Mayoral candidate Glynda Oliver said there are things that need to happen in Muskogee to make it a quality place to live and raise a family.

Oliver said she would like to see those changes made while she presides over the City Council.

“There are several things I would like to see get done,” Oliver said. “I would like to see them get done my way. I have a unique perspective and ideas that I think can help Muskogee change for the better.”

Oliver’s concerns stem from her experience as a full-time housewife and mother of four. Originally from Claremore, Oliver said she wants to make sure Muskogee will be a good, safe place to get a good education and grow up.

What sets Oliver apart from her five opponents in the race to fill outgoing Mayor Wren Stratton’s post is the fact that she is “a real person,” she said.

“I am not wealthy or flashy — I am a real person with real ideas,” Oliver said of herself and her candidacy. “I don’t know many ‘big wigs,’ I have no one on my slate, and I am not backing anyone. I just want to help the citizens of the town I love and the town I am building a future for my children in.”

Oliver said Muskogee must address:

• Programs to provide additional youth activities.

• Shelters for the homeless.

• Improved health care services for low- and no-income families.

With regard to youth activities, Oliver said Muskogee should create a place “that encourages good behavior, a place where they (younger residents) can go to on weekends and make positive choices.” Oliver said such places discourage illegal drug use, underage drinking and teen pregnancies.

To address homelessness in Muskogee, Oliver said she would like to see some of the community foundation funds used to help The Salvation Army re-open its homeless shelter and possibly fund another. In addition, Oliver said, foundation funds should be used to provide job placement assistance, transportation for employees and to educate those looking for jobs about expectations in the workplace.

Oliver said trying to find a way to provide health care for those who cannot afford is something she is very interested in doing.

“I like to call this idea ‘My Baby,” Oliver said. “I would like to see a low-income to no-income medical clinic opened up.”

Oliver cited one local clinic that attempts to do this, the Good Shepherd Health Clinic., a joint mission of St. Paul United Methodist Church and St. Joseph Catholic Church established in 2000 to help the working poor. But Oliver said demand for services outstrips the clinic’s ability to provide the same.

“This clinic stays so busy and is very hard to get into,” Oliver said. “I would like to open a clinic that provides medical assistance to the poor ... and its hours of operation are in the evening — so many people cannot make it to the doctor during the work week.”

In contrast to what former City Manager Walt Beckham has encouraged, Oliver said she thinks part of the hospital proceeds should be used for infrastructure improvements such as roads.

“We have single mothers working 40 to 50 hours a week trying to care for their children,” Oliver said. “They don’t have the money for new taxes to pay for road improvements. The roads are just terrible, and it’s time to fix them, not patch them.”

Reach D.E. Smoot at 918-684-2903 or Click Here to Send Email

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