By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Special Interest | Issue: April 2007
Rusty Magiera and his pal Woody ponder the upcoming Verdigris Board of Trustees election.
Shortly after moving to Verdigris in 1994, Rusty Magiera found himself interested in politics and right in the middle of the town’s political arena. Magiera has become a familiar face in his town having had plenty of political experience. Two years after moving to Okla., he was elected to a position on the Verdigris Board of Trustees. During his nine-year tenure on the board, he served as the town’s mayor from 1999 to 2005.
When Verdigris engaged in redistricting in 2005, Magiera was not eligible for reelection, as there were no trustee seats available in the newly-established ward. Due to the encouragement of many Verdigris residents and his love of serving his community, Rusty is eagerly trying to get back into the political scene. He will be running in April for Ward 2 Trustee on the Verdigris Board of Trustees.
In 1995 there were only 98 homes within the town’s city limits, accounting for the community’s population of 300. Today, only 12 years later, Verdigris boasts a population of 3600. “Although we’ve seen great growth over a short period,” says Magiera, “It is really important to our community to maintain our rural lifestyle and identity to honor the legacy of those individuals who first settled here.”
The small town of Verdigris borders neighboring Claremore. “Our community has worked hard to maintain the identity of our township and schools. We will continue to work closely with Claremore officials to attract additional retailers to our area,” adds Magiera. With a combined population of nearly 20,000 residents throughout the area, Magiera is hopeful that Rogers County will continue to attract retailers. “QuikTrip saw the potential in our community and will be opening their new Verdigris store in August of this year,” he says.
Regardless of their voting choices, Magiera encourages all Verdigris residents of legal voting age to exercise their freedom and obligation to vote in the election on Tuesday, April 3.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.