EDMOND — Councilman Nick Massey faces challenger Shilpa Abbitt for the Ward 4 city council job in Tuesday's general election.
Massey, 65, was appointed a year ago to fill the unexpired term of David Miller, who resigned to take a job out of the state.
This is the first time for both Massey, a financial and investment adviser, and Abbitt, a Devon Energy reservoir engineer, to run for public office.
Abbitt, 42, said she is not a supporter of public-private partnerships, particularly the city's $11 million investment for a hotel and conference center and sports complex at Interstate 35 and Covell Road.
She does not like it that the city purchased land and is leasing it to private companies.
“It would have been nice for residents to vote on it,” Abbitt said. “We should have had a chance to vote on it when you take big chunks out of the budget.”
Massey said he is a supporter of public-private partnerships and the I-35 and Covell development because it will bring economic development to Edmond and increase the sales tax base. He said he is pro-growth and pro-quality business and pro-balanced economic development.
“I think Edmond is headed in the right direction,” Massey said. “We live and die by sales tax revenue.”
Massey said the economic base needs to continue to grow so the city can give the residents what they want.
“Helping ensure balanced growth and a rich quality of life in Edmond is my number one priority,” Massey said.
Massey led the way to create an incentive policy where the city, Edmond Economic Development Authority and Edmond Electric are offering to help businesses, retailers and developers that are currently located in Edmond and want to expand, or want to relocate to Edmond.