My name is Ed Bolt and I live in Ward 1. After a lot of very careful thought, I have decided to announce my intentions to run for that City Commission seat in the upcoming election.

I have lived in the Shawnee area for the past 16 years and have lived in Ward 1 for a little more than two years now.

My wife Phyllis and I are extremely active in Shawnee. Currently I am the Community Coordinator for Safe Events For Families. Our group puts on events like Boo On Bell, the Shawnee Christmas Parade and The Redbud Festival, which will be held next month. I also currently serve as Secretary for the Visit Shawnee Inc. board, which promotes tourism in our community. In addition, I am vice chairman of the Historic Shawnee Alliance, which works for the preservation and betterment of our downtown area.

Phyllis and I are both very involved with the Blue Zones Project. We are also Block Leaders for Community Renewal. We attend church in Shawnee, have kids and grandkids who live here and attend Shawnee Public Schools.

My involvement with Shawnee City government includes my current seat on the Zoning Board of Adjustment and the Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee.

After my retirement from AT&T, I started my photography business and opened a photo studio and art gallery on Main Street. We bought an old condemned building and completely rebuilt it, turning it into an active, productive address again. My business grew much bigger and faster that I ever anticipated. I enjoyed my time doing school photos for five different local school districts. The kids were great to work with and it was like I had hundreds of new grandkids.

I honestly believe that Shawnee is on the verge of greatness. A perfect storm of activities has come together to make our city much better off than just a few years ago. We have benefitted immensely from the generosity of the Avedis Foundation, Blue Zones Project, Community Renewal, the Community Market and other groups who have different missions but a very common goal of improving life in Shawnee.

The natural growth of the Oklahoma City metro area seems to dictate that the biggest surge is coming our way. I-40 is going to be six lanes and the new spur from the turnpike south will bring even more traffic through our region.

We have a lot of new businesses coming to town, an amazing downtown area that has made great strides in becoming vibrant again, big plans for improvements to our parks and other vital facilities like the Expo.

I want to do all I can to make Shawnee the best possible place to live, work and visit. The folks that know me can speak to my dedication for our community and the energy I have put into moving our town forward. I am excited about the prospect of serving on the city commission and would appreciate your support on June 26.