On the eve of candidate filing for the leadership of the Town of Luther, there are many questions.
Who will run? Will the incumbents file for re-election? Will there be a long list of possible candidates for four Luther Town Trustee positions, plus the Clerk/Treasurer position? Who can vote? Who can run?
Filing begins tomorrow, Feb 6 – 8, for candidates for four out of five trustee positions. There is a potential for 80% of the leadership on the board to change. This election cycle is seen as pivotal as the Town of Luther positions itself for coming growth, and to address serious infrastructure issues and services, while navigating through a tight budget. The election is in April (not to be confused with the school board election, Feb. 14).
Current Trustee Andy McDaniels has confirmed he will seek election to the board. He was appointed last July. No definitive word to The Luther Register whether the other current Trustees, Carolyn Lawson, Birlene Langley and Cecilia Taft will seek re-election. Luther resident Jenni White has also told The Luther Register she intends to file for election. Others have not confirmed (nor denied) their intentions to run.
Who can run and who can vote? Registered voters who live within the town limits (see picture). The area is roughly bound on the west at Indian Meridian, north on Coffee Creek Road, east at County Line Road and south to 150th. However, a look at the map shows that the Town is not “squared up” and the boundaries fluctuate. (Anyone who knows the history of how the Town limits were platted, and annexed with the interesting borders with certain unincorporated areas, let’s have coffee!)
Interesting facts: Luther’s fire district is far bigger than the Town Limits, meaning the volunteer Fire Department services more area than just the town. Also, the school district is far bigger than even the fire district, stretching up to Logan County and over to Lincoln County. The actual town limits, where the town elected leaders must live, is much smaller. The last town election only garnered 215 total votes.
Current Clerk/Treasurer Kim Bourns was appointed in October. Filing for the Clerk/Treasurer and Trustees is Monday – Wednesday, at the Oklahoma County Election Board, 4201 N Lincoln, Oklahoma City.
How will it work? At the election board, candidates will be asked whether they are seeking the office of the TWO-YEAR unexpired term, or one of the three FOUR-YEAR terms.
For the two-year term, if not more than one candidate files, he or she will assume the seat automatically. There will be an election if two or more candidates file, and the top vote-getter will get the seat.
For the other three seats, if only three candidates file, they will also assume the seats. However, if there are four or more residents who file, then the top three vote-getters will become Trustees.
What are the issues? A search of the “Town” category finds 184 articles written over the last 18 months or so since The Luther Register began publishing for anyone wanting to do some research.
Here are results from the last several Town elections showing the breadth of candidates and the relatively small number of voters who elect the voters of the town.
From the election held April 7, 2015, combining absentee, early voting and election day ballots, according to records from the Oklahoma State Election Board.
Ronald J Henry 65 votes (30%)
Kim Bourns 34 votes (16%)
Sondra Jean Stafford 33 votes (15%)
Lea Ann Jackson 83 votes (39%)
TOTAL VOTES CAST 215
Brenda Nell Henry 63 votes (47%)
Carolyn Lawson 72 votes (53%)
TOTAL VOTES CAST 135
From the election held January 31, 2014, results combining absentee, early voting and election day ballots, according to records from the Oklahoma State Election Board.
Allen Parrish 31 votes (35%)
Lea Ann Jackson 43 votes (48%)
Ronald Johnson 11 votes (12%)
Gerald McCauley 4 votes (5%)
TOTAL VOTES CAST 89
From the election held April 2, 2013, results combining absentee, early voting and election day ballots, according to records from the Oklahoma State Election Board.
Birlene Langley 87 votes (18%)
Gregg H Atkinson 119 votes (25%)
Jeremy Ring 25 votes (5%)
Gary T. Anderson 61 votes (13%)
Carolyn Lawson 52 votes (11%)
Shane L Mustard 27 votes (6%)
Cecilia Taft 115 votes (24%)
TOTAL VOTES CAST 458