March 14, 1995
Our city election on April 4 is just three weeks away and some of the campaign rhetoric seems to be turning a little strident, not surprisingly. Two candidates are running for mayor and three are in the ward one city council race, but six (count 'em) are vying for the city marshal's job. Consequently, a lot of the debate, limited though it may be, is focused on that contest. That's to be expected with so many hopefuls all seeking to corral a big chunk of the voters. Remember, it's winner take all. No runoff this time.
Most of what's being said in the marshal's race is pretty amicable stuff. Although a few statements do sound like a bare knuckles fight, Marquis of Queensbury rules are prevailing. All very gentlemanly. Even though Police Chief Tim Davidson and Assistant Chief Fred LeValley are both in the race, they say there's no problem between them and they are making no charges against each other
Having named those two, I will give equal treatment to all and mention the other four candidates too. So, alphabetically, they are Steve Bunch, Mike Devlin, Tracy Hicks and Bob Schweer.
A few yard signs have sprouted up and some candidates are running campaign statements in this newspaper. Some are using direct mail and one public forum has been held for the police chief hopefuls. Nothing along the line yet for the two candidates for mayor, Bud Hollingsworth and Norman Boone. You've seen the ads. The ward one council race features incumbent Barbara Cook running against challengers Gene Coffey and Clifton Franklin. It is very low key thus far. For the most part these candidates seem to be relying on face-to-face, door-knocking, hand-shaking encounters with the electorate.
If nothing else, I hope the fact that there is such a large number of candidates running for city marshal helps all of us to remember that "marshal," as used here, is spelled with only one "l." If you're talking about one of the Marshall families, it does have two l's. But not our City Marshal.
Read the messages, hear what they have to say. This is an important election and it's a critical time for our city. Don't stay home on April 4. Only three races have to be decided by the voters, but our chief of police, city council and mayor have very big roles to play in the advancement and security of this community. Get out and vote and take a neighbor with you.
Perry woodcrafter Jim Garvey is launching a new venture next Saturday by sponsoring an antique toy show at the Holiday Inn in Stillwater. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and there is no admission charge. This being his first one, Jim was preparing for maybe 40 tables. Instead, 43 exhibitors will be there, each with a full table of antique toys, some from the 1930s and 1940s, others from more recent eras. Such shows are becoming more popular all the time. Many people are fond of recalling their childhood by looking at the things they used to play with, and shows like this provide the best place to see them. Some of the articles will be on sale, and maybe you will find one that has special meaning.
Saturday will be a busy day for local folks. That's also the date of the formal grand opening of the new C.R. & Co. Clothing store at Perry Plaza. This will be the first new store of its kind in Perry in many years, and a lot of people are rightfully excited about that. The C. R. Anthony company is excited too because this is a pilot store leading in a new direction for the firm. Check out the opening day, and take in Garvey's antique toy show, too. Great way to spend a Saturday.
The general consensus seems to be that Gary England's appearance here last week was a big success and quite entertaining. His casual remarks at a noon luncheon with Rotarians, Lions, Chamber of Commerce members and other folks were humorous and light, pretty much like his TV persona on Channel 9's weather shows. The "Terrible Twisters" presentation that night in Divine Hall lived up to its advance billing also. Good public relations job for the Oklahoma City station. They played to an appreciative full house. Kids and adults enjoyed the show very much, and Perry got a little TV and radio exposure for two days running. So, it was good for us, too.