GUTHRIE — Guthrie's city government will be seeing some changes in the coming months, but there are some familiar faces in the mix.
City voters will elect a new mayor to succeed Chuck Burtcher on April 2, and six candidates are seeking three city council seats.
Trey Ayers has served on the Guthrie City Council for six years and has been vice mayor the past four years.
He moved to Guthrie eight years ago from Edmond and works in real estate development for the Dominion Group.
He said he helped oversee the city's long-term budget, and one of his goals is promoting transparency in city government.
Ayers said he hopes he can provide leadership to help the city grow.
Mark Spradlin is a Marine Corps veteran and retired station manager for an Oklahoma City post office.
He has been retired since 2004. Using his skills as a gardener, Spradlin has run the Guthrie community garden for the past year. He said the garden donated more than 1,000 pounds of fresh produce to the food bank in 2012 and hopes to do more this year.
Spradlin said his goal is to get citizens more involved in city government by increasing outreach in the community.
His main motivation for running, he said, is to serve the community.
John Wood has served four years on the council and is seeking a second term.
He has lived in Guthrie eight years and is a political science professor at Rose State College.
Wood said he has tried to promote transparency, improve infrastructure and work with neighborhood associations to keep aware of the city's problems.
Wood said his job teaching government has helped him be a better public servant. He said his main concern is solving problems in the city.
“This is a dollar a year job, and I don't do it for the money,” he said. “I do it because I feel like if I can solve problems, it's a success.”
Matthis Hathorne could not be reached for comment.
Brian Bothroyd works for Westel, a telecommunications company, and has lived in Guthrie 18 years. He said he is running for city council to try to make Guthrie a place where young people, such as his two daughters, would like to come to live and stay.
He said his experience working with infrastructure and in mediations will help improve the city.
Bothroyd said his goals are to “grow, improve and beautify” Guthrie.
Jeff Taylor is a rural mail carrier and has lived in Guthrie his entire life.
He served on the Guthrie school board for four years and one the hospital board for one year.
Taylor said he has decided to run after being asked for years. He said his main concerns are with infrastructure in the city, including rural roads and the city's water.
“I'm going to be working for the people,” Taylor said. “If they want to call me, they should feel free to. I will listen to what people want, and I will take it to the council and see what can be done.”
Linda Craddock is a retired English professor and has lived in Guthrie more than 35 years. She currently works at the OSU extension office in Guthrie and volunteers at Mercy Hospital.
Craddock said people in Guthrie asked her to run for the council. She said the city council should serve the people, but that role has been reversed in recent years.
“People are just not happy,” she said. “People want to be heard, and I think I will help them to be heard.”
Gaylord Thomas is also running for re-election after serving four years on the council.
He retired from the Air Force eight years ago and moved to Guthrie, though he is originally from Indiana. He worked on the planning commission before being elected to the council and wrote the council's code of ethics.
He said he thinks the citizens have taken note of the city's progress over the past four years and the council deserves credit for that progress.
“We've been doing the necessary things to make the city grow in the right direction,” he said. “I think people are happy with the way we do business.”
He said if re-elected, he hopes to continue striving for progress.
“I don't consider myself to be a politician, just someone who gets things done,” he said.