By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
NEWKIRK — Joe Anderson has spent the past few months as Newkirk City Commissioner One, a position he was appointed to in December 2019 to fill a vacancy on the board. That experience has been a positive one for him, and as the June 30 Primary Election approaches, he is ready to fill the position for a second term as he seeks to make Newkirk a better place to live.
Anderson was one of several candidates who applied for the position, and he was sworn in Dec. 9, 2019.
Anderson was born in raised in Blackwell, graduating with the Class of 1964, and went later graduated Oklahoma Christian College in 1968, but he already had strong ties to Newkirk, as his grandfather lended assistance to the Newkirk Church of Christ in the 1940s.
He moved to Newkirk in 1978, working for Eastman National Bank, where he was as a cashier and Vice President.
He quickly became involved in the Newkirk community, serving many posts for numerous organizations. He has been a Lions Club member for 40 years, where he has served in every position at some point, as well as on the Board of Directors and twice honored as Lion of the Year, and named a Melvin Johns Fellow.
He has been a part of the Historical Society since 1979 including serving as Treasurer. He was twice on the Newkirk chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and named Citizen of the Year in 1991. He was also on the Housing Authority from 1999 – 2008.
As a member of the Newkirk Church of Christ, he has been the song leader as well as a member of the men’s business meeting committee.
Anderson was appointed to the City Commission on Dec. 9, 2019, to finish a vacancy left by former Commissioner Dereck Cassady.
Considering his past activity in the community, he was a good fit for the job.
“I’ve always had a desire to serve the community, and several people asked me if I would put my name in the hat,” he said. “That convinced me, and I did it. It’s been an eye-opening experience.”
While Anderson may have a pulse on groups like the Lions Club or Chamber of Commerce, serving on the City Commission has shown him how the city itself operates, including utilities like sewage, electricity and water as well as city budgets and other hurdles to keep the city of Newkirk operating.
“It’s certainly made me more keenly aware of the problems facing the community. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge and concern,” he said.
Anderson is pledging to serve the community to make it better for everyone.
“I will help the mayor and other commissioners. No one person can do it all themselves, it has to be a joint effort,” he said.
It is that drive to support the community and work with everyone in town that he feels he would be right for the position, something he is already doing.
“I would be there for every meeting. I’ll try to listen and try to make the best decisions for the community and keep progress moving forward,” he said.