Mayoral Candidates T.J. Greenfield and Glenn Cox face off

by Jordan Green

Blackwell voters will head to the polls June 30 to decide who will be the town’s next mayor. The Journal-Tribune has interviewed both candidates – Glenn Cox and incumbent Mayor T.J. Greenfield – to find out more about who they are and what they hope to do if elected.


Q: What do you hope to accomplish if you are elected as mayor?

A: What I want to do is just make sure everybody is together and working as a team. I want the city government and the city’s people to work together. That would be my main goal. It’s too toxic right now, and even around town. We all just need to be together and work as a team for the greater good of this community. I just want to unify the city.

Q: What motivated you to run for this office?

A: I was going to run when I was at the city being a dispatcher. I went to the election board, and they said that [T.J. Greenfield] was the only one running. I didn’t want him to run unopposed. I didn’t think that would be a good thing, so I went ahead and decided I was going to run to see if I could change things.

Q: What work experience do you have?

A: I went to Rose State College for baseball for a year and then I went to Oklahoma State University for a year and played baseball there as well. Then, my wife and I got married. When I got out of college, I went to work for FMC. It’s an oil company. I would go out for them, wherever it was around neighboring states, and I was the valve man. If they had valve problems, I would go out and change out valves for them on the worksite. Then I went to work for Ryerson, and I worked 19 years there. That’s where I retired from. I was an operations manager for six different plants, which required managing budgets. When we moved up here, I applied up at the police station, and they hired me as a dispatcher. That position has prepared me for working with the public, working under stress, handling hectic situations, and making decisions that effect others in big ways.

Q: What are some of your favorite activities to do with your family?

A: We like all sports, swimming, and just spending time with the kids. We travel for softball, and we travel for baseball.

Q: As someone who has never before held political office, do you feel your outsider’s perspective is valuable?

A: Yes, I do. I think if you’ve been here forever, it’s sometimes hard to want change or see the need for change. Looking from the outside in, I can see things that, to me, are not being done right. I’d like to see them changed, and done correctly. Ethically, legally, and in a way that positively impacts Blackwell.

Q: How will you work to unite Blackwell residents?

A: By fostering teamwork, the City Council as a whole and the city manager will along a little better. I also feel like you should be a mayor that people want to talk to, and who would like to talk to you openly. Step up, see me at a baseball game, and talk to me. I’m a friendly guy. Even if I don’t agree with their thoughts, I’m going to listen to them and show them respect.

Q: How does your experience as a former city employee – specifically, a 911 dispatcher – help you communicate with people?

A: Being a dispatcher, you go through … man, it’s pretty hectic sometimes. It’s stressful. You have to be on point when something happens. You have to make life-and-death decisions sometimes right at the moment. You have to get people where they’re supposed to be in the correct order, communicate with them, everything anymore. On 911, you have to talk to 50 different people on one call sometimes. It’s hectic. You get used to the public, the public gets used to you, you’ve got to calm them down, and make it where you can understand what’s going on.

Q: How will the people of Blackwell be better off in four years if you are elected?

A: I think, City Council-wise, we’ll be a friendlier group to talk to, less toxic. I think that we will work on the city’s infrastructure a little more. Nobody really understands that we don’t exactly have the funds we need for this. So we need to look closely at all avenues of funding and see what our options are. This needs to be a priority. Not just a discussion year after year. I think we can work with the city manager well to get more projects done if we are smart about it and truly make it a priority.


Q: What do you hope to accomplish if you are reelected as mayor?

A: There is a numerous plethora of things we need to accomplish. Getting the town to continue to move forward that we have been working on over the last few years. Work on community development for retail, and industrial, and housing. Continue our work that we’ve been doing on the water lines and streets. It’ll be nice to see the hospital completed, hopefully over the next 18 months. Either way, I’ll be excited to see that happen.

Q: What motivated you to run for reelection?

A: To continue the efforts that I’ve been a part of over the last five years. I want to see my hometown do great.

Q: What work experience do you have?

A: Well, part of owning multiple businesses, running those, managing people at times, up to 25 employees of my own. Onebusiness, didn’t have the time, so I sold it off to – pretty much gave it away, really. Did work for the Blackwell Public Schools for maintenance and drove a school bus back – many people don’t know that – right out of high school for a couple of years. I think probably pretty common knowledge that I’ve had my own landscape business for 15 years in town, G&C Concrete, Southside Spirits. Still own the Splash ‘N Dash Car Wash. We’ve had that since 2003.

Q: As the incumbent, do you feel your perspective is valuable?

A: Probably in just being a lifetime resident of the community helps with that. Knowing the needs of the community, knowing how the community has changed over the last few decades. The needs, what the citizens would like to see. That would be valuable in my opinion.

Q: How will you work to unite Blackwell residents?

A: Well, probably a lot of the same efforts that took place right after the recall. If you remember right, the recall that divided the community greatly happened just as pretty much most all of the current Council came together. There was a great divide about five years ago. I mean, we saw a recall where members of the Council recalled, others voted off. And working through that time period, I was able to get people back together with the help of others. It’s not a one-person effort at all. It takes a community to do this. But I’d work to do the same thing. I think somewhat, I think most people are, you know, waiting to see some results of the state audit investigation. Maybe that’ll help to clarify and get the facts out. Listening to the citizens, allowing them to speak, allowing them to have a voice. They were somewhat muffled in the past. And work together to hear their needs. And be a spokesman for them, all of them.

Q: How does your experience as mayor help you in your reelection campaign?

A: Well, I think that’d kind of go with some of the earlier questions answered, but, just the experience and having the knowledge to communicate with other municipal leaders throughout our county and throughout the state. You can always communicate with neighbors to find a solution. That experience obviously is invaluable, just real-life experience.

Q: What are some of your favorite activities to do with your family

A: Oh, that’s probably about anything outdoors. We love being outside, we enjoy taking care of our landscape around the house, and spending time with other family and close friends.

Q: How will the people of Blackwell be better off in four years if you are reelected?

A: Well, I would hope to see the same progress that we have, I mean, even though sometimes, as everybody knows, government moves slow. It even does on the local level. But I would hope to see the more progress made, most definitely on our streets, our water system, and continue to work to draw in economic development to provide more jobs, more sales tax revenue, and more – you know, that’d probably be the ones I’d want to speak to right there, just to see those projects gone through.