Nine of 13 candidates running for Oklahoma City Council appeared at a mostly cordial forum hosted by Chesapeake Energy Corp. on Friday.
Only once did the candidates exchange words that could be deemed critical of an opponent, when candidate David Greenwell noted a majority of voters in Ward 5 voted against the MAPS 3 proposal in 2009.
Greenwell said such wouldn't have likely happened if “proper leadership at the time would have supported it.”
“Didn't know I was going to get called out,” Ward 5 incumbent Councilman Brian Walters said when he began his remarks to the crowd of Chesapeake employees and other invited guests.
Chesapeake representatives said they invited all 13 candidates to the event.
Four candidates did not show, including the two tea party-backed candidates challenging incumbents Meg Salyer and Patrick Ryan.
Ryan's challenger in Ward 8 is Cliff Hearron, 74, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel.
Neither of Salyer's challengers in Ward 6, 21-year-old Jessica L. Holstein, a psychiatry clinic research assistant, or tea party-backed Adrian Van Manen, 61, a church music director, appeared at the forum.
The only Ward 2 candidate not appearing was Sam Tichenor, 32, a student and entrepreneur.
The candidates at the forum were each given seven minutes to address the audience.
Ward 2 candidates
Charlie Swinton, 61, a senior bank officer, said he was running on a platform of creating jobs, helping schools improve education efforts and finding a way to afford more police officers and firefighters.
Ed Shadid, 42, a doctor, emphasized efforts to fight health problems such as obesity and diabetes, community gardening and local food production and distribution, and senior health efforts.
Janis Powers, 55, an Oklahoma City planning commissioner, said she would work to be an advocate for neighborhoods. Ward 2 has the most neighborhood associations of any ward in the city, Powers said.
Jeffrey Stark, 39, a union representative, said jobs for MAPS 3 projects should be filled by local companies using workers from Oklahoma City.
He also said it was unacceptable not to have more police officers for a city as big as Oklahoma City.
John Milner, the youngest Ward 2 candidate and a business owner, joked he was the only one wearing sneakers on the stage.
Milner, 26, spoke about starting businesses, creating neighborhood master plans and how his generation would be the caretakers of MAPS 3 programs when they are finished 10 to 15 years from now.
Greenwell, 56, an accountant, spoke about keeping businesses in Oklahoma City and running city government as if private business and the residents are customers.
Incumbent Walters, 34, who runs a family business, said he was proud of his service on the city council and wants to remain an independent voice in city government.
He talked about his broad support from labor unions, as well as conservative groups.
Salyer, 55, a business owner, said she is exhilarated by the direction Oklahoma City is taking and wants to continue to make job creation her top priority. Creating jobs will allow the city to create revenue to provide for more services, she said.
Ryan, 72, a retired utility executive, emphasized that even though each ward is different, they are all part of Oklahoma City. Ryan said he wants to continue to work on creating an environment and opportunity for the private sector to create jobs.