Fourth Ward Election Preview: Scott Eudey
By John Dobberstein, Editor
This is one of a series of Q&A articles for each Broken Arrow City Council candidate brought to you by the Broken Arrow Sentinel.
Scott Eudey joined the City Council in 2015 and served as vice mayor from 2017 to 2021. Since making Broken Arrow his home, Eudey has served in numerous community service organizations and leadership positions.
Eudey started his legal career in 1998 as an associate attorney in the law offices of Jack W. Ross & Associates, located on Main Street in what is now known as the Rose District.
Eudey has been the managing partner of Ross & Eudey since 2010 and focuses on estate planning, business development, real estate and contracts.
Family: Son Taylor, 21; daughter Reagan, 14
Education: Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Tulsa; Juris Doctorate from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.
Current occupation: Attorney
Endorsements: Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors; Tulsa Home Builder’s Association; U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern; Clarence Oliver; Joe Robson; Mary Ann Colston, Tulsa County Treasurer John Fothergill, Tulsa County Clerk Michael Willis; Wagoner County Clerk Lori Hendricks; Gregory Graham; Kelly Kimbrough Rash; Bruce Schutte; former Broken Arrow School Board Member Max Smith; Michael Goldsmith; Greg Newburn.
Q: What motivated you to run for city council, or to seek re-election? What have you done over the last 4 years that shows you are qualified to be a city councilor?
Eudey: My motivation to run for re-election stems from my desire to serve my community and to finish what I started. There are a number of projects I would like to see to completion. First is the Innovation District. I believe my knowledge and experience with the Broken Arrow Chamber and Economic Development Corp., along with my legal background, make me ideally suited to help ensure that the Innovation District accomplishes our goals. Second, I want to see the Rose District completed with growth to the north and the south. Third, I was on the committee that helped create the concepts behind the new Elam Park and I would like to help guide its development, especially the aquatic center (natatorium). These are just three of the projects I believe I am best suited to help implement. Additionally, my record speaks for itself. I have led, along with several councils, the growth and development of our successful city and I would like to think that I am best suited to continue to do so.
Q: What would be your three biggest priorities for Broken Arrow if you’re re-elected?
Eudey: First would be to continue expanding and strengthening communication with the residents and, by means of this, increase transparency. Second is to continue to pass ordinances and establish budgets that allow us to accomplish all we need to do while safeguarding the taxpayer’s money and the citizens’ freedom. Third would be to complete those projects discussed above and referenced in question one, and many others.
Q: How should the city address the challenges it has with fire and police departments with the lack of resources, manpower shortages and continued population growth?
Eudey: Until our state laws and constitution are changed to allow for new streams of funding for public safety, it is the council’s duty to properly and carefully allocate funding for our police and fire services. This is made more challenging by the ups and downs of sales tax collections. We must continue working with the legislature and courts to address this issue. But in the meantime, the stewardship I and this council have shown in managing scarce resources -- to allow us to still be one of the safest cities in the state -- should continue and will continue if I am re-elected.
Q: Would you support funding emergency services through property tax revenue (referred to as public safety district) instead of sales tax revenue as is currently done?
Eudey: I am willing to look at all options as discussed above.
Q: Is development of Broken Arrow happening in the best interests of residents as a whole? What should be tweaked or changed, if anything, about how the city is regulating and planning for growth? Do you feel residents have enough say in what happens?
Eudey: Just 2 years ago the city, with input from citizens -- including multiple city meetings and online surveys -- worked to update our comprehensive plan and to modernize. We are currently doing the same thing for our zoning ordinances. I think we should review the comprehensive plan regularly to make sure that development continues to meet the needs of the residents and the growth of the city. I do believe we have a good balance at this time in development. We continue to allow for multiple types of housing and housing developments within the confines of state and federal law, while we continue to demand high standards in whatever is developed be that apartments or mansion.
Q: Infrastructure (water, sewer, roads, etc.) is another pressing issue for Broken Arrow. How would you prioritize the infrastructure needs the city has, and potentially fund them?
Eudey: Again, funding sources for cities in Oklahoma are very limited. The tools we have in our toolbox are sales tax dollars, general obligation bonds, loans (like those we have done with the Oklahoma Water Resource Board); federal and state grants and TIFs, and other similar limited use/limited area funding mechanisms. Unless and until laws are changed and additional funding sources are available, we will have to continue to allot dollars in the most reasonable and fiscally responsible manner. We must continue to replace our sewer and water lines that are aging and, in some cases, falling apart and we need to continue maintaining and improving our streets. Additionally, we need to maintain our facilities and ensure that they can continue to meet the needs of our residents. Additionally, we must keep adding and replacing sidewalks so our city can be both drivable and walkable.
Q: Do you feel the city is utilizing TIF districts properly? Are there too many, or not enough?
Eudey: I think we’ve had mostly excellent luck with TIFs when you look at the downtown TIF and the South Broken Arrow TIF. But not all TIFs are created equal. Specifically, some TIFs are just sales tax TIFs and some are just property tax TIFs and some are a mix. I don’t know that we have too many or too few. A TIF is a tool, like a hammer or a screwdriver. You use it when you need it and shouldn’t use it when you don’t. I think we must always, no matter what the funding mechanism, exercise due diligence, fiscal responsibility, and get buy-in from all those impacted. Again, transparency and openness are the keys.
Q: Nearly all age demographics in Broken Arrow have increased in recent years except young adults. What could the city do to keep more young professionals here?
Eudey: We must continue to focus on quality-of-life issues, as well as attracting good jobs. We need to continue to provide and increase great amenities like our parks and continue creating the circumstances that bring good jobs and education. The more opportunities for young people to stay and/or return, the more they will. It’s the council’s duty to provide the tools to make that happen. I believe my background with education and work with the Broken Arrow Chamber, including economic development, make me keenly suited for that task.
Q: Census figures show Broken Arrow is becoming more diverse, with the Hispanic community is growing the fastest. What should be done, if anything, to ensure there is adequate outreach to minority populations in Broken Arrow so they can have an appropriate voice in governance?
Eudey: Broken Arrow must continue to expand opportunities for all residents – current and future. This means doing things like the Hispanic Citizens Police Academy – which has been wildly successful; as well as encouraging our police officers, firefighters and support staff to learn additional languages, and encouraging events that appeal to and honor the cultural heritages of these new families.
Q: The City Council and Muscogee Creek National Council met last year to talk about unity in the community, and they have partnered on some projects. How do you feel the city’s relationship with MCN should be handled in the future, and where would you like to see more collaboration or communication?
Eudey: I think collaboration with the tribe is extremely important and should continue. There are numerous ways to do this including real estate and commercial developments, cultural events and other partnerships. As a person of Native American heritage myself (Choctaw), the tribes deserve our respect and attention and we should always work together wherever it makes sense.