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Okemah City Council debate schedule

Okemah City Council debate scheduled

Tuesday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m. 

An upcoming election on April 4 for city council members in Okemah has not only drawn several candidates but also stimulated conversation around Okemah in several areas. 

One question was posed about whether or not one of the candidates lives in their district. The Okemah News Leader checked with the Okfuskee County Election Board to see if any protest were filed concerning candidacy requirements. Election Board Secretary Eric Swinford said: “Kelly West made an inquiry about filing a Contest of Candidacy on Thursday, February 9.  She had until 5:00 PM on February 10 and she did nothing.  She made another inquiry on Monday, February 13, and I informed her that a Contest must be filed before the deadline.”  

There is also discussion on the direction Okemah has taken with the new water treatment center, trash service and code enforcement.  

The members of Okemah City Council also hold all seats on the Okemah Utility Authority which sets the water and trash rates and they hold all seats on the Okemah Economic Development Authority.  Five elected officials hold great power in the direction of the city.

The Okemah News Leader  hold a debate on Tuesday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Okfuskee County History Center.  

There were four of the five seats up for election this year. The only council member not up for election is Ward 1 held by Ronnie Lucas. 

Filing period was held February 6-8 at the Okfuskee County Election Board.  Jennifer Mack filed for the unexpired term of Ward 2 left vacant when Mike Fuller resigned. This term will expire in 2025. Mack was the only person to file so there will not be an election for Ward 2.  Mack will fill the seat following the April 4 election.

Voters will have a choice in the Ward 3 election. Kelly West currently holds this seat and she filed for re-election.  West will face Brandon Anderson in the April 4 election.

Ron Gott filed to continue his service as the council person representing Ward 4. Gott was unopposed and therefore will be reseated for another four years.

The at-large council seat drew the most attention during the filing period. Wayne Bacon currently holds this seat and he filed for re-election.  In addition to Bacon, Larry Holden and James Strianese also filed for the at-large position. 

The council is a five member board. 

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