A custom home builder and an attorney who successfully fought a large development will face off in Edmond’s Ward 2 race April 2.
Attorney Matt Thomas successfully blocked a hotel development near his home a few years ago, and through that experience he said he learned a lot about how city government works. It’s one of the things that inspired him to run.
“I learned a lot about ordinances,” Thomas said. “Our predecessors said we need a lot of planning so we don’t end up with development that’s random. Through that, I became interested and involved, and I still appear at council meetings to do what I can to help.”
Thomas decided to run when incumbent Elizabeth Waner elected not to run for another term.
“I was terrified that we would be in a situation where the only candidate to run would be someone who is involved in the construction industry,” he said.
A 2001 UCO graduate, Moore’s first job involved working for the City of Edmond in economic development. He said ge gained valuable experience from the job and that he decided to run because he wants a better future for his own children and other Edmond families.
“I have a chance to represent children and families in Edmond,” Moore said. “I have a chance to be a louder voice in Edmond when it comes to comes to collaborating with the Edmond Public Schools and our safety and our parks and recreation.”
He said his role as a real estate developer would not clash with his role as a councilman. He said he has served on the Edmond Board of Appeals and Adjustments for seven years without a conflict of interest complaint.
“Just like someone who is in oil and gas or an attorney, I would handle it the same way,” Moore said. “We do have a conflict of interest policy at the City of Edmond that needs to be followed to a tee. I would also consult with the city attorney if there were ever a question.”
The city’s largest geographical ward, Edmond Ward 2 runs from Bryant Avenue to Choctaw Drive, and from Waterloo Road to Memorial Road. But in the general election, all registered voters in Edmond are eligible to vote in every city council election.
Josh Moore, 40
Occupation: Custom home builder
Experience: Moore has experience in land planning and zoning, economic development and project management. He has served on the Edmond Board of Appeals and Adjustments and the Edmond Beautiful Board of Directors.
Platform: Moore is in the construction business, but he believes one of the most critical issues facing Edmond is growth east of Interstate 35.
“It’s no secret that’s where we have a lot of room land wise for growth, but it’s also where a lot of our natural beauty is,” Moore said. “As far as Ward 2 goes, I’m completely focused on future planning and zoning code and how we can keep that area beautiful as it grows.”
Moore also wants to see development of projects that make Edmond a more walkable city, and he wants to continue traffic signal improvements.
“We have a lot of great parks in Edmond, and we need to make sure we maintain and continue to improve them,” Moore said. “Things like that help make Edmond what it is.”
Favorite thing about Edmond: “The quality of life. Our leaders up to this point have done a fantastic job of providing quality in the way of parks, recreation and beauty. We all have to work to maintain that.”
Why should people vote for you?: “I’ve got a lot of experience and understanding when it comes to how city government works, and I think I also can be an advocate for our citizens and families which are what make Edmond a great place to live.”
Matt Thomas, 54
Experience: Thomas has been a local business owner, and he recently took on a large development interest representing Fox Lake homeowners in a fight against a proposed hotel.
Platform: Thomas said he wants to maintain a set course when it comes to long-term planning.
“My biggest issue is adherence to our long-term plans,” Thomas said. “When you buy a home it’s usually your biggest purchase. You should be able to rely on zoning ordinances when you make that purchase.”
Thomas would also like to see redevelopment of Edmond’s mostly dormant commercial zone on Broadway extending south from Second Street. That area has seen a host of restaurants and other businesses depart over the last decade.
“We have the tools to incentivize the opening of commercial businesses,” he said. “We should renovate and revitalize that area instead of breaking ground in other parts of the city. We can make it an asset.”
Favorite thing about Edmond: “I like the landscaping and the tree canopy in our parks. Lake Arcadia is another thing that I enjoy. It’s a beautiful community and one unlike any other in the metro.”
Why should people vote for you?: “I don’t have any special interest ties that would pull me in any direction when it comes to voting on critical issues that face our city. I also know the Edmond Plan well and how to interpret ordinances. I think I bring a solid set of tools to the council and I’ll fight to protect our city.”