I have had the honor of serving as the City of Edmond Ward 4 City Councilman since March 2012, and as Mayor Pro-Tem since May 2019. I wanted to share some news with you about a decision I made earlier this year. Many have known that I was not going to run for re-election for my council seat and that I was considering running for mayor in 2021. After giving it considerable thought, and talking it over with my wife, Dr. Karen Mahlmeister, I decided in January that I would not run for either position and will leave office when my term expires at the end of April 2021. I will have had nine years in office at that point, and I believe it is time for me to move on and for someone else to take it from here.
I decided to make this announcement now so that anyone who might be considering running for either of those council positions will have time to decide what they might like to do and can prepare for their campaign. The filling period for next year’s election is the first week of December, 2020.
My primary reason for running for city council 8 ½ years ago was to be an advocate for business, promote a pro-business environment, and to help drive economic development in our great city. I am proud to say that I think I have accomplished a lot of that and hope I have had a positive impact on our community over these years. As an elected official, one of the things you always hope to do is leave things better than when you started.
As a business owner and economist, I was reminded of a number of important business lessons while working with the City of Edmond. For one, I saw that the same principals of running a business also apply when running a large city like Edmond, only on a much larger scale. Like any business, you need to match income to expenses, create budgets, keep cash in reserve, and always be on the lookout for something that could screw it all up. Surprises lurk around every corner.
On top of that, there are always future capital outlays that you need to budget for. At the same time, you need to budget for maintenance and repair of the assets you already have. It is amazing all the things that go on in running a city. The City of Edmond operates on an approximately $350 million annual budget. Business is business, and it doesn’t matter whether you are a small business, a large business, or a municipality. You still have to run it like a business. These last eight-plus years have been quite an eye-opener for me, and I believe I have learned a lot of things that help make me a better business owner as well.
Among the things I had a major or minor part in include:
- Creating the first Edmond Incentive Plan for both primary and secondary business to bring in additional sales tax revenue and cause additional private development to occur.
- Participating through the whole development process, construction, and opening of the Hilton Garden Inn and Edmond Conference Center.
- Instrumental in the incentive and development process that brought ShowBiz to Edmond.
- Instrumental in developing the financing structure for the Public Safety Center.
- Leadership involvement with other city projects, including Route 66 Softball Park, the MAC, new water towers, a major wastewater treatment plant upgrade, and the railroad crossing quiet zones.
2018 saw the most commercial activity in Edmond’s history.
One area I am particularly proud of is growth and development downtown, including:
Still in the works are:
- The Ice House district
- The Towns at Stephenson Park
- Stephenson Park redevelopment
A major goal of mine was to transform downtown Edmond into an entertainment destination for live music, dining, and the arts, and we are in the early stages of that happening.
I made this decision to not run because it is time for me to spend more time with my family and more time running my business and taking care of my clients at Massey Financial Services. I am not one who is likely to fully retire and have no plans to do so anytime soon. However, focusing on fewer things at my age of almost 73 seems like the right thing to do. Besides, with a little more free time, maybe I’ll be able to play my music and perform a little more often. That side hobby of mine has turned into an unexpected success, and I thoroughly enjoy playing my music for my many friends and fans.
While I will miss my involvement with the city council and the many friends I have made, it is time for me to move on. I have complete confidence that whoever is in that role after me will help take our city to even greater accomplishments. Serving our community and our citizens has been one of the great honors and privileges of my life and is a time I will always remember with pride and fondness. I’m not going anywhere though, so I look forward to seeing everyone around town as we continue to watch Edmond grow.
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About Nick Massey
Nick Massey is President of Massey Financial Services in Edmond, Oklahoma. Nick can be reached at www.nickmassey.com. Investment advice offered through Householder Group Estate and Retirement Specialists, a registered investment advisor.