Tahlequah Daily Press


February 2, 2013

Commit to the city’s future

TAHLEQUAH — Judging by the attendance at Thursday night’s candidate forum, interest in this year’s Tahlequah municipal elections may be growing – and that, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing.

In the wake of the sales tax election last month, many city residents complained they felt left out of the loop – despite the concerted efforts of city leaders, Northeastern State University administrators, the election board and other concerned citizens to get the word out. But voter apathy was more likely at the root of the relatively low turnout Jan. 8, and it’s reasonable to hope those who failed to cast ballots will consider it a lesson learned.

Mayor Jason Nichols estimates that about 250 folks showed up Jan. 31 to hear what nine of the 10 candidates for city office had to say. A number of folks also checked out the Thursday edition of the Press, which featured a Q&A compiled by the Chamber of Commerce, and in which all 10 office-seekers participated. Though some of the candidates undoubtedly got help formulating their responses, they still offered a valuable snapshot of priorities, abilities and qualifications.

Determining the best candidate is never a simple task, especially when friendships, family ties and the ever-present “good ol’ boy” network come into play. But it’s worth keeping in mind that no one has to know how you voted – and that the best choice will always be the one that best benefits the city itself.

Research shouldn’t stop with the forum and published Q&A. If the candidate is an incumbent, what sort of record does he have? Those who read the paper, talk to other engaged citizens, and make personal observations will have a good idea. And even candidates who aren’t incumbents also have histories in their current or past occupations. Are they respected by their co-workers? Have they played roles in the city’s progress, or have they just now decided they want to get involved?

It’s always important to play a part in electing officials, but last month’s passage of the sales tax measure adds a new element in the city arena. This leadership team will be responsible for the next stage in Tahlequah’s development – the most crucial phase in many years. The success of the ambitious projects now on the drawing board will depend on the skills of those at the helm, and the willingness of the rest of us to help them along.

Mark your calendars now for the Feb. 12 election, and start doing the legwork. Take the initiative to meet the candidates and find out for yourself whether they have the savvy, the energy and the proper motivation to handle this monumental task. City elections are nonpartisan, so it doesn’t matter whether a candidate is a Republican or a Democrat.

Many voters don’t know what ward they’re in, or whether they even live within the city limits. A call to the election board – (918) 456-2261 – will answer that question. Remind your friends and neighbors of their responsibility to vote, and if you don’t have a ride to the polls, call a neighbor, or City Hall, for help.

It’s a little late for a New Year’s resolution, but it’s not too late to commit to a new, or renewed, involvement in Tahlequah’s future. It’s your future, too – and that of your kids and grandkids.

Text Only
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    April 18, 2014

  • Community cleanups a good way to ensure our collective success

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    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

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    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.

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    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

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    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


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.
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