Question 5. What do you believe are the three most important challenges facing the city of Jenks and how can you help address them?
David Randolph- I view the challenges for Jenks in three categories. First, there are emergencies, such as flooding, the pandemic, tornadoes, and crime. Then there are semi-urgent problems, such as year-to-year budgets, fixing roads, and specific projects such as the outlet mall. And there are long-term challenges, such as strategic growth, good zoning, quality schools, solid infrastructure, business development, and general quality of life.
If the City of Jenks can provide good government, it can handle all of these challenges. By good government, I want the city (1) to support public health and safety, including safe schools and neighborhoods, (2) have transparency and ethics, with citizen input, and (3) to operate with a view towards what’s best for the families and citizens in Jenks. This will allow the city to be nimble for emergencies, able to execute on projects, and strategic for the future.
Essentially, I want to further professionalize the city and eliminate the “good ol’ boy” system that has existed and not always served Jenks well.
Krista Monk- Public health and Safety, Smart Communities and Educational Equity:
Public health and safety:
Jenks current leadership had the opportunity to secure the safety of the citizens during the on-going pandemic and somehow we ended up in one of the worst zones in Oklahoma. I am not pointing fingers but with my background in public health epidemiology adequate safety plans will be enforced early along with educational measures… We ended up waiting too late to enforce a basic option that has shown success.
Smart communities are areas we need to focus on:
Currently There are two active city bonds reaching maturation in the next 5 years. We need to better re-evaluate funding plans for the community in a proactive manner. Including Technological advancements I have in mind for Jenks will be low cost concurrently with improved efficiency.
Providing Safeway lanes for different modes of travel: running pedestrians, bikers, and all two wheel users. We also need more sidewalks.
I want to focus on all underrepresented individuals in our area to ensure that Jenks overall economic value increases, the smarter we are whether through science centers or museums .
Kevin Short- Economic Development is the primary role of the City Council. Every decision regarding will have potential impacts to the City's residents and School systems.
We must move the City forward in economically-productive decisions relating to infrastructure buildout. Several key infrastructure items, including the south connecting bridge and low-water dam are hyper-critical, time-sensitive pieces of economic-improving components to our City.
Successfully leading the various constituents, including the municipalities of Tulsa, Bixby, and Glenpool in addition to Tulsa County, are critical in the finalization of these projects. I believe my leadership developed over 25+ years of community involvement and professional development will help build those relationships. All, emphasis on ALL, Jenks residents expect and deserve and an economy that grows our revenue base without additional burden on them through additional incremental tax and/or utility rate increases.
I have spent my career in consumer, commercial and municipal finance. I understand the finite details involved in growing this economy and how it impacts small and medium-sized businesses and the residents of Jenks.
Comments from David: I agree infrastructure and economic development are very important. But you should know a few things.
First, despite all the talk of economic development, neither Kevin nor the bank where he works are members of the Jenks Chamber of Commerce. I'm a member and have been engaged in the local business community.
Second, infrastructure is important, but neither Kevin or Krista supported (or even voted on) the 2020 Go Bond, which funded road improvements on Elm between 111th and 131st and other important projects. Do they support these projects? Even more, the infrastructure should serve businesses and residents—not only businesses. If you don't want your neighborhood streets fixed because they don’t serve a business, you found your candidate.
Beyond economic development and infrastructure—how exactly does Kevin feel about and balance other important city functions, such as ethics, transparency, and public health and safety? We have not heard.
I've also gotten questions about the good ol' boy system. There's a lot of things wrong with it, including:
Picking friends over better-qualified individuals for city positions
Undisclosed conflicts of interest
Using the city as a cash register, with improper reimbursements
Racism and harassment
Not seeking or taking seriously citizen input
Not recognizing that we have a diverse city
This is why we need to professionalize our city and move away from all of this. Instead of a legal challenge, the best way would be to further improve our City Council.