatre, classes at the Art Center, live music from the Bluegrass Festival along with smaller shows and concerts, Bed-and-Breakfast getaways, and museums such as the Oklahoma Territorial Museum, Territorial Capitol Sports Museum, and Frontier Drugstore Museum.
* First in Healthcare – leveraging and working with Mercy Hospital Logan County and various senior living and care facilities.
* First in Caring – supporting United Way of Logan County and social programs like Neighborhood Solutions and Logan Community Services to meet the needs of those who are struggling.
* First in Quality of Life – providing social spaces and forums, enhancing the local public library, and offering meaningful and life-enriching tools and experiences for citizens and visitors alike, with ample opportunities to have a voice and to serve.
* First in Community – demonstrating the unity of our citizens from past and present to build something great through our dedication and ability to work together, come together, find solutions to issues through all levels of government.
Guthrie has a strong legacy of firsts. By building on the lessons of our past and the tools and resources we already have, I have confidence that by working together, Guthrie can continue to carry the legacy forward and keep Guthrie known, renowned, and respected as Oklahoma’s first.