City of Sand Springs: Letter by City Manager Mike Carter

I started my career in Sand Springs with an interview for police applicants. Daniel Bradley asked me why I wanted to be a Sand Springs Police Officer and I said, “I want to make a difference here”. A couple of weeks ago, I met with our City Council as an applicant for the position of City Manager, and my answer has not changed.

To be clear, I was content being the Chief of Police, but when several people approached me and suggested that I would be a good fit in the position of City Manager, it began my internal debate about why I would want to do the job. The following are some of the answers that came to my mind.

First, I love Sand Springs. I have lived here for 26 years with my wife, Debbie. We raised two kids, Zachary and Emma who both graduated as proud Sandites from Charles Page High School. This is our home and I do not see that changing. I have had numerous offers to take positions elsewhere, but the people that live here make it impossible to consider leaving, and that is a good thing.

Second are the people I work with. Not only at the police department, but every department in the city. We have some of the most dedicated and talented people I have ever met, and to be chosen to lead them is one of the greatest compliments of my life. I view it as my job to provide the tools and the quality work environment that they deserve.

Third is that Sand Springs is considered one of the best City Manager jobs in the State of Oklahoma. This is mainly due tothe stability and professionalism of our City Council. It is rare to find a City Council that is able to function with such unity as ours. When we all think about what kind of boss we would like to have, our Council embodies those traits. In many places it is
partisanship, arguing and name calling that dominate the meetings, which is not the culture in Sand Springs. They love Sand Springs, and show that in how they conduct themselves and serve their constituents. This has been true my entire career.

Fourth is that I want to see progress. I live, work and play here. This means I want to see the things that all of us want to see. We cheered when our team got Colton’s Steak House to come here. We were beyond excited when we knew that we were going to get a Chic-Fil-A. We have seen the path to success, and we want to duplicate that to go after a home improvement store and other sit down restaurants. We want to see our local small businesses thrive like Okie Spice, Yellow House and Boulder Coffee have. We also want to see our community have wonderful places to exercise and recreate in, such as Case Community Park and the Keystone Ancient Forrest. Our roads, and other public infrastructure are the backbone of our community and we need to plan for improvements, to make sure we can keep the quality of life that we
have come to expect. And yes, we need to keep up with our public safety departments to keep our citizens safe. We also need to support and highlight the wonderful schools in Sand Springs. Our community is blessed with educators who go out of their way to provide the best education possible for our young people, and we need to support that so our students continue to have a high level of opportunity.

How do we accomplish this? I have been a firm believer in community policing. We should employee methods involved in community policing, like listening to our community, partnering with our local business, schools, and our faith community and base our decisions from the perspective of servant-hood. We need to plan and execute those plans with the help of and to
the benefit our citizens. The ultimate goal for Sand Springs should not to be like Broken Arrow, Tulsa, Owasso or any other community, but for each and every day going forward to be a better Sand Springs.

I am honored and blessed to be in Sand Springs. I do not take that for granted and I am thankful everyday.