By Carol Mowdy Bond
Mike Fina, the Oklahoma Municipal League’s executive director, encouraged residents to focus on quality of life and community as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hosted by the City of Yukon, Fina was the featured speaker for Yukon Mayor Shelli Selbi’s 2021 Mayor’s Breakfast April 23 at the Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore Drive in Yukon.
Fina said, “A lot of great things are going on in Yukon. Yukon has a first-class hospital and medical park. Why is Yukon so special? You can be born in Yukon, live and work your entire life in Yukon, Yanda and Son Funeral Home and Cremation Services can handle your death, and you never leave Yukon. There are few cities that can boast of all that.”
Fina’s message centered around the five key points of quality of life. Fina said, “The five points are: Where do you raise your family? Schools. Where you worship. Where you fellowship with neighbors or hang out with your buddies. Where you work.”
“Those five things mean ‘home.’ Home is an incredibly powerful word. Home is all the life it provides us.
“The job of improving quality of life belongs to municipal government. Municipalities are in charge of our daily quality of life including water, roads, parks, sidewalks, the police department, the fire department, and more. No U.S. president has had a bigger impact on your quality of life than your mayor,” Fina said.
Fina urged the audience to think of the word “community” as a verb, and said, “Think independently, but work collectively. To make it work, include being considerate of one another.”
Mentioning that we are coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fina encouraged everyone to circle back to being a community again. “Say something nice to someone today. Do something nice. Anything. Pray for others to heal and move forward,” Fina said.
Before introducing Fina, Selby addressed the very large crowd which included mayors and city managers from the cities of El Reno, Mustang, Bethany, and Piedmont, as well as Tammy Kretchmar who is Yukon’s city manager. Yukon city c ouncil members present included Ward I City Council Member Rick Cacini, and Ward III City Council Member Donna Yanda. Pam Shelton, who is the CEO of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce, was present, along with Dist 60 Rep. Rhonda Baker, R-Yukon, Dist. 43 Rep. Jay Steagall, R-Yukon, and Dist. 41 Rep. Denise Crosswhite-Hader, R-Yukon. Dist. 3 County Commissioner Jack Stewart and Dist. 1 County Commissioner Marc Hader were present. Canadian County judges, and members of the Yukon Police Department and Yukon Fire Department were also present, as well as Canadian County Sheriff Chris West, and a host of other people.
Fina grew up in both Yukon and Piedmont. He has held numerous government positions including Piedmont’s mayor from 2007 to 2011, and press secretary for the Oklahoma House of Representatives Speaker of the House from 1999 to 2004.
Fina currently works in Piedmont’s George Fina Municipal Building, which was named after his father. George Fina, who was also present, had a long and distinguished career, and also held the position of Piedmont’s mayor.