MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

March 29, 2013

Porum voters to elect trustees

Three incumbents, five others running for three positions

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Porum residents will vote Tuesday on three at-large Board of Trustee positions. All three incumbents are running, and five others have filed to run as well.

All eight candidates said they want to see Porum grow and become a vibrant town like it was in its heyday.

Candidate Carl Warren said he grew up in Porum and remembers when it was filled with people and cars, especially on the weekends.

“It probably won’t be that way again because times have changed, but there’s no reason the town can’t have a few more businesses in it,” Warren said. “I checked with the state department, and there’s roughly 50,000 cars that drive right through this town every month, so I see no reason why this town can’t support more businesses.”

Warren said he’s interested in seeing Porum pursue grants for things like sidewalks for school children to use and projects to beautify the town to attract people to live there, stop there and shop there.

Incumbent Peggy Ann Cravens said trying to improve the town is exactly what the Board has been doing, and she’d like to continue working toward that goal.

“I’ve lived in Porum my entire life, and I enjoy being a trustee,” Cravens said. “Trying to improve the town is what we’ve been talking about, including getting more businesses here.”

Incumbent Ron Lakeman said he’d also like to continue on the Board, especially to see through some projects that have already gotten started.

“Another four years might enable us to get those things done,” Lakeman said.

Lakeman spends a lot of time visiting city hall and watching over things, he said.

“I try to treat everybody the same and do what’s right for everybody and check all the bills to make sure nothing is being wasted,” Lakeman said.

Incumbent Don Dill said he’s been a trustee for about four years, and he’d also like to see the town “grow a bit.”

“Not get too big, but get something down here so people don’t move away,” Dill said. “I’d like to see it cleaned up too. It used to be a clean little town. When the nursery quit, it really hurt us. It provided lots of jobs.”

Candidate Trisha McCarn said Porum once had weekly festivities that attracted people from neighboring towns, and she wants to “rekindle Porum’s spark.”

“But now, people just pass through, and I want people to realize this town has a lot to offer,” McCarn said. “ I want to encourage new businesses and families to take root in Porum, because it's a great place to live. My goal is to help to create a future for upcoming generations that rivals that of its past.”

Candidate Dian Nicholson said she’d like to “give the town back to the people and let the people make more decisions and be aware of what is going on in our town.”

“It has an interesting background, but I think we need to grow,” Nicholson said. “I’d like to see if we can’t bring some stores to town, like a grocery store, to build the town up more.

Candidate Ray Dill said he’s been a trustee several times in the past and was asked to run again.

“I think we’re headed in the right direction, but I do think there’s some things we need to work on,” Dill said.

Martha Long said she previously served on the Board.

“I was on the board for a long time, and I feel like they need somebody in there who knows what’s going on and knows what the town needs,” Long said. “I’m for the town and the people in it. If I can make a difference, great.”

Voters may cast an absentee ballot in person at the Muskogee County Election Board Office, 400 W. Broadway in Muskogee, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Monday.  Precinct voting will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.

Meet the candidates

OFFICE SOUGHT: Town of Porum, independent municipal officers, three trustees nominated and elected at-large for four year terms.



Ron Lakeman (i)

AGE: 63.

HOMETOWN: Porum.

FAMILY: Wife and two grown children.

OCCUPATION: Retired mechanic.

EDUCATION: High school graduate.

RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Baptist.

HOBBIES: Keeping up with town business and interests.



Don Dill (i)

AGE: 65.

HOMETOWN: Porum.

FAMILY: One son and one daughter.

OCCUPATION: Retired from highway department.

EDUCATION: Porum High School graduate.

RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Pentecostal.

HOBBIES: Working on old cars.



Peggy Ann Cravens (i)

AGE: 63.

HOMETOWN: Porum.

FAMILY: Married with two children.

OCCUPATION: Home health.

EDUCATION: Porum High School.

RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Church of Christ.

HOBBIES: Antiquing and rodeos.



Trisha McCarn

AGE: 24.

HOMETOWN: Born in Ft. Worth, Porum resident for 7 1/2 years.

FAMILY: Father, Kevin McCarn; Stepmother Diana McCarn and Mother Sarah Sparks of Texas.

OCCUPATION: Manager at Fence Post, Scentsy consultant.

EDUCATION: Quinton High School graduate, Connors State College, 2006-2008.

RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Christian.

HOBBIES: Politics, event planning, lake activities, current events, and spending time with family.



Dian Nicholson

AGE: 63.

HOMETOWN: Porum.

Family: Mother Alma Coats, two daughters.

OCCUPATION: Retired.

EDUCATION: Indian Capital Technology Center, nurses’ aide program.

RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Baptist.

HOBBIES: Embroidering baby quilts, sewing.



Ray Dill

AGE: 71.

HOMETOWN: Porum.

FAMILY: Wife Charlotte and daughter Raeann.

OCCUPATION: Retired salesman.

EDUCATION: High school and one semester of college.

HOBBIES: Gardening and traveling the United States.



Martha M. Long

AGE: 77.

HOMETOWN: Porum.

FAMILY: Three children.

OCCUPATION: Retired, volunteer at Porum Community Center twice a week.

EDUCATION: Porum High School graduate.

RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Baptist.

HOBBIES: Volunteering.



Carl Warren

AGE: 44.

HOMETOWN: Porum.

FAMILY: One daughter and one son.

OCCUPATION: Acme Engineering.

EDUCATION: Webbers Falls High School graduate, some vocational school and one year of college.

RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Freewill Baptist.

HOBBIES: Hunting, fishing and spending time with his son.