Stillwater News Press

Local News

June 18, 2014

Q5 with the District 3 County Commission Candidates: Looking at the issues



Ted Arthur, Kent Bradley and Fred Wheatley are candidates for Payne County Commission District No. 3. Because all three candidates are Republicans, the race will be decided in the primary or runoff election by Republican voters.


Ted Arthur is a resident of Perkins. He’s a retired Vocational Agriculture teacher with no previous political experience.

Kent Bradley is a resident of Stillwater. He’s a recently retired excavation contractor and housing developer. He ran for Payne County Commission District 3 in 2010.

Fred Wheatley was born and raised in Stillwater. He’s the owner of a heavy highway construction business. He previously served on the Ripley School Board.

Early voting for all races on the Democrat and Republican ballots  for the June 24 primary will be held at the Payne County Election Board, 315 W. Sixth Avenue, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Polls will be open  from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The candidates answered five questions posed to them by the Stillwater News Press.

1 Do you think road departments would be able to budget more efficiently if they were grouped into one unified countywide road and bridge improvement plan?

Arthur: This is a question that is going to require much research and evaluation. District 3 and District 1 have about 1,350 road miles in their combined districts. The two districts are scattered so far apart that it creates major problems. Both districts have county warehouses that allow employees to efficiently and economically get to the job sites. If we have road and bridge projects going on at the same time, who’s to say which district gets the crew that day? I personally feel that the commissioners have budgeted very efficiently the past several years. Again, this plan needs careful planning and research before making a decision.  The countywide road and bridge improvement plan has to be cost efficient and structurally sound. I have personally contacted other county commissioners, and none of their counties have this plan in force.

Bradley: On bigger projects, like the Country Club widening project and in times of emergency, yes, it helps to pool resources to complete the job more quickly, hopefully save money and reduce the time of road closure during construction. On everyday operations, no. The commissioner in that district knows what needs to be done and needs to be accountable to their constituents. Otherwise, a district will feel like it’s being shortchanged over not getting its share. We already have that happening within the district now and it would probably get worse. I will work with the other commissioners to make all of Payne County better.

Wheatley: Absolutely not. Keep it smaller and more manageable. Unexpected cost overruns are too high on big jobs. Build roads one mile at a time to break it down.

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