Life on Council House Square

 What Changes Do You Want To See In Okmulgee?

The past three years in Okmulgee have brought a whirlwind of changes to our town! Young people are excitedly moving here to become a part of Okmulgee Rising, and our community has come together in a way that’s been missing for decades. Businessmen and businesswomen feel it, our local churches feel it, and our youth are even starting to step up and get involved. I’ve said it before, but this is truly the most exciting time to live in Okmulgee!

I’ve discussed in my past articles the challenges that come with change, and I know that for as many people that view the changes taking place as positive, there are also those who liked things the way they were. I’m passionate about involving everyone, and I do mean everyone, in Okmulgee Rising. I’m intentionally hopeful in believing that once people feel the positive momentum that’s happening in our town they’ll want to come on board with the changes. I believe this because I know at the heart of what’s taking place in Okmulgee is a change in attitude. It’s a willingness to believe in this community again.

So, incorporating the belief that Okmulgee is capable of anything its citizens are willing to stand up and work for and towards – I’ll ask again: What change do YOU want to see in Okmulgee? Email me! I want to hear business ideas, social event ideas, and new organizational startup ideas. The limit is your imagination! We’ve seen just how much Okmulgee can do with the limited resources we have, and we’re all feeling like our town is on the verge of something BIG, but I want to hear your big ideas!

Tuesday at the Lion’s Club, Anthony Nieto, this newspaper’s general manager, described the transformation he’s seen happening in Okmulgee. For his part, there have been BIG changes in the paper you’re holding in your hands. New columns to read, like Katina’s ‘A Few of My Favorite Things’, and Kaitie Dillard’s current movie reviews are both excellent. And, of course, Dr. Path’s column which continues to be wonderful! There’s renewed vision with the Focus magazine that’s released annually, and accessibility changes that are helping to bring this paper to younger professionals in our community. You lead a creative team, Anthony, and you’re doing a fantastic job!

One concern that I’ve discussed recently with my wife, is the fact that a lot of the ideas we in leadership hear, and the changes we see taking place, don’t often come from those whom I’ll call the ‘everyday working class’ in our community. Ideas and change more often come from those in the community who are either in high enough capacities of the organizations they lead to have the free time to attend meetings, or perhaps self-employment enables them to be at our functions, or maybe it’s an expected part of their job duties. Those who work from early in the mornings until late evenings may not have time to attend our events or participate in the changes that are taking place. I understand why that is, but all the same, I don’t like it. I want everyone in our town to feel ownership in our community. What can bring us together more? What will better help us to know the needs in our community from your perspective? Reach out to me, and reach out to our City Councilors. If you can’t make the City Council meetings, call them and let them know what Okmulgee needs to turn its focus to. If you don’t know their names and numbers, I’ll give them to you! I can’t wait to hear from YOU!

You can email me anytime at:

*Additional (and awesome) contributions were made to this article by Kasey Bowers.

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Richard Larabee is an Okmulgee downtown resident. He serves as President-elect of Main Street, and Chairman of The Roger Brooks Okmulgee Task Force committee under the Chamber of Commerce. He is an Independent Petroleum Landman, and his office is located in the McCulloch building in downtown Okmulgee.

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