, Muskogee, OK

April 3, 2013

Oktaha voters OK $1.8M bond

Laymon Braggs trustee; Ray on Midway school board; Porum to seat top three in trustee race

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

BOYNTON — Muskogee County voters passed a school bond, elected trustees in two towns and elected a school board member in Tuesday’s elections.

Oktaha voters passed a $1.8 million bond in Tuesday’s election. Of 232 votes, 213, or 91.8 percent said yes, and 19, or 8.2 percent, said no to the bond issue.

The bond will raise property taxes $2 for every $100 the taxpayer in the district paid last year, officials said.

Superintendent Jerry Needham said he’s delighted with the voters’ decision.

“You feel very humbled and proud to be able to work at a school such as Oktaha with the amount of support it has,” Needham said. “That’s 92 percent of the vote, which is overwhelming, and we’ll do our best to live up to the expectations.”

The bond issue will provide funds to build a gymnasium for elementary students and six new high school classrooms.

In Braggs, voters chose Johnathan Laymon to continue as a trustee with 18 votes, or 56.2 percent. Challenger David Dotson received 14, or 43.8, percent of the vote.

Midway Public Schools district’s voters chose Michael Ray over incumbent Bruce Reed in the runoff election by a narrow margin to take Office No. 1 on the school board.

Ray received 136 votes, or 50.6 percent, and Reed took 133 votes, or 49.4 percent.

Ray said he has four children attending Midway schools, and he is a third-generation graduate.

Porum Board of Trustees incumbent Peggy Ann Cravens took the most votes of the eight people who ran for one of three at-large trustee seats. Cravens took 35 votes, or 19.4 percent, of the vote.

New board members are Trisha McCarn, who took 27 votes, or 15 percent, and Carl Warren, who took 24 votes, or 13.3 percent.

McCarn and Warren both said before the election they hope to bring Porum back to the “vibrant town” it was in its heyday by encouraging new business growth and town events to attract visitors.

Incumbent Ron Lakeman lost his seat, taking 23 votes, or 12.8 percent. Incumbent Don Dill also lost his seat, taking 20 votes or 11.1 percent.

Candidate Martha Long took 23 votes, or 12.8 percent; Ray Dill took 15 votes, or 8.3 percent; and Dian Nicholson took 13 votes, or 7.2 percent.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or