In the Oklahoma City Council elections Tuesday, citizens will help determine our community's future. We hope more of them choose to do so than was the case in the Feb. 12 school board elections.
Ward 1 incumbent Gary Marrs deserves another term on the council. His re-election would signal that Oklahoma City remains committed to growth and prosperity. Marrs' nine years of council service have benefited the city. We expect more of the same if voters choose him over two challengers.
Marrs previously served 30 years with the Oklahoma City Fire Department and became chief. Most notably, he was incident commander in the Murrah bombing's aftermath. He remains active in the community and serves on numerous boards and commissions.
Marrs' council goals include advancing MAPS 3 projects so citizens can enjoy tangible results, and continuing economic development efforts. Because the cost of doing city business is increasing at a rate higher than revenue growth, Marrs points out that population growth is imperative.
“If you don't grow the number of people that are paying taxes, then the same old number of people have to pay more taxes to keep up with the ever-increasing cost of doing business,” Marrs said.
Fortunately, Oklahoma City is reportedly adding around 2,000 people per month. But this also means demand for city services — police/fire, street maintenance, water/sewer — is also increasing. Marrs' experience makes him the best qualified to balance the challenge of funding services while keeping rates low.
Marrs has worked to not only revitalize downtown, but also to address basic service needs throughout the city. His tenure has benefited all.
Each city council member represents about 62,000 people, more than any member of the Legislature. Yet the number of voters participating in council elections is often far less than those voting in legislative elections. Such low turnout means that every vote truly counts. Oklahoma City residents shouldn't take this race for granted.