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Guthrie's new city manager brings passion and experience to job

Sereniah Breland started the job as Guthrie's city manager on Oct. 22.
BY VALLERY BROWN vbrown@opubco.com Modified: November 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm •  Published: November 23, 2012

/articleid/3730794/1/pictures/1890368">Photo - City Manager Sereniah Breland has a great view of downtown Guthrie from her office.  Photo By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman
City Manager Sereniah Breland has a great view of downtown Guthrie from her office. Photo By Paul Hellstern, The Oklahoman

Priorities, challenges

A major challenge in Guthrie, like other history-rich cities, is to maintain progress while keeping true to its past, she said.

“There is this constant struggle to keep historic preservation in line with growth and development,” Breland said. “We must integrate history and culture while moving ahead.”

Breland said priorities include neighborhood and downtown revitalization projects and finding community partners to expand recreational opportunities for Guthrie's youths.

“The question becomes how do we pay for these things without burdening the taxpayer,” Breland said. “How do we create revenues without burdening the individual?”

She said she'll work with the community to find partnerships and opportunities to enrich the community-centric city.

Breland said she's looking forward to working on solutions for the bridge over Cottonwood Creek connecting the east side of the city to the west. The 1930s-era viaduct is deteriorating, and the state Department of Transportation is working on plans to update it.

Breland took over the post vacated by Matt Mueller, who resigned in August. Mayor Chuck Burtcher said he's been impressed with Breland's passion.

“She has more energy than a long-tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs,” he said.

Burtcher said the aging infrastructure of the city will be a challenge in the coming years, along with ways to fund projects.

“We have to fix things we should have fixed 50 years ago. ... I think she's up for that challenge,” he said.


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