Rogers County District 3 Commissioner Randy Baldridge will be up for re-election in the July primary election.

Baldridge announced Friday that he wants to continue serving the people of Rogers County. Baldridge took office in January 2003, and serves the communities of Inola, Justus-Tiawah, Verdigris and Claremore.

“It has been my honor to work with the Rogers County employees and elected officials the past three and a half years,” Baldridge said. “I enjoy the partnership, communication and camaraderie with all county departments. I look forward to continue working tirelessly for the residents of Rogers County.”

As commissioner for District 3, Baldridge has applied for and received more than $650,000 through grant funds for much needed Rogers County projects. Some of those projects include a hybrid vehicle to help defray fuel costs; two grants totaling $99,000 from Grand Gateway Economic Development Authority for two roads in the Verdigris area and $30,000 for water district line extensions to provide rural water; $174,000 from INCOG for a new water tower for the districts; and $200,000 in reimbursements for two county bridges from Oklahoma state funds.

Baldridge has worked with the Rogers County Industrial Authority and Claremore Industrial Authority in promoting growth for economic development. He has also worked with Cherokee Councilwoman Cara Cowan Watts to assist Rogers County in receiving more than $150,000 from the Cherokee Nation in 2006 for roads. Baldridge said he tries to see that funding is distributed evenly throughout the county.

“I am a working commissioner, often overseeing the work the efficient employees of District 3 have performed well for you, especially under the delegation of foreman, assistant foreman and project managers who oversee routine operations on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “I also maintain an open door policy for constituents and employees, as well as personally handle many constituent concerns.”

Rogers County District 3 is responsible for maintaining approximately 500 miles of roadway with 21 employees. During Baldridge’s time as commissioner, about 125 miles have been asphalted or chipped and sealed, while assuring safety concerns, drainage problems and right-of-ways are maintained.

“Through proper budgeting procedures and planning, my hope is to eventually asphalt all roads in District 3 and address safety concerns in these areas,” Baldridge said.

In addition to road maintenance, commissioners are adminsitrators for the county, responsible for creation and approval of the county’s budget; working with federal, state and local agencies to reduce costs of parking lots and other construction costs, maintaining parks and cemeteries, serve on local boards, oversee the county’s planning commission, appoint District 3 constituents to several different boards, oversee emergency management, and audit and approve all expenditures for the county.

In March, Baldridge received recognition for being in accordance with Government Auditing Standards by the Comptroller General of the United States of America after an audit by the State Auditor and Inspector.

Baldridge is a lifelong resident of Rogers County, currently residing in Tiawah, which he says is centrally located in District 3. He was born at the Claremore Indian Hospital to the late Swimmer and Charlene Baldridge. He is a member of Willieo Baptist Church, Inola Lions Club (president), Claremore Rotary Club (Paul Harris Fellow — “service above self”), a board member of the Claremore Visitors and Convention Bureau, and past advisory board member of Claremore Chamber of Commerce.

He has been active in the United Way, Dollars for Scholars for Rogers State University, and a member of the Will Rogers Parade Committee for the past three years. A member of the Cherokee Nation, he is active in the Rogers County Cherokee Association.

Baldridge is adamant his staff attends continuing education courses so his entire team will better serve Rogers County.

Baldridge is a graduate of Inola and Justus-Tiawah schools, and earned an associates degree from RSU and a bachelor’s degree from NSU. In addition to his formal education, Baldridge has continued his education as a commissioner. That includes county commissioner certification, one class shy of completing the 120-hour “Roads” Scholar course which includes road preparation/maintenance to safety signage, courses relating to the county clerk and assessor to better understand other entities in the county, and a graduate of Class 18 Leadership Oklahoma and also Leadership Rogers County.

Baldridge’s service as a federal employee at Claremore Indian Hospital, where he also served as president of the American Federation of Government Employees, helped prepare him for leadership roles, working with the public, and in supervision of employees.

Baldridge began working for District 3 as a teenager in the positions of assistant foreman and foreman, while attending night classes at RSU.

Voters and concerned District 3 residents can reach Baldridge at the Rogers County Commission Warehouse at 341-2380 or at home, 341-4693. Baldridge is available day or night to answer questions or address concerns from residents.

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