September 29, 2010
Contact: Shane Woolbright, Executive Director, (405) 323-2569
City of Ponca City Mayor Homer Nicholson was presented the Meritorious Service Award for outstanding contributions to local governments today by the Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma (MESO). The award was given at the annual meeting of MESO and the Oklahoma Municipal League in Oklahoma City. The award is given annually to an individual who has distinguished himself and his community by his service to his community and to other communities in Oklahoma.
Homer is in his second term as mayor of Ponca City and serves on the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, provider of power to Ponca City and 38 other cities in Oklahoma. He also serves on the board of the Oklahoma Municipal League, an organization providing services to over 300 cities in Oklahoma, and on the board of the Oklahoma Conference of Mayors. Mayor Nicholson spends much time representing the people of North Central Oklahoma in economic development efforts including appointment by Governor Brad Henry on the Governor’s Council for Workforce Development and appointment by Governor Frank Keating to the North Central Oklahoma Workforce Investment Board. Those continuing efforts showed fruits with the recent announcement of 350 new jobs in Ponca City at a re-opened food processing center.
As Mayor he supported the development of a $17 million energy conservation and energy efficiency initiative for the city as well as the development of a city-wide wireless internet service providing free access to all portions of Ponca City. He endorsed further green initiatives such as the Recycling Center’s enhancements and increased public educations and promotion of Sustainable Alternative Green Energy for North Central Oklahoma.
He spearheaded efforts to development the new Ponca City Aquatic and Family Center with the YMCA. His “Keep Ponca City Beautiful” initiative enhanced code enforcement and resulted in the removal of 84 dilapidated structures.
Homer gives what spare time he has to helping community organizations including the Jaycees, Elks Lodge, Lions, and the Ponca City Main Street program as well as providing leadership support for the Arts and Humanities Council and Community Concert Series.
He has been a leader in the Chamber of Commerce for many years helping to create new retail opportunity in Ponca City and creating community support for economic development activities.
Homer Nicholson is everything a community could desire in someone in a leadership position. He takes time to bring many sides together on an issue, finds consensus, develops community backing, and delivers the administration to make great things happen. MESO is an association of 65 communities in Oklahoma, and Homer Nicholson helps make all of them better by his work in the power supply operations of OMPA and in his example to other elected officials.
MESO Board President Mike Doublehead of the Stilwell Area Development Authority said in making the presentation, “Homer Nicholson is a prime example of effective local government policy making in action – every day. His word to elected officials carries the weight of trust. The folks of Ponca City and other MESO communities are benefitted by those efforts and we are proud to present him with our highest honor.”
MESO is a trade association of 105 Oklahoma communities who provide electricity and natural gas distribution services to 400,000 Oklahomans. The association activities include power supply planning, training and development of municipal personnel, and representation of cities before the Congress, the legislature, and regulatory agencies.