At-Large Election Preview: George Ghesquire

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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.

George Ghesquire is one of four candidates vying for Broken Arrow’s At-Large City Council seat and easily the most eclectic and entertaining, with his colorful ties and a campaign slogan of “Uncommon Sense.”

Ghesquire says he has no big agenda running for a council seat except to serve a city that has been good to him and help it grow. His opponents are incumbent Johnnie Parks, Will Vaughn and Sonja Potter.

Ghesquire ran for Broken Arrow School Board last year, finishing third in a four-way race won by Debbie Taylor.

The Broken Arrow municipal election is Tuesday, April 4.


GEORGE GHESQUIRE

Family: Wife, Tiffany; Children: Kyler,13; Adaya, 12; Marcus, 25; Uriah; 6

Education: Rhema Bible Training Center, graduate 1999

Current occupation: Estimator/project manager – WilJo Interiors, commercial drywall, paint, EIFS contractor.

Endorsements: OK2A, OKHPR “A Rating”


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?

Ghesquire: My motivation is my love for this city, and the culture here where neighbors are helpful to one another. I currently serve on the Board of Adjustment, a council-appointed position. I have 22 years of experience in the commercial construction field with attention to detail, and have led our Trail Life troop from 28 to 102 boys in 3 years, managing exponential growth.

Q: What would be your 3 biggest priorities for Broken Arrow if you are elected or re-elected?

Ghesquire: My only priority is to be a guardian at the gate, keeping out the insidious things that creep into cities and destroy a populace. I have no agenda or big plans for the city, but my superpower is helping someone with a good idea to execute their idea into a great accomplishment.

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?

Ghesquire: There are several options on the table, most of which would increase the tax burden on Broken Arrow citizens. My favorite option is to rally Broken Arrow to increase the revenue-producing businesses to cover the shortfall.

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?

Ghesquire: At this time, I have not seen enough of the proposed options to make this decision.

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?

Ghesquire: If there is one thing I’ve learned from meeting many of the department heads at the City of Broken Arrow, it’s that every department is open to listening to citizens and pursuing the best option for Broken Arrow collectively. It may not always be the most popular to some, but we have hardworking folks that constantly strive to do the best for Broken Arrow as a whole.

Q: Infrastructure (water, sewer, roads) is another pressing issue for Broken Arrow. How would you prioritize the infrastructure needs the city has and potentially fund them?

Ghesquire: I do not have enough information to thoroughly answer this question. Without seeing the options on the table, it would be impossible to answer at this time.

Q: Do you feel the city is utilizing TIF districts properly? Are there too many, or not enough?

Ghesquire: So far, it seems to be working. I look forward to more conversations about this.

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 in the city?

Ghesquire: Increasing opportunities for young adults, like a 4-year college; increasing entertainment options that stay open past 10 p.m., and increasing options for young families to have recreational time (like the Tulsa Zoo or Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks).

Q: Census figures show Broken Arrow is becoming more diverse, with the Hispanic community growing the fastest. What should be done, if anything, to ensure there is adequate outreach to minority populations in the city so they can have an appropriate voice in governance?

Ghesquire: I’ve worked in a trade that has a very large Hispanic percentage for the last 22 years. I’ve come to realize that most just want the opportunity to assimilate into the culture and know they’re part of the community. Anything that assists them to assimilate and gradually engage would be beneficial.

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?

Ghesquire: I’ve been excited to see the collaboration, and though I’ve had very little contact with MCN, I know that it’s been a labor of love for a significant time, and I’m happy to bring connection skills to the table.

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