About Gary Barksdale
Gary Barksdale is a candidate for Mayor and a lifelong resident of Norman Oklahoma. He teaches at the University of Oklahoma as a Mathematics Instructor, and has done so for over quarter century. He is also a part time adjunct professor at Oklahoma City Community College.
Gary is a 4th generation Normanite and his mother’s side of the family pre-dates statehood here in Norman. His mother is a hometown gal who met his father when he was stationed at the Naval Base here in town. He is the 5th of 7 in his family siblings, 5 brothers and one sister, all of whom still reside here in Oklahoma. He is a single father to a brilliant son who attends Norman North High School. He has been a certified educator for over 27 years and has taught for Tecumseh Schools, DHS and an OJA Juvenile Corrections facility (COJC in Tecumseh).
He is an ’88 OU grad, with a degree in Mathematics and Education, graduated as an Academic All American, is a Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Fraternity member, and attended Graduate School at OU, as well. He worked his way through his undergrad degree as a fitness instructor for International Fitness Center and worked for the City of Norman Parks Department and Street Department in the early 80’s.
He has devoted his entire life to serving others in education and in 1988, turned down a position with EDS as a systems engineer in Dallas to stay here and teach in Oklahoma. His is one brain that was not drained from this great state. Service to community is paramount in his life and his record of public service speaks for itself: He served on Saint Joseph Parish Council for a 3 year term, was PTA president for 2 terms, has coached soccer for the NYSA for 9 years, teaches Religious Education at Saint Mark’s Catholic Church, was an All-Star Dad volunteer at Adams Elementary, volunteered with the Math Counts program at Whittier Middle School, is a Lector and Communion Minister at Saint Mark’s Catholic Church, volunteered for the Adopt A Professor program at the University, is a fourth degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus, donates time and food to the Salvation Army, volunteered his mornings for 8 years as a crossing guard to assure the safety of the elementary school children at Adams Elementary School, was nominated twice as a “Volunteer of the Year” for the United Way, and spends numerous volunteer hours for the Norman North High School Band.
He was recognized in 2010 by the OK House of Representatives and the governor with a Citation for Distinguished Service to Norman Community. Working with Feed the Children and the OEA, he arranged for the donation of 200 backpacks full of school supplies to the impoverished children at Adams Elementary. He also arranged for the donation of 500 books to kids who couldn’t afford to buy books at the Adams Scholastic Book Fair.
Why I run
“The same calling that drew me to become a teacher is what I am responding to here as well. It is my intent to be a true servant of the people.
I am an advocate of personal liberty, personal responsibility, and a government with less intrusiveness to our homes, businesses and personal lives.
My primary concern is assuring that our community is safe, so I support our officers and the Community Oriented Policing program.
Spending by our current leadership needs to reined in and we must be allowed to negotiate for costs of those with whom we contract. We should prioritize our spending to address long term problems that are still unresolved. We need a balanced budget. I also intend to work with the State Leadership to change the law to allow for Municipal governments to competitively bid.
The City needs to keep its commitments to the citizens and fulfil promises to the Senior Citizens and PSST earmarks.
The storm water drain off treatment facility is outstanding, but a water quality plan needs to be utilized that allows us to use our treated run off water. Increasing the volume of our drinkable water by using the treated water will reduce the percentage of chromium contaminants. Currently we treat storm run off water and send it down the Canadian River. If we can treat that water to allow for consumption we should do so.
There needs to be a substantive ethics code which holds city elected officials accountable; a code with a meaningful due process, and consequences for any contumacious or repeated violation of the ethics code.
We must be able to balance the needs of the citizens with the business expansion and the opportunities for all to be considered.
Maintaining the reputation of excellence in the community of Norman is necessary. I expect excellence, honesty, and integrity on the part of all elected officials and will hold myself to the same standards expected of all Norman citizens. In fact, elected officials should be held to a higher standard than those who trust them to that position.
Accountability Integrity & Maturity of leadership WILL result in good government. There should be no such thing as a ruling class, or those who believe that because of their status as elected officials, they are somehow elite and above the law. All of us should be held to the same standards under the rule of law. I also promise to promote open dialog with the business owners, parents, citizens, teachers and public servants to come up with meaningful resolutions to benefit our community; ALL folks within the community deserve a voice, not just those hand-picked by the elected leaders. I intend to hold community “town hall” type meetings with HOA’s, civic groups and churches.
The greatest title I have is the title, ‘Dad’, then ‘Teacher’. I enjoy vegetable gardening, home canning, shooting sports, hunting, disc golf, and herpetology.”
Vote April 5 for a positive conservative change in our City Government. Vote for Gary Barksdale for Mayor of Norman!
Accountability: spend the citizens’ money responsibly & hold our elected officials to a higher standard.
Integrity: do what we promise the taxpayers and formulate a substantive ethics code with due process.
Maturity: prioritize to meet the needs of all Norman (public safety, water and infrastructure should rank above other issues).
AIM for GOOD government!
I appreciate your support!
Call me at 405.476-1106, 701-2368
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or Checkout my Facebook Page for more information