Tahlequah Daily Press

Editorials

January 28, 2013

Meet your future representatives

TAHLEQUAH — If you’re a Tahlequah citizen, chances are good you won’t have anything better to do than attend the candidate forum Thursday, Jan. 31 at the Armory Municipal Center. After all, few things are more important than choosing the best representatives for your government, whether it be city, state or national.

Attending this meeting will help you get a better understanding of who your candidates are, what they’re thinking, and how they will serve the community if they’re chosen by voters Tuesday, Feb. 12. Up for grabs are the Ward 2 city councilor seat, as well as police chief and street commissioner. Two men – incumbent Mike Corn and challenger Terry Garrett – are vying for street commissioner. Four are competing for the open council seat: David Whitekiller, Gary Cacy, Charles Carroll and Jonathan Wells. The police chief race also boasts four contenders: incumbent Clay Mahaney, Nate King, Charley Batt and Stephen Farmer.

All 10 men have been invited to participate, and all are being supplied with a set of predetermined questions cobbled together by the event sponsors, the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce and the American Association of University Women. These questions and answers will appear in the Thursday, Jan. 31 edition of the Tahlequah Daily Press.

The candidates will also be taking questions from the floor – and that’s where you, the public, will come into play. If you are concerned about where any of the candidates stand on pertinent issues and you don’t step forward, you won’t be as informed as you need to be to make wise decisions at the polls. The Press will report in our Friday, Feb. 1 edition on what transpires at the forum, and since the predetermined questions will have been addressed in a previous issue, we’ll be focusing on any new material covered.

While it’s true that the Chamber, the AAUW and the Press are doing everything in their power to give voters a peek into these candidates and their visions for Tahlequah’s future, it’s ultimately up to citizens themselves to proactively seek information. If you don’t participate, you can’t complain – and participation goes even further than merely voting. It must also include education.

Though presenting well-considered responses that show an understanding of Tahlequah’s needs should be a paramount factor in a candidate’s favor, other considerations should come into play. If the candidate is an incumbent, does he deserve your support because he’s done a good job, or do you plan to vote by rote simply because he’s already in office?

Courage, honesty and transparency are also key elements. A candidate who doesn’t bother to show up to face the public, unless equipped with a good excuse for the absence, should set off warning bells. He may be thumbing his nose at voter concerns, or avoiding confrontation – and those folks don’t make good investments for your tax dollars. The same is true for those who won’t answer questions – especially questions given to them in advance so they have time to contemplate their answers. Do you really want to vote for a person who’s proved to be unaccountable even before the election? Do you imagine the situation will improve after the election?

We’ve heard a lot of grumbling lately from local folks who feel they were left out of the loop about other recent issues. If you’re one of those folks, here’s your chance to get the skinny on your future elected officials.

With the recent passage of the sales tax, Tahlequah has a lot of work to do, and a lot of promising projects on its horizon. If you live here, you need to be part of that process – and you need to be involved in choosing the people who will be spending your money.

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Editorials
  • Ban on wage hikes by municipalities a mark of hypocrisy

    The words “God” and “governor” may share the same first two letters, but the two are hardly interchangeable.
    But let’s assume Gov. Mary Fallin really isn’t deluded enough to place her powers on the level of a deity. What rationale would a woman who has championed smaller government and local control use to explain her hypocrisy in banning individual Oklahoma cities from raising minimum wages in their jurisdictions?

    April 18, 2014

  • Community cleanups a good way to ensure our collective success

    This is our community – and it’s no better than what we make it. Let’s make it look great.

    April 16, 2014

  • Attack at school in Pennsylvania: Mental illness root of problem

    Washington’s crusade against guns was dealt a severe blow on Wednesday. No, it wasn’t the Supreme Court curtailment of the Second Amendment right of all Americans to own firearms. It wasn’t an executive order handed down by the administration. It was the brutal assault by a high school student in Pennsylvania against his fellow students – with a knife.

    April 14, 2014

  • People with faulty zippers should be booted from office

    We may forgive, but we shouldn’t forget, because there’s serious work to do in Washington. That work will never be accomplished as long as flawed zippers - literally or figurately – are a pervasive problem.

    April 11, 2014

  • Do your part to fight animal and child abuse

    It’s hard to change the habits of an abuser, especially when mitigating factors – such as alcohol or drugs – are involved. And these patterns tend to repeat themselves in successive generations. But all of us can take one small step to help eradicate this epidemic, and that is to report it when we see it.

    April 9, 2014

  • NSA head lies to Congress, and seems to get away with it

    Is there an obvious pattern of criminality within these governmental agencies? If so, why isn’t the Judicial Department investigating?

    April 7, 2014

  • Pass for rich kiddie rapist proves that justice isn’t blind

    Someone in Wilmington, Del., needs to keep an eye on Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden for the next few months, because she might improve her standard of living due to a sudden influx of cash.
    There’s no other way to explain why Jurden would have sentenced an ultra-wealthy heir to the du Pont fortune to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter. It’s an outrageous miscarriage of justice that once again proves when it comes to the U.S. justice system, the elite get a pass almost every time.

    April 4, 2014

  • Maybe it’s not $3.2B, but state should still account for tribal cash

    In an editorial published last week, the Daily Press said that through tribal compacts, the state of Oklahoma received about $3.2 billion in annual revenue, partly attributable to the 117 casinos (or 118, in some reports) run by 33 tribes in the state. The information we accessed for that piece was confusing, and had a typo or two, which may have led us to overstate – to a considerable degree – how much money the tribes actually give the state.

    April 2, 2014

  • Tribal compacts should mean state has money to perform its functions

    Oklahoma should be rolling in the dough. The statistics bear that out. Thirty-three American Indian tribes operate 117 casinos in this state. Thanks to “compacts,” these tribes have been sharing the wealth with the state of Oklahoma. And thanks to the casinos, that wealth is substantial.

    March 28, 2014

  • It’s time to turn in your candidate announcements

    If you are running for a political office for which Cherokee County voters can cast ballots, it’s time to turn in your announcement. We’ve already run a few, and expect several more. The primary elections are Tuesday, June 24, with the registration period to vote in this election closing Thursday, May 30.

    March 24, 2014

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
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