Millions at stake in February 13 votes

$128,600,000.00 in Union District

Various municipal and public school elections – some dealing with hundreds of millions of dollars – will be on the ballot February 13.

The odd scheduling of these annual election almost always guarantees low turnouts even though the results have a great impact on how schools and cities conduct government business.

And the votes can dramatically raise property taxes.

Union School District is asking for $128,600,000.00 for a five-year bond issue for a host of projects under two propositions.

The proposal to increase property taxes includes:

$42,475,000.00 – Fine arts, stadium renovation

$20,600,000.00 – Technology hardware, software

$8,400,000.00 – Maintenance, operations

$7,500,000.00 – Roof replacements

$7,300,000.00 – Heat and air systems

$7,200,000.00 – Professional fees

$6,850,000.00 – “Site/Department allocations”

$6,600,000.00 – Ellen Ochoa Elementary

$5,125,000.00 – Exterior/interior renovations

$4,750,000.00 – “Teaching resources”

$4,600,000.00 – Buses

$3,250,000.00 – Metro Building Design Lab

$2,500,000.00 – Early Childhood Education Center

$1,450,000.00 – Performing Arts Center improvements

Heather McAdams was unopposed in the race for school board in Union District 9.

In contrast, Jenks Public Schools is proposing two bond issues that total only $14,000,000.00. That property tax increase would pay for furniture, white boards, projectors, lab equipment and more.

It would cover some roof repairs, plumbing, heat and air, carpet, sidewalks, and other upgrades. It would also buy copiers, printers and scanners. There would be funds for technology, safety, textbooks, buses and computers.

The borrowed funds would pay for the addition of 12 classrooms at Jenks Middle Schools, with a scheduled completion date of August in 2019.

Melissa Abdo was unopposed in District 5 race for school board in Jenks.

In Collinsville, voters will be asked to approve bonds for $7,535,000.00. That would pay for a new high school classroom addition, an Upper Elementary School addition, a new band building, a new Vo-Ag building and furnishings.

In the Collinsville District 3 board race, Jennifer McElroy faces Brady Stephens.

Tulsa Public Schools had two seats up for grabs but only race materialized.

In Tulsa’s District 4, board member Shawna Keller will face Raymon Simpson.

Keller, who is the board’s vice president, is a member of the Oklahoma Education Association and teaches at Owasso Ram Academy. She has a bachelor’s degree in history from The University of Tulsa and got her teaching certification from Northeastern State University. She is working on her master’s degree from TU.

Keller attended Disney Elementary, Foster Middle School (now East Central Junior High) and graduated from East Central High School.

Simpson has lived in East Tulsa for at least 30 years. He has an associate’s degree in elementary education from Tulsa Community College and a bachelor of science in organizational leadership from NSU.

Simpson’s family is members of Eastland Baptist Church and he serves there as a trustee, Sunday School teacher and choir member.

Simpson works for Ernst and Young (CPA firm).

That district includes Columbus, Cooper, Disney, Kerr, Lindbergh, Lewis and Clark, Peary elementary schools plus East Central Junior High and East Central High School.

No one filed against Tulsa School Board President Suzanne E. Schreiber in District 7 so she won a new term by default.

Nobody filed for the Bixby Office No. 3 and therefore the school board will fill that vacancy. In Broken Arrow Office No. 3, Theresa Williamson will face John Cockrell.

In Owasso, Vice Mayor Chris Kelley will face Brian Cook in the Ward 2 race.

In Sand Springs, Ward 6 incumbent Brian Jackson is running against challenger Harold Neal.

Doc Geiger did not draw an opponent in Berryhill Office No. 3. Neal Kessler was unopposed in Owasso District No. 3. Jim Von Holten did not have an opponent in Glenpool Office No. 3 and James Fuller was unopposed in Glenpool Office No. 5.

In Sand Springs, Rusty Gunn was unopposed in District 2. Michelle Brown had no opponent in Sperry District 3. Mike Mullins drew no opponent in Skiatook District No. 3.

Three other unopposed candidates were Jason Valentine in Liberty Office No. 3; Al Shasteen in Keystone Office No. 1 and Rick Kibbe in the Tulsa Technology District No. 18.

Applications for absentee ballots for the February 13 elections must be received by the County Election Board no later than 5 p.m. February 7, to be processed in time for the election, said County Election Board Secretary Gwen Freeman.

Absentee voters may apply in person at the County Election Board office or may send their applications by mail, fax, or e-mail. An online version of the form may be filled out and submitted electronically at www.elections.ok.gov.

For more information on absentee voting, contact the County Election Board at 555 N. Denver. The telephone number is 918-596-5780. The County Election Board’s fax number is 918-596-4536.

Candidates for municipal office in the City of Bixby may file Declarations of Candidacy beginning at 8 a.m. February 5.

The filing period ends at 5 p.m. February 7.

City of Bixby—-City Council Ward 4 office at stake and will be filled in the nonpartisan election scheduled April 3.