Claremore Daily Progress

November 11, 2012

New city manager has big ideas for Claremore

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter


New city manager Jim Thomas is bringing optimism, strength, experience and passion to the city of Claremore.
“It’s a new day in Claremore, Oklahoma with the Thomas administration,” Thomas said
No stranger to a challenge, Thomas has some key ideas to bring Claremore into the future.
“We are going to promote ambassadorship in Claremore. We are going to come together as a team and make this community somewhere everyone is proud to call home,” Thomas said.
Thomas is looking to improve the image of Claremore while bringing current visions into reality.
Specializing in economic development and union contract negotiations, Thomas has been described as clear-headed and focused. He uses experience and openness for new ideas to lead.
“I know what a city council expects and what a city manager does, because I have done both jobs,” Thomas said.
Thomas has served communities for more than 25 years. He earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Brigham Young University, but it is his experience that adds another element to his education.
He understands that relationships, hard work and community participation make a difference. 
A big part of the process starts with city employees, according to Thomas.
“There is no ‘I’ in teamwork and no ‘I’ in success,” Thomas said.
Thomas’s plan for the city includes empowering employees to lead by example. Every department and every employee will be working together to promote the city, he added.
“I know the power of bringing people together,” Thomas said. “Teamwork and communication are the keys to our success.”
Thomas has been instrumental in many different projects through his years of service.
One of Thomas’s banner projects was the completion of the Grand Victorian Hotel in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.
The 120,000 square foot development included luxury condominiums and retails shops at street level.
The $25 million project provided a boost in economic development and helped to transform the image of the community.
“I bring a lot of passion to the job and I care about the community,” Thomas said.
It is this passion that Thomas plans to bring to Claremore and with it a lot of new ideas on how to bring defining changes to the city.
Thomas explained his focus on using the many assets Claremore currently has to attract developers and renew interest in the community.
One of his priorities is to highlight Rogers State University.
Thomas also plans to work closely with developers at Claremore Plaza to move the project forward.
Beyond the job, Thomas has spent many years being an active member of the communities he has managed.
Everything from volunteerism to coaching little league sports plays a role in Thomas’s life.
Thomas is a family man with a strong focus for service.
Thomas and his wife Kathy recently celebrated their 33 years of marriage. They have four children.