Mayor Lester Busy in 4th Largest City

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OBSERVING GROWTH: Mayor Lester of Broken Arrow has brought leadership and experience to his new position in the growing city. He is photographed in front of the St. John Broken Arrow Hospital under construction.

Mayor Mike Lester grew up in Broken Arrow. “Broken Arrow still retains the small town feel that I knew while growing up.” Hoping to find a way to be more involved in the community, Lester became the treasurer of the Union Schools Parent Teacher Association. “I was later appointed to Union’s long range planning committee where I was a member for 26 years and then became involved in Broken Arrow’s Planning Commission for ten years.”

Lester decided to continue his involvement in the community by becoming the vice mayor of Broken Arrow. Three months ago he was encouraged to become the mayor. “What a great opportunity for someone who grew up in Broken Arrow. The opportunity came somewhat as a surprise but was one that I embraced.” 

Not only has Lester brought a good understanding of where the community began but he has also carried great leadership skills into the position. “Through the years, I have seen leaders strive to make Broken Arrow a better place and provide more opportunities for its citizens. I take that background of watching Broken Arrow grow to continue the efforts and make the community a nice place for those who have not even moved here yet.”

One of his most memorable experiences while serving as mayor has been implementing more parks into the community. “I have enjoyed providing the needed support to public safety men and women in the fire and police departments who in turn, provide a much better community for the citizens.” Lester also appreciated having the opportunity to watch aspects of the community expand for the benefit of the citizens.

The Broken Arrow council and the mayor positions are voluntary. There are a lot of rewarding aspects to being the mayor. “I enjoy helping citizens answer questions and resolve problems.” One of the most meaningful rewards for the position is when he receives a simple thank you.Working alongside everyone in the various departments in Broken Arrow has been an honor for Lester. He attributes the hard work and the positive developments to them. Lester is not only the mayor of Broken Arrow but also both a general contractor working in property development and a real estate broker.

He is very organized and because he loves both of his jobs, has found a way to give his undivided attention to both. Broken Arrow has seen a tremendous amount of economic growth in the last couple of years. “There has been a lot of growth centered around the Northern Quarter of Broken Arrow. There are a number of new stores and restaurants that have just opened in that area. The new growth has been very gratifying to me because for many years, citizens had to go into Tulsa for those amenities.”

The largest development that has recently been announced in Broken Arrow is the new St. John Hospital. “A city our size certainly needs a quality hospital. The project will not only be beneficial to the citizens of Broken Arrow but also to those in surrounding communities. Everyone will gain quality support and healthcare from the new facility.” Broken Arrow is currently the fourth largest city in Oklahoma and is continuing to grow.

There are a lot of advantages to the growth and expansion in the area. “The growth will enable more national retailers to consider expanding their business to Broken Arrow.”

There are also a variety of disadvantages to the growth in Broken Arrow. “Those who grew up in Broken Arrow have seen a large change from the sleepy town that it once was. There is more traffic and more things happening. Sometimes it is difficult to give up a small town.”

Lester believes that even though there are a lot of new changes in Broken Arrow, a town does not stay still but will move forwards or backwards and he does not want the community to move backwards. “I can remember the things that leaders did while I was growing up here to get us to where we are today and it is my responsibility to take it into the next generation.”

Lester hopes to positively impact Broken Arrow while being the mayor. “I am still one of five members of the city council and I think that we have worked very well together to help promote economic development in the city of Broken Arrow.” He will continue to bring economic development to the area during his term.

“We are currently working with the turnpike authority to create another exit for the Creek Turnpike at Ashton which will open Elm Place to the Ashton corridor. “I am honored and humbled to be not only a mayor but to be a member of the city council and to help shape the future of Broken Arrow for those that will come well after I am finished in my capacity.” Lester hopes that the accomplishments that the city council reaches will be beneficial for generations to come.

Updated 08-24-2009

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