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October 20, 2017

2017 voter guide

Welcome to The Luther Register’s first edition VOTER’S GUIDE for the April 4, 2017, Town Board Election. There are four seats up for grabs, with eleven candidates. We have asked every candidate to voluntarily participate by filling out a questionnaire. The following are the responses of the six candidates who wanted to take part.

For the FOUR-YEAR TERM. Town voters will vote for three candidates, and the top three vote-getters will win seats to the board.

Trandy Langston

What is your working experience? 
I work for Oklahoma Title & Closing Co., Inc. I’ve been with the company for almost 14 years. I currently serve as escrow officer and office manager.

Tell us about your education if you would like to. 
Facing challenges of motherhood at a very early age, I obtained my GED and went right to work.

Tell us about your family if you would like to. 
I married my high school sweetheart Bo Langston. We have been married for six years. We have two wonderful children. Kacen Ayer who will be 16 in April and Brailey Langston who is seven. Kacen is currently a sophomore at LHS while Brailey is in Mrs. Colvin’s first grade class at LES.

Tell us about your hobbies if you would like to.
As most country girls do, I enjoy fishing. I also enjoy attending our children’s sports/school functions as well as watching college football.

Do you have previous experience serving The Town of Luther? 
I did serve, by appointment as the Town Clerk/Treasurer for a short time. Having done so provided me with knowledge that I feel would be beneficial should I become elected.

What is your reason(s) for running for Town Trustee? 
I hope to be added to a team who is looking towards our town’s growth and future. I hope to be a voice for our citizens and to help empower people to get involved.

Describe any your community service involvement. 
I currently serve on both the Luther Little League Basketball Board and the Luther Little League Baseball/Softball board. I also enjoy assisting in coaching cheerleading. I’ve enjoyed organizing several parades in Luther. Last year, I was honored to assist a great group of ladies in Luther’s Alumni festivities.

What are you top issues concerning the Town of Luther?
My main concerns would be infrastructure and budgeted funds, along with compliance and a lack of grants being sought.

What do you envision for Luther in five years?
Luther will grow and I hope in five years we will have embraced the growth and learned to work as a team for the betterment of the town.

What do you envision for Luther in ten years?
While I believe that there needs to be long-term goals, I feel the new board will need to focus on fixing the current issues at hand before we can look too far into the future.

What are your plans for becoming familiar with the issues associated with the job of Trustee?
Having attended most of the town meetings for at least the last couple of years, I feel that I am somewhat familiar with the duties of a trustee. For what I do not know, I am excited to learn more and will do my best to do so.

How can citizens contact you with questions or ideas about our Town?
Prior to the election I can be reached via email, phone or Facebook. If I am elected, citizens are always free to reach me through Town hall or an email that will be utilized for Trustee purposes.

Visit Langston’s Facebook Campaign page here.


Jenni White


Professional Experience: I have a Master’s Degree in Biology and taught science at Deer Creek High School 2 years and Independence Charter Middle School 4 years. I also taught Microbiology at UCO four years as a teaching assistant and was an Epidemiologist for the State Health Department two years.

Though my husband and I agreed I would be a ‘stay-at-home’ mom for our kids, I undertook the – you could only call it an ‘adventure’ – of convincing Oklahoma legislators to repeal a set of nationally coerced educational standards called the Common Core State Standards from state law. For nearly five years, from 2009 to 2014, my counterparts and I lobbied the legislature and spoke to groups all across Oklahoma (and the nation), informing them of the facts and information we’d uncovered through research. After a fight large enough to make national news, the legislature repealed Common Core in 2014.

Since the repeal, I have largely ‘retired’ from lobbying and speaking and have dedicated myself to teaching chemistry and pre-algebra at our local homeschool Co-Op, keeping my kids up on their studies and writing and reporting for a an organization called the Heartland Institute and online news outlets like the Federalist, Truth in American Education and American Thinker.

Education: I graduated from John Marshall High School in 1981, worked under my father at his advertising agency for six years and then entered UCO in 1987. I finished my B.S. in Biology in 1991 and was granted my Master’s in Biology in 1995.

Family: My husband David and I have known each other since 1988 when we met in a general biology class during summer session at UCO. Married in 1997, our family consists of my daughter Bryna (34) and her husband Chris Thomas, daughter Betty (15), and sons Coleman (15 in June) and Sam (12); a nearly 20-year-old Quaker parrot named Gregor, and an assortment of adopted family pets; 2 giant farm dogs, Possum and Bandit, 2 indoor dogs, Max and Sasha, and 2 indoor cats Nacho and Grendel.

Volunteer Service: Prior to my work against the Common Core initiative, I was very involved in our previous church. I began a mom’s coffee group, a mom’s Bible study and was a member of the United Methodist Women which undertook a number of services within the local community.

Hobbies: I LOVE to garden! In fact, I LOVE finding and planting heirloom seeds. Fortunately, I also LOVE canning! Cooking and blogging are my other big favorites.

Previous Experience: I do not have previous experience serving the Town.

Reason for Running: Running for Trustee was a result of having attended Town meetings for the past several years. While I will in no way question the motivations and/or intentions of current and past Town Trustees, I have become increasingly frustrated by the fact that the Town of Luther does not operate on any kind of a budget. Nearly every meeting, expense items are submitted to the Trustees, and those expenses are often accepted without any reference at all to a budget, or informed by infrastructure needs. There is an I-44 loop – whether we want it or not – moving forward very close to the borders of our Town. The Town simply cannot continue to spend unbudgeted funds and attack infrastructure issues on an ‘ad-hoc’ basis. City planning is essential to the economic health and fiscal well-being of the Town of Luther and its residents.

Top Issues: A) Producing and then consistently following a budget. B) Planning, identifying and providing expenses for infrastructure needs. C) Retail sales taxes can provide opportunities for the Town. Because of this, we should absolutely ENCOURAGE business growth in our community. D) I’m a staunch believer that governments are put in place to protect the rights of citizens. People have the right to open, transparent, honest, accountable and participative government at all levels.

Five Year Vision: I envision Luther in five years as a place where citizens can have their basic needs met within their own Town borders. In addition, I would like to see Luther house enough business and recreation opportunities that people from other towns feel the need to come here and spend their time and money. I would like to work toward finding commercial business or storefront occupants for every building on Main Street and to seek out and avail ourselves of beautification projects for areas inside the Town proper. Luther residents I’ve spoken to have some great ideas about growing opportunities for our Town – we need to make those ideas welcomed and sought after.

Ten Year Vision: Ideally, in ten years, after meeting budgeting and infrastructure concerns, Luther should have a thriving business sector providing an active tax base allowing Town residents to be unconcerned about the stability of their water pressure or availability, increased parking downtown to accommodate visitors, and a place to which our kids will want to return when they leave for college or where they’ll want to stay and raise their families because they’ll have ready employment opportunities.

Familiarity with Job Issues: I am fortunate to have an employee of the Oklahoma Municipal League (OML) as a long-time friend. While I will gladly attend the obliged training for the position provided by OML, I will also continue to dialogue with her and research the methods and functions of other surrounding towns as I have time.

Plans for Campaigning: Currently, I have a Facebook page  to which I am re-posting Town news from The Luther Register, and where people can ask questions regarding specific issues about my candidacy in general. I hope to have a flyer out before the end of the month to which residents can refer to become familiar with the issues I feel it important to address if I am elected.

Contact Information: Citizens can email me at jenni.ROPE2.0@gmail.com with questions, or contact me through my Facebook page.

 


Mike McClure

What is your working experience?

After graduation from OU in 1971, I began working with the Oklahoma City Planning Department on an 18-month grant program for an information system. Afterward, I staffed the Board of Adjustment (The Appeal Board from the Zoning Ordinance), the Planning Commission, and Historical Preservation Commission. In 1996, I began working in Contract Administration and as a Contract Administrator participated in Consultant selection, bidding and the administering of construction projects, including Trails projects throughout the City. In 2005 I returned to Zoning and worked with Planned Unit Developments (PUDs) until retirement in 2010. PUDs are the preferred Zoning District for commercial and industrial development in OKC and Edmond.

Tell us about your education if you would like to?  
I was born and raised in OKC and graduated from Northwest Classen High School in 1967 and graduated from OU in 1971 with a major in Political Science.
 
Tell us about your family if you would like to.
Karen and I married in 1978 and eventually moved into a big house at 605 NW 32 with our four children. In 1988, we moved to Luther. Our youngest, Kiel and Jacob, attended only Luther schools through high school and played several sports. In 1991, we bought the old Sugar Shaker drive-in, which employed all but 1 of our 6 kids until we retired.  We have 7 grandchildren of which 3 attended and graduated from Luther Schools.
 
Tell us about your hobbies if you would like to.
I try to garden every year and sometimes actually grow vegetables to eat. I’ve become interested in genealogy and have tracked my family and Karen’s back to the 1700’s. Of course, I watch all Thunder games, cheer for my Alma Mater and track and attend many Luther games.
 
Do you have previous experience serving the Town of Luther?
No

 

What is your reason(s) for running for Town Trustee?
With my experience in City government, I feel I can help with the problems that face Oklahoma Towns and Cities. Being retired, I can devote the time to key issues that others may not be able to do. My familiarity with land use conflicts can benefit a growing community like Luther. Knowing how government works can be an asset when dealing with Oklahoma County, Oklahoma City and the Turnpike Authority.

Describe any of your community (volunteer, church, school) service
I coached my sons in Little League baseball and basketball throughout their elementary years and regularly contributed cups, sno-cone flavors and the sno-cone machine to the Luther School fundraisers. Recently, I was appointed to the Luther Planning Commission, which meets monthly and reviews building permit requests.

What are your top issues concerning the Town of Luther?
I would like to see more openness in Town government, more participation from the residents and Town Trustees that operate within an efficient budget that regularly contributes to a contingency fund for eventual emergencies. The tendency towards stifling open discussion of Town issues is not healthy and I’d like to see more people involved with their government. I’d like to assure that the new Turnpike will not adversely affect the Town’s development and have more Town involvement in that process. Additional recreational facilities for Town children is also a priority of mine.
 
What do you envision for Luther in five years?
I see a continuing improvement in the redevelopment of Main Street and other commercial areas in Town and hope that folks will shop and eat locally in order to support the businesses that have made investments in the Town. I’d like to see additional Park recreational facilities, such as a water spray pad area.
 
What do you envision for Luther in ten years?
I see a fully developed and occupied Main Street with new additional parking areas and other commercial areas bustling with local patrons. Few vacant residential lots exist because of the popularity of the small town with big town services.
What are your plans for becoming familiar with the issues associated with the job of Trustee?
Recently, I’ve attended a couple of Trustee meetings that dealt with some of the local issues that helped prepare me for the job and thankfully, your newspaper regularly reports important issues facing the Trustees. The detailed discussions that are reported help frame the local issues of the day. I intend to continue reading your accounts.
 
What are your plans for campaigning? 
I’m really not planning to litter the Town with campaign signs or other solicitations. I’m hoping that voters will research the candidates and determine who could best serve the Town.
 
How can citizens contact you with questions or ideas about our Town? 
I can be reached at:      mkmc.home@sbcglobal.net

 


Paxton Cavin

What is your professional experience?
For the past three years, I have taught elementary art with Oklahoma City Public Schools. My experience has primarily been at Martin Luther King Elementary where I have had the opportunity to teach approximately 450 students each year. In addition to teaching my wonderful students, my duties include creating lesson plans, managing a yearly budget, ordering supplies, and working with a team to make decisions for our school. In a time of budget cuts, I have been able to successfully fundraise for my classroom supplies and to provide my students with countless opportunities to showcase their artwork in the metro area.

Tell us about your education if you would like to?
Earning my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Oklahoma State University was a rewarding experience. Apart from the education I received, I was able to participate in various opportunities that allowed me to use my skills as an artist to enhance the community.

Tell us about your family if you would like to.
I am incredibly blessed to be married to my best friend and Luther native, C.J. Cavin. Our daughter Olivia was born in December 2016.

Tell us about your hobbies if you would like to.
As an artist, I spend a lot of my free time creating art, specifically painting, and since purchasing our dream house in Luther, my husband and I have enjoyed renovating and doing projects to improve our home. However, spending time with my husband and new baby girl is definitely my favorite way to spend my time.

Do you have previous experience serving the Town of Luther?
In 2015 my husband and I were approached to create a new town website. It was our goal to make a site that showcased all that Luther has to offer on a modern and easy-to-use platform. Taking pictures, adding content, making an event calendar, and providing a place for town updates are just a small portion of what we added to the website. After the initial creation and few months of doing the updates we were able to train the Town Hall staff to manage the website.

What is your reason(s) for running for Town Trustee?
It is my belief that the Town of Luther is in desperate need of positive change, innovative ideas, and a commitment to uphold the rules and laws that pertain to local government. I have made my home in Luther and want to help create a place that my family can enjoy for years to come.

Describe any of your community (volunteer, church, school) service.

  • Various ministries at First Baptist Church Luther
  • After School Art Club Advisor at Martin Luther King Elementary, OKCPS
  • Member of Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition

 

What are your top issues concerning the Town of Luther?
Transparency
I know that it is the job of the Board of Trustees to serve the community. I know that for the board to be effective they must be trusted.

Transparency is key in earning the trust of the citizens of Luther. By adhering to the rules of open meetings and open records, I will insist that what happens on the board is legal and visible to those who elected me to serve.

Accountability
I know that it is the responsibility for the Board of Trustees to take care of the community. I know that for the board to be able to do this, they must be responsible.

Accountability is crucial for the board to operate correctly. Through better management of money, an open budgeting process, and the introduction of need-based budgeting, I am determined to make sure that the town operates in a responsible way. 

Vision
I know that it is the privilege of the Board of Trustees to bring growth and opportunities to the community. I know that for the board to be successful they must be creative.

Vision is the cornerstone of making Luther great again. By continuing the success of the downtown revitalization and making Luther a must stop destination for tourists and potential residents, I am excited to bring new ideas and change to the community.

What do you envision for Luther in five years?
What do you envision for Luther in ten years?
I have combined my answer to these two questions due to the fact that my goals are directly related to the responses to the 2015 town survey generated by the Town Board. Because of the dire need of change and improvement in the town, as expressed by the citizens of Luther, I feel as though it will take 5-10 years to make positive changes that last. Below are the goals that I have for Luther and will start working toward once elected:

  • Continued revitalization of downtown Luther
    • Maintaining current business base
    • Bringing in new businesses
    • Changing the zoning of downtown property when it becomes available
  • Town water issues resolved or being resolved
    • Replacing and repairing town water lines
    • Addressing issues with the water tower
    • Making sure that the tap water is safe and worth drinking
  • Various town beautification projects
    • Cleaning up trash and clutter around town
    • Creating community artwork
    • Disposing of dilapidated houses
    • Implementing a recycling program
  • Easily accessible town records and updated ordinances
  • Town Finances
    • Maintaining a yearly budget
    • Building up Rainy Day Fund   
    • Meeting deadlines to receive county, state, and federal funding
    • Applying for grants to better the community


What are your plans for becoming familiar with the issues associated with the job of Trustee?

  • Familiarizing myself with the town ordinances
  • Becoming proficient in the rules surrounding the Open Meetings Act
  • Discussing problems/solutions with community members
  • Attending the statutorily required trainings provided by the Oklahoma Municipal League

What are your plans for campaigning?

  • Talking to voters at local establishments and through phone calls
  • Facebook page
  • Website:  www.paxtoncavin.com
  • Campaign signs
  • Participating in election related events
  • Being available for citizens to ask questions and propose ideas

How can citizens contact you with questions or ideas about our Town?

 


For the TWO-YEAR TERM. Town voters will vote for one candidate, and the top vote-getters will win a seat on the board.

Jason Roach

What is your working experience?
Manager/Owner of Triangular Silt Dike Co., Inc. We sell construction products specializing in erosion and sediment control.

Tell us about your education if you would like to.
Bachelors of Science in Business Management/Marketing from Cornell University.

Tell us about your family if you would like to.
I have been married for 20 years and am the proud father of five children.

Tell us about your hobbies if you would like to.
Hunting and fishing when not chasing or shuttling children to their various activities.

What is your reason(s) for running for Town Trustee?
I have successfully operated a company for 20 plus years and believe my experience will be beneficial in moving the town forward.  With aging infrastructures, the town needs to be prepared for future safety and growth.  Managing the resources is crucial for the future of Luther.

What are your top issues concerning the Town of Luther?
The safety of our people, aging infrastructures, and financial resources available for these improvements.

What do you envision for Luther in five years?
Having the resources to make our town more attractive and safe for business growth opportunities.

What do you envision for Luther in ten years?
A place that maintains its small town atmosphere while accommodating tourism through restaurants, events, and other small business venues.

What are your plans for becoming familiar with the issues associated with the job of Trustee?
First and foremost, I want to listen to the people’s concerns. Becoming familiar with the  legal and financial responsibilities is of the upmost importance.  We must have integrity and transparency as trustees and educate ourselves on the issues thoroughly.

What are your plans for campaigning?
Meeting and listening to the concerns of the people.

How can citizens contact you with questions or ideas about our Town?
I am in my office at 18505 East Hwy 66 most business days and can be reached by email at j.roach.tsd@gmail.com.


Herbert Keith

What is your professional experience?
Business owner, and retired Oklahoma City Deputy Fire Marshal

Tell us about your education if you would like to.
Langston University, Oklahoma City University (business management, marketing)

Tell us about your family if you would like to.
I’m the proud father of three sons and one daughter. I have two grandsons and one granddaughter. Two of my sons graduated from Luther High School.

Do you have previous experience serving the Town of Luther?
No

What is your reason(s) for running for Town Trustee?
My spirit to give back to the community by being a public servant.

Describe any of your community service.
Volunteer for Little League sport for over seven years
First Baptist Church

What are you top issues concerning the Town of Luther?
1. The people of Luther
2. City accountability
3. Safety
4. Growth

What do you envision for Luther in five/ten years? 
Population growth which will change everything

What are your plans for becoming familiar with the issues associated with the job of Trustee? 
Take the mandatory training requirements, study civil ordinances, policies and meet with citizens of the community.

What are your plans for campaigning?
Just get out and meet the people of Luther and ask for their vote!

How can citizens contact you with questions or ideas about our Town? 
Phone, 405-209-5180
Email: dancingspirit47@gmail.com

Do you have any other comments to share?
Many hands make a load light, let’s get out and vote.


A mid-March candidate forum is planned before the election. Have a question? Please submit it here. Thank you.