Some readers have commented on the appearance of Tahlequah Mayor Sue Catron's column, which first published in the Friday, June 21 edition. The overall response: "It's about time!"
The truth is, while the Tahlequah Daily Press has from time to time published columns by state representatives or senators, we haven't had a regular mayoral column for years, if ever. This was a feature we discussed introducing late last year, and since Sue is the new mayor, the ball is in her court. Although the TDP will always staff city council meetings and cover stories relevant to readers, Sue will be sharing other details on city business, along with her thoughts and viewpoints on the current state and actions of municipal government. Sue has already immersed herself into the minutiae of her job, and as former assistant vice president of business and finance at NSU, folks can expect her to have an eye for numbers. She's made it plain she welcomes feedback.
Next week, we'll be introducing another new column we know readers will welcome, and it's from a face that will be familiar to area residents. Tahlequah native Randy Gibson will pick up the quill from a conservative (and sometimes moderate) standpoint, and it's a task for which he is more than qualified. Randy's bachelor's and master's degrees are in journalism, from the University of Oklahoma (Boomer Sooner!), and he is one of the area's foremost experts on Second Amendment issues and rights. That's because, from 1998 to 2002, he did a stint as executive director of the Texas State Rifle Association. After that, he came home to head up the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce until 2005, when he went to work for the Cherokee Nation - most recently as a program liaison for the CN Health Services Group. We at TDP can vouch for Randy's credentials, skills, and his status as a genuinely decent human being; our executive editor has known him since he was 16 years old, when they were both working for the Cherokee County Chronicle, which was later absorbed by TDP.
We hope TDP readers will enjoy these columns, and others to come in the future.