The Oklahoma Election Board Secretary said that a special election in Luther would cost up to $3,000 “on the high end.” Secretary Doug Sanderson said several factors could lower that cost, such as joining another election already planned, if the Town of Luther pursued an election to fill a vacant board seat.
At the July 12 Luther Town Board meeting, the four remaining trustees attempted to appoint a new trustee among two citizens who submitted their names: Andy McDaniels and Mike McClure. The trustees deadlocked on making a decision and tabled the issue.
The board had 60 days from the time of former Mayor Lea Ann Jackson’s resignation on June 9, 2016, to decide whether to appoint a new trustee or hold an election. Regardless of the decision that has to be made before August 9, another election for this seat and three others will be held at the regular municipal election in April 2017.
During the meeting discussion, some board members said the town could not afford a special election. Trustee Birlene Langley cited a conversation she held with someone at the Oklahoma Municipal League who guesstimated the election could cost about $5,000 up to $10,000.
On Wednesday, Sanderson who is responsible for conducting elections in Oklahoma County, told The Luther Register that the estimated cost would be about $3,000, on the high-end.
“We spent more than that on fireworks last week,” said Ron Henry who is pushing for an election to select the new fifth board member.
“The people have a right to decide who they want to represent them. It should be their decision. Not us,” said Henry on Wednesday.
Remaining regular election dates in Oklahoma are the general election on November 8, 2016, or the Primary Run-off election on August 23, 2016. Sanderson said municipal elections during highly visible presidential elections typically do not get as much attention because voters are not as well-informed on local issues. However, he said it is up to those towns to make that decision.
Luther residents, what is your opinion? Election or appointment? Comment below.