Wednesday, April 4th 2007, 6:19 am
By: News On 6
Voters in Edmond chose a new mayor, Tulsa-area residents kicked out several incumbents and it was back to square one for school districts in Ardmore and Catoosa, where patrons fell short of approving bond packages.
Edmond residents on Tuesday picked Dan O'Neil over former state Rep. Wayne Pettigrew to succeed Saundra Naifeh as mayor of the state's sixth-largest city. The retired personnel management specialist at Tinker Air Force Base received 4,606 votes to Pettigrew's 3,488 votes, according to unofficial results from the Oklahoma County Election Board.
Naifeh decided not to run again. The job is for two years and comes with a $500 per month paycheck.
"We're going to be mayor for everyone," O'Neil said. "I want all of the citizens to know that we will honor and respect you at city hall."
In other municipal elections, Wayne Page beat LeRoy Cartwright 4,055 to 3,759 for the Ward 1 Edmond City Council seat, according to unofficial returns. In Ward 2, Elizabeth Waner received 4,433 votes to Mark Hoose's 3,560 votes.
Voters were also decided council seats in Oklahoma City, Broken Arrow and Jenks.
South Oklahoma City voters chose Brian Walters, 31, an optical outlet operator, to be the Ward 5 councilman. He received 2,001 votes to 1,790 votes for George Washington, the former Ward 5 planning commissioner.
In other results, Broken Arrow voters ousted two incumbent city councilors. According to unofficial returns from the Tulsa County Election Board, Mike Lester beat Ward 3 councilman Tom Chatterton and Ward 4 council member Judi Myers lost to Philip Tucker.
Jenks voters booted incumbents Ruby McGonigal and Vick Barker from office, while retaining incumbent Sally Bisel in Ward 1.
In Catoosa, school officials' fears that a recent budget crisis would derail passage of a $1.1 million school bond package were realized when voters failed to pass both parts of the package. Neither received the required 60% for approval, according to unofficial results from the Tulsa County Election Board.
Proposition No. 1, receiving 57.9% of the vote, would've provided $990,000, including $400,000 for renovation and repair of heating and air-conditioning systems, and roof repairs on at least five district buildings.
Proposition No. 2, which received 54.6% of the vote, was for $150,000 for transportation, including the purchase of new and used buses. Proponents said the district needed to upgrade its aging fleet of buses.
"It certainly would have helped ease some of the maintenance issues. I don't think there was anything in there that was fat by any means," school Board President Jeff Conklin said.
"The teachers are running computers with Windows 98 operating systems, we do have a number of leaks in the roof. It wasn't any luxury items we were looking for."
In Carter County, Ardmore patrons voted 1,712 for and 1,610 against for a bond issue to build the second phase of an elementary school, but it still wasn't enough to pass the measure.
School bond issues need 60% of the vote to be approved, but the proposal only received a simple majority of 51.5%, unofficial results from the election board showed. In December, voters defeated the same plan with only 56% of voters in favor of the centralized elementary school.
"It is disappointing. We were going to do so many great things with the children in one school. We would have storm shelters and computer labs, but that's obviously not what voters wanted," said Ardmore schools Superintendent Ruth Ann Carr.
The $13.1 million bond issue would've funded the second phase of construction on a large elementary school, which would allow the district to close its three, aging neighborhood elementary schools.
One existing elementary school was built in the 1950s, and two were built in 1928. Keeping the old schools running is a drain on the district and the schools aren't safe, Carr had said.