Richard Huston Braden was elected to the City Council for Blackwell, Oklahoma. He serves as Councilman over Ward 1.
In 1992 I moved from Phoenix, Arizona, where I grew up, to Blackwell to work for my cousin in a local landscaping business. Soon after moving to Blackwell I met Lori Cooper and began attending Oklahoma State University. When my cousin left the landscaping company and moved out of state, I focused on school and work. My part time jobs included working at Ken's Auto, Domino's Pizza and helping my future father-in-law, Richard Cooper, in his roofing business.
In 1995 Lori and I married and moved in to our first home on West Blackwell. In 1997, our daughter Madalyn was born, and I graduated from Oklahoma State University. With OSU behind me I started working for Keathly's Nursery in Ponca City doing everything from digging holes, operating equipment, driving a tree spade and designing landscapes. After almost 5 years with Keathly's, I decided to work closer to home and became a Real Estate Appraiser in 2002. In 2004 Lori, Madalyn and I made a move to the home that my grandfather built in the 1950's. In 2005 another child James Cooper Braden was born.
Although I didn’t grow up in Blackwell, I was raised with a strong sense of Blackwell as a community of fine people dedicated to making their town an outstanding place to live. My great grandparents, Harry and Kittie Huston and H.S. and Pauline Gurley, raised seven children here. My grandparents and my mother were raised in Blackwell. When I married Lori, I added the Coopers, Richard and Barbara, to my family and their history of our town. I am proud of this legacy.
Blackwell has become my home and given me a family, new friendships and a connection to my family history. I grew up in a large city, but after living in Blackwell for the last 23 years, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. I want to live here and raise my family. All of these things have driven me to become an active member of the community. I am currently serving on the City Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment. I play an active role with my children and am currently the Treasurer for the Blackwell Baseball Association.
I offer my talents, my dedication and my ability to work hard to the job of city commissioner. I believe I can be a positive bridge from old to new. I have worked hard as a manual laborer, digging hundreds of holes and pouring tar on new roofs. I’ve delivered pizza door to door. On the other hand, I have supervised large landscaping jobs, and I have my own business as a real estate appraiser in Blackwell. All kinds of people from all walks of life have helped me. I am willing and able to return the support, kindnesses, experience and sense of community that the people of Blackwell have given to me. The job as city commissioner will give me that chance.
• Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
• Landscape Contractor
• Drawing Site Plans and Landscape Plans (landscape design; drawing plans and construction documents; understanding of architectural plans and specs; dealing with city zoning and requirements in regards to landscape plantings within residential and commercial areas; dealt with state guidelines and specs on highway planting projects.)
• Bidding and Managing Residential to Large Scale Landscape Jobs (included grading and drainage; irrigation; hardscape construction; Project Manager of landscaping for OSU Student Housing; involved bidding project; scheduling sub-contractors; billing project; understanding of construction projects)
• State of Oklahoma Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser (appraising residential, income producing properties and light commercial properties; deal with new construction and cost of construction; deal with environmental issues and how they can affect property values; deal with factors that influence property values every day; deal with zoning issues and codes and how properties conform)
• Operating Large Equipment (skid steers; tree spades; backhoe; understanding of how things operate and what they can do)
• Worked with Father-in-Law Hot Roofing
• Past Employment as an Auto and Motorcycle Mechanic (understanding of equipment and what is necessary for upkeep and repairing)
All these qualifications are beneficial in dealing with many aspects of what a commissioner will face.