Tahlequah Daily Press


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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  • Tourism Council and chamber should cut the proverbial cord

    They are defined by two separate purposes and operate under two distinctive sets of bylaws, but years of conflicting opinions have left lingering questions and confusion over the relationship between the decades-old Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce and the younger Tahlequah Area Tourism Council.

    July 30, 2014

  • NSU needs to be more candid when its plans go awry

    Many area residents were disappointed to learn this week that the NSU Fitness Center, and its all-important indoor lap pool, won’t open next month, as originally announced.
    This latest delay is no surprise.

    July 28, 2014

  • Higher premiums a just reward for drunken drivers

    Over the past several years, Oklahoma has slipped in many of the polls that count. This week, we learned Tulsa is No. 4 on a list of cities with high rates of fatal DUI accidents. Is anyone really surprised?

    July 25, 2014

  • Maybe it’s time to think about having another BalloonFest

    The 18th annual BalloonFest was the last one held, in 2010. In summer 2011, when the Daily Press staff hadn’t heard anything about the much-anticipated event, we started asking questions.

    July 23, 2014

  • If you see a drunken driver, take the time to call in a report

    If you see something, say something. You’ve heard the warning, and seen it imprinted on placards at airports. In the wake of 9/11, it became a national mantra, mainly aimed at spotting potential terrorist activities. But it’s good advice anytime, and for any reason, even at the local level.

    July 14, 2014

  • City officials should stop squabbling and try to work together

    It’s bad enough that the Chamber of Commerce scandal has given Tahlequah a black eye. But if the bickering among city officials doesn’t stop, the community will have a complete set of shiners for its public face.

    July 11, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    Despite pressure from some quarters, neither the Press nor anyone else who values full disclosure will be clamming up until all the facts are known, and those who are responsible meet with justice.

    July 10, 2014

  • Only full disclosure will restore trust in the chamber

    A few board members for the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce are saying they’ve heard nothing but positive things lately – about the chamber itself, and presumably, about themselves.

    July 9, 2014

  • Employer-sponsored insurance may now be a ‘hostage’ situation

    When the fallout settles from the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, many Americans might decide they’re better off with health insurance that doesn’t come from their boss.

    July 7, 2014

  • With confidence in Congress at 7 percent, time for a new slate

    Note to Congress: We don’t like you. Not at all.
    A Gallup poll released Monday, June 30 confirmed what most of us already know: the American public is disgusted with the House and Senate. The survey recorded the lowest level of confidence since Gallup began asking the question in 1991: a whopping 7 percent. That’s not a typographical error; it’s a single digit.

    July 2, 2014


Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
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