By Chase Rheam
STILLWATER, Okla. —
As the filing period closed for Stillwater City Council Seats 1 and 2 Wednesday, two incumbent councilors and two new candidates have stepped forward.
Micah LeFebvre, 26, declared his interest in facing incumbent Joe Weaver for Council Seat 1. When he filed for his candidacy, a news media information form showed LeFebvre works for Oklahoma State University and holds a bachelor’s degree from OSU. LeFebvre did not respond Wednesday to an email requesting information about his candidacy and didn’t provide any other method to contact him.
Weaver said experience was a factor in his decision to file.
“It takes quite a bit of effort to get to the point where you understand the city business and what’s going on,” Weaver said. “I think I’ve been a better councilman the third year than the first year and I think I’d be a pretty good councilman for a second term because I’ve had the experience.”
Weaver said he believes his role in the council is not being a leader, but working toward his strengths.
“I don’t think it’s the job of any one councilman to lead, with the exception being the mayor,” Weaver said. “He’s the face and the voice of the council as a whole. What I try to do is stay prepared and contribute as much as I can particularly on budget issues.”
Weaver said every councilman has strengths.
“Cody (Scott) is an electrician, the mayor is a lawyer,” he said. “Chuck (Hopkins) is a former educator. I’m a financial guy.”
Weaver said he believes the council has done a great job of managing through tough economic times.
“Something else I wanted to do when I got on the council was try to get some unity among the council members; try to be a team player and a team builder and I think the council is working fairly well right now,” Weaver said. “I think the mayor has done a great job of doing that and organizing the meetings.”
If re-elected, Weaver said he would like to maintain a strong budget and budget flexibility.
“I would like to see all these water issues resolved and some projects moving on down the road that will ensure that citywide we’ve got a good, tight water system in place, including a solution and any repairs that are necessary to the Kaw pipeline,” he said. “That’s probably A No. 1 for me.”
For Council Seat 2, candidate Gina Noble is running against incumbent Philip Pina.
Noble, born in Joplin, Mo., has lived in Stillwater since 1999. She is a clinical assistant professor with the School of Media and Strategic Communications at OSU. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the university.
“I’m just ready to serve Stillwater,” she said. “It’s my home. It’s where I raised my child and I’m just ready to serve.”
Among the reasons Noble said she remained in Stillwater included the community, available opportunities and the education system.
“The growth of the city,” Noble said. “I’ve watched it grow so much and I look forward to helping it continue to grow.”
Noble described a few of the platforms on which she is running.
“I want to promote a stronger customer service attitude in all city services,” she said. “I would like to further improve communication between local entities and Stillwater citizens. I want to promote a sense of respect with all that interact with city government. And I want to promote quality of life and make sure that we are providing opportunities for our youth.”
Noble said it’s an honor to participate in municipal government and she looks forward to it.
“I just look forward to the race and discussing the issues and getting to know people in Stillwater better and getting to meet people when I’m out there and hope that they can get to know me,” she said. “First and foremost, I’m a mom and I am a full-time worker and I think I bring a unique perspective and while I don’t have an agenda. I’m just here for Stillwater and its citizens.”
Pina has filed to remain in Council Seat 2. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from OSU and serves as a special education teacher with Stillwater Public Schools.
Pina, who was born in Boston, Mass., was appointed to the Stillwater City Council April 5, 2012, after John Bartley was elected Stillwater mayor in early March. Pina was among 18 applicants for the position. He said he enjoys the position, feels he does a good job and would like to continue.
During his term, Pina said he has worked with the City Council through budgeting, zoning and acquiring new businesses to the city.
Pina said if he is re-elected, he would like to see the city’s population grow to more than 55,000, tighten up the infrastructure and water projects and ensure that the Kaw pipeline will continue to provide service to residents for many more years.
“I hope that I can stand on my record,” Pina said. “I hope that people look at me and say, ‘Hey, he’s done a pretty good job in his term. We like what he’s done.’ And they’ll vote for me.”
Other Payne County residents who filed at the election board include Bobbie Weide, who is seeking the office of Glencoe treasurer, and Megan Hutchison, who filed for the Glencoe Town Council. In Yale, Michael Strader has filed for City Commission Seat 1 and Richard Adsit has filed for City Commision Seat 2 while Mike McCullough has filed for city commissioner.