EDMOND — Longtime city leader Charles Lamb will face Richard Prawdzienski in Tuesday's mayoral election.
Lamb, the incumbent mayor, and Prawdzienski, an Edmond resident since 1996, have opposing views on how the city operates and the direction in which Edmond is headed.
“I think we are fiscally sound and able to build capital projects,” Lamb said. “We are going in a good direction with sound planning.”
Prawdzienski, 65, said the city is growing too fast, and he doesn't like Edmond's involvement in major projects such as construction of the new public safety center, the Edmond Recreation and Aquatic Center, the hotel and conference center and a sports complex.
“The streets are crowded and congested,” said Prawdzienski, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps and worked in logistics at Tinker Air Force Base. “The city likes to tax and spend. We need to stop giving amendments to the building code. We need to stop giving incentives to bribe people to come here.”
Reasons for running
Lamb, who has been on the city council 16 years, said he wants to be re-elected for two more years to see completion of the $24 million competitive swimming pool and recreation center, a partnership of the city, the YMCA and Edmond Public Schools.
He also would like to be the mayor when the downtown public safety center is completed. Voters approved a half-cent sales tax for five years to construct a building for the police department, 911 communications and emergency operations and a second building for the crime laboratory and storage for evidence and vehicles.
Lamb, who has lived in the same house in Edmond since 1959, supports an $11 million investment in a hotel-conference center and sports complex at Interstate 35 and Covell Road. Lamb thinks the public-private partnership will drive economic development.
Lamb, 66, said, “I really have no grand new agenda. I would love to see our investments bear fruit. I want to keep on doing the good work we have been doing.”
Prawdzienski, who has run for state office six times and lost each race, said he is a supporter of free market economy, which he said has no place for public-private partnerships.
If elected, Prawdzienski said, he would stop allowing any variances to the planning and building codes for two years and wants the codes to be rewritten.
“It is the judo technique,” Prawdzienski said. “Use force to overcome the enemy.”
Lamb, who has been mayor for 18 months, has an extensive background in planning, community development and environmental assessments. He spent more than four years helping rewrite the city's zoning and planning codes.
Plans for term
In the next two years, Prawdzienski said, he wants the city to slow down and the public to be fully educated about city business. He said he questions whether the city had enough information to make a good decision about increasing its recycling program.
“The truth is what recycling do we really do in Edmond?” Prawdzienski said. “Is there an alternative?”
For the next two years, Lamb said, he would like to increase the use of geothermal heating and cooling because it saves on customers' bills and helps with the electricity load.
Charlie Burgett, former Edmond Electric director, saved $30 a month after installing a geothermal system, Lamb said.
The city is installing geothermal systems at the public safety center and at the recreation and aquatic center. There also is a geothermal system at the Cross Timber City Complex, which paid for itself in four years.
About the election
The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. All registered voters in Edmond are eligible to cast ballots in the mayor and Ward 4 city council races.