This past week, Yukon City councilman Jeff Wootton challenged Yukon City manager Jim Crosby to “find creative ways” to rehire the eighteen City of Yukon workers who were laid off last week due to the effects of COVID-19 on the local sales tax collections. Wootton, who has done an outstanding job of representing his Ward and bringing Governor Kevin Stitt to town several times, is one of Yukon’s best cheerleaders second only to “Head Cheerleader Crosby.” Jeff made a nice suggestion and as I thought about his challenge to Jim the other night, I asked myself this question:
What would Yukon business leaders from the past do? What suggestions would Jim Snyder, Sr., Clarence Wright, Jim Niles, Jerry Ballentine, Garland Bloodworth, Art Kastner, Phil Thomason, Archie Howard, Randel Grigsby, Jackie Cooper, John Holt, Jim Ed Grant, Charlie Boyd, Larry Deatherage, Fenton Ramey, George Ramey, Lee Mac Cloud, John Miller, Marolyn Pryor, Genie Vinson, Earline Smaistrla, Chuck Stewart, Dr. Irwin McClendon, Dr. Steve Drabek, Dr. McCall Bundy, Ken McAlister, Anton Yanda, Frank Greer, Tim Wagner, Sheila Dahl, Jodie Denton, Larry Masters, Bill Merritt, Jerry McNeil, Stan Greil, Blayne Cole, Lewis Hawkins, Charles Brandley, Colby Schwartz, Ray Young, Dan Fisher or John Kouba recommend that we do to put these folks back on the payroll?
Wednesday morning, I pictured myself sitting in my office, Clarence sitting to my right, I mean “Wright”…..Jackie Cooper sitting to my left, staring me down across the table I see Ken McAlister and Charlie Boyd. Oh yeah, Marolyn Pryor walks in the door and takes her place at the table, just a few minutes late from closing yet another million dollar deal. My God that gives me chills. The opportunity to sit with some of the best business people that have ever operated businesses in the State of Oklahoma. Smart men and women that have handled large amounts of money and have managed large numbers of employees. Folks that know how to get things done.
I pictured myself going around the table and asking everyone what they would do to get these City of Yukon employees back to work and back on the payroll. I listen as Jackie Cooper talks about how he operated his car dealerships by surrounding himself with the best salespeople he could find. By hiring OU and OSU football players on the sales teams and how their friends and family would come in and buy cars! I notice how Jack specifically focuses on his specialty of auto dealerships. I pay close attention to Marolyn Pryor and her explanation of ABC. Always Be Closing. Marolyn can close a real estate deal with anyone, anywhere, anytime, any where in the country. I notice how Marolyn specifically focuses on her specialty of real estate. I then ask the “Holy Father” a.k.a. Yukon’s Best Catholic Ken McAlister what he would do. I watch the “Blessed One” and as he says, “Anderson, After you get through praying about it” he then tells everyone how his staff makes after hours calls to their customers about making sure they have their medicine, how he offers specialty items right here in Yukon for his senior citizen customers and diabetic customers and how he treats his employees like members of his family. As the Yukon POPE anoints me with Holy Water, I pray to him and notice his exclusive focus on his pharmacy business.
I then look over at Clarence Wright. What can I say? Back in the day, this old man has been the special editorial cartoon character on the editorial page in The Daily Oklahoman. Everyone knows Clarence and everyone has an eye on Clarence. “When E.F. Hutton talks……People Listen.” Wright tells everyone he likes to focus on banking. And that the reason he and his son Mayor Ray Wright brought Jim Crosby to town back in the 20th century is because Jim knows what to do. He has been there. He has seen it all. He can turn a vacant lot into Oklahoma’s biggest Christmas Lights display. He can helped fill a dilapidated downtown area into a Red Dirt concert that attracts 20,000 cowboys and cowgirls on a Thursday night!
He can put together a Taste of Yukon event that outduels Edmond’s Taste of Edmond event. He has rebuilt or repaved more than 41 miles of streets and roads in our community. Clarence tells me he is kind of afraid Jim Crosby will leave Yukon for his new office in Washington, D.C. as a member of Congress.
My daydream soon wore off and I arrived at the following conclusion.
When some of Yukon’s Best smart business people all come to the same conclusion that we need to trust our City Manager (our city governor) and let him guide us through to the other side of this pandemic then I believe that is what we should do. Let’s trust those that understand businesses and how to run a business.
Romans 13:1 reads: “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Thanks so much for reading. I will see you next Saturday. Would you like a Progress?
Yukon Progress Publisher Randy K. Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (405) 517-5168.