(Correction: This post was updated at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, to note the City of Edmond’s general election rules accurately. NonDoc regrets the error.)
Voters are gearing up for an Edmond City Council primary election Feb. 12. An unusual rule in the city’s charter stipulates that the top two candidates in each ward will advance to an April 2 general election no matter what. For the general election, those City Council candidates run citywide.
After a second city council term, Edmond Ward 1 incumbent Victoria Caldwell decided not to run for re-election. Five candidates are campaigning to fill her seat.
Ward 1 runs from Kelly Avenue to Coltrane Road, and from Coffee Creek Road to 15th Street.
The following candidate primers appear in alphabetical order and have been pulled from publicly available information.
Clay Booth, 59
Experience: Booth has advocated at the Edmond City Council as an attorney representing Coffee Creek addition for the preservation of the neighborhood against a PUD plan that was unpopular among residents.
Platform: Booth wants to preserve the small-town feel of Edmond, as well as the pockets of nature around the city. He hopes to keep the Edmond vision alive when it comes to city planning decisions, which means reviewing development plans. He plans to promote art, culture, and economic development, especially development of small businesses. He is quoted in a questionnaire by the Edmond Chamber of Commerce: “I am a fan of small business and finding ways to fuel and support the entrepreneurial spirit on which it is based.”
Links: Booth does not appear to have a website or Facebook for his campaign.
David Chapman, 54
Profession: University of Central Oklahoma Associate Professor of Finance and Real Estate
Experience: Chapman is a licensed real estate broker and owns Realty1, LLC, a real estate company. He holds a Ph.D. and serves as an Oklahoma Real Estate Commissioner, current president of the Central Oklahoma Commercial Association of Realtors and a board member of the OKC Housing Services Redevelopment Corp.
Platform: Chapman says he hopes to resolve Edmond’s traffic issues and build a city where his children will want to live in after college. Chapman wants to push for smart development that has a low impact on the environment and is sustainable in the future. He also plans to focus on economic development, transportation and traffic, as well as implementation of a balanced growth strategy. His website states he “will continue revitalization of Edmond’s Downtown Urban Core, to retain and restore Edmond’s historic neighborhoods and buildings.”
Links: Website | Facebook
Devyn Denton, 41
Profession: ER nurse
Experience: Denton has served on the board of two national nursing organizations and owns a consulting practice in Edmond. She has started a nonprofit that works to aid nurses and others during times of natural disaster. She has been an EMT, firefighter, teacher and nurse.
Platform: Denton would like to prioritize and improve streets, as well as accessibility to public transport in Edmond. She would like to start implementing “people-first city planning”, which would include policies that protect residential neighborhoods and create city gardens in unused spaces. Denton would also like to encourage a “Shop Local” initiative to boost Edmond businesses and tax revenue. According to her website, “This kind of initiative will provide an economic boost to our favorite local industries and restaurants, encouraging the progress of existing businesses, while incentivizing the development of new ones.”
Links: Website | Facebook
Jim Martin, 76
Profession: Human resources
Experience: Martin has 42 years of experience in human resources administration for the University of Central Oklahoma, Seagate, Hertz, Macklanburg-Duncan, CMI, Francis Tuttle, and John A. Brown stores. He was mayor and a city board member in the City of Piedmont.
Platform: Martin would like to promote harmony throughout Edmond to build a stronger community. He also wants to preserve parks and create new ones. He believes Edmond Plan 2018 is incomplete and that rezoning needs to be dealt with before it can be implemented. Martin wants to prioritize existing citizens by protecting property values. He is quoted in the Edmond Sun: “We really need better consideration for our homeowners when making changes in our growth.”
Links: Martin does not appear to have a website or Facebook for his campaign.
Scott Tohlen, 32
Profession: Nonprofit sector
Experience: Tolhen has worked as a nonpartisan staffer for the Oklahoma House of Representatives and has a master’s degree in public administration.
Platform: Tohlen hopes to continue development and expansion in the downtown area by working with local businesses and residents. He will also work to expand infrastructure, especially the roads and rail quiet zone in Ward 1. He wants to preserve parks, green spaces, and trails in Edmond as well. Tohlen wants to be a link between the city and the council. According to his website, Tohlen “will not only work with our community at city hall meetings, but reach out to residents of the ward, to ensure we are keeping those that make Edmond great in mind.”
Links: Website | Facebook