MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

March 31, 2013

7 aim to join Eufaula council

Three seats are available

— Seven candidates are seeking three seats on the Eufaula City Council.

Three people – Frank Davis, Frank Kucish and Brenda Lee Otis – are seeking the Ward 1 position being vacated by David Johnson.

Kucish said loss of business is a major issue and the city needs to look for other sources of revenue besides sales tax.

“We have so many empty storefronts downtown,” he said. “Once you lose businesses, you lose jobs.”

Otis cited her experience as a former director of the Eufaula Chamber of Commerce and Eufaula Main Street manager as her main qualifications. She said lack of funding is a main issue. She said she wants to look for ways to bring more business into the community.

“I don’t believe being a council member is a one-night-a-month job,” she said. “I’m a go-getter.”

Davis said he wants to see whether he can make Eufaula a better place to live.

“Streets and water have always been a priority,” he said. “I want to let the citizens of Eufaula know what’s going on before it happens.”

In Ward 2, incumbent Donald W. Berryhill faces a challenge from Beverly Ribaudo for a two-year unexpired term.

Berryhill was appointed to the council, and he wants to continue. He also has served on boards in Hannah, including the school board and water board.

“We need to get our infrastructure — water, sewer and roads — right before we can attract new business,” Berryhill said. “Now, our water system doesn’t pay for itself. I want our water system to be self-sufficient.”

Ribaudo said the city faces many issues including streets, infrastructure, crime, unemployment and “nothing to keep our youth here.”

“I am not a politician,” she said. “I just want to see if I can make a difference. What we have had so far hasn’t worked. We need a council that helps the mayor run the city.”

In Ward 3, incumbent Jim R. Self faces Kenneth M. Sloan.

Self also was appointed to the council. He said he wants to help bring Eufaula forward.

“We need to grow and retain our manufacturing,” he said. “I’d like to see the city get some industries, more development of the cove area. I’d like to see some of our older areas cleaned up and more pride in our community.”

Sloan said growth is the city’s main issue. He said Eufaula needs options for diversification and expansion, plus improvements in its roads and infrastructure.

“I have a degree in mid-level management,” he said, citing his 33 years in law enforcement as another of his qualifications for the seat.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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