Ok. So, we’ve had our rundown of the questions we asked the candidates in the race for Ward 3 City of Enid Commissioner. If you missed that, you can get it here: Ward 3 Questions
After carefully reading the questions we provided to the candidates and additional resources, here are the thoughts of the Route 60 Sentinel Editorial Board.
Melodie Lunday (Route 60 Writer):
I don’t know any of the candidates, so I was completely unbiased. I tend to be a very middle of the road kind of person, and look for a candidate who has strong values, but is still willing to be flexible when the facts come in. I look for people who are willing to really check into the issues, and who don’t have their minds made up before they get started. Most jobs look totally different from the inside, and you have to be willing to learn.
I am not overly fond of the theory that all City workings are a conspiracy. I know that personal feelings and relationships do sway decisions in most every form of government, but I don’t believe that Enid is unique in this way, and I don’t believe that the government is out to get us. I feel that most Commissioners are there because they care about Enid, or in the City Manager’s case, there to do a job to the best of his ability. (I don’t know Benson either, btw.)
My pick for this race is: Ben Ezzell
It came down to the fact that he had…facts. He was knowledgeable about the past and current water issues, and I think his proposed solution is based on practical thinking rather than emotion. It was a tough call, because I think Stephens’ inside knowledge of how the City operates from his employment there could be an asset. Yet, it could be detrimental because we all have emotional baggage that goes along with the workplace. Also, Ezzell’s favorite color is green, and I have green eyes, so there’s that. 😉
Jennifer Taylor (Route 60 Reader):
Definitely Ezzell. In all honesty it seems he is trying to improve Enid and make it better. Stephens seems like a condescending ass who wants it all to stay the same…….you know me, I call it like I see it. By the way he words his answers it’s like are you kidding me???
Mark Keefer (Route 60 Editor):
I formally recused myself from voting in this race as I have a conflict of interest. Mr. Stephens is my uncle. Yes, the man Jennifer Taylor called a condescending ass. One of the reasons I picked Mrs. Taylor was her strong opinions. And the beauty of it is that I knew that even if she knew he was my uncle, she still would have said the same thing.
The problem with that, is he is not a condescending ass. At least not in person. He’s a guy who gave over 20 years of service to the City of Enid. While some wanted to condemn even that service recently, it’s a hard fact to ignore. Another plus for him is his community service. During the Christmas season, he loves to don a Santa suit and make visits to hospitals and other places to cheer people up. He was a strong advocate of allowing the City employees to form a union and was very vocal in that process. At the end of the day, I’d be lying if I didn’t say it would be cool to have a City Commissioner in the family.
However, everything that has been stated about Mr. Ezzell here in this article are great reasons why he would be an asset on the Commission.
Ultimately, it would not have mattered if I had thrown a vote to my dear ol’ uncle (not saying I actually would have 😎 ). With a vote of 2-0, Ben Ezzell is the Route 60 Sentinel Officially Endorsed Candidate for Ward 3. Congratulations to both candidates and I wish them both the best during the remainder of the campaign and on election day!