The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 9, 2013

Consider these important attributes when voting for City Commission candidates


Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The late Tony Snow said our right to vote is best exercised by people who have taken time to learn about the issues.

In that spirit, we address Tuesday’s Enid City Commission races in Wards 3, 4 and 6.

This municipal election has some great choices. Rather than endorsing specific individuals, we’re editorializing about the attributes candidates require as you consider your choice at the polling booth.

Enid has what is formally called the “strong city manager” form of government. Across the board, candidates have mentioned needing to build trust between residents and City Hall.

Commissioners obviously need to be well-spoken communicators, but listening skills are equally important. And they need to have the fortitude to vote for their ward and avoid being a unanimous rubber stamp.

What is the candidate’s motivation? Is he a single-issue candidate with an ax to grind? We don’t need one-trick ponies with singular special interests.

Knowledge and real-world experience also are vital. Practical perspective provides depth and context to make important decisions.

What kind of time commitment can a candidate make? Being a commissioner means a lot of homework and evening meetings.

Is your candidate an independent thinker, or is he using this office as a status position? This isn’t a social club. Commissioners are dealing with millions of dollars and affecting the lives of 50,000 residents.

There’s still time to be informed about this election.