On Thursday, January 26th citizens of Enid gathered at the Stride Bank Center to watch a Commissioner Forum that was held by the Enid News and Eagle and the Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce. Attending the forum were mayoral candidate David Mason, retired District Judge Haskins who was speaking on behalf of mayoral candidate Jayme Latta who had a scheduling conflict, Ward 1 Commissioner Incumbent Jerry Allen, Ward 1 Challenger Judd Blevins, Ward 2 Commissioner Incumbent Derwin Norwood, Ward 2 Challenger Doug Boyle, and Ward 2 Challenger Kyle Hockmeyer.
Candidates or their representatives were allowed opening statements of up to 3 minutes. Then candidates took turns answering questions that were submitted in advance and were given 2 minutes each to answer those questions.
Mayoral candidate David Mason who formerly served as Ward 6 Commissioner was 1st to make an opening statement saying “a good leader also has to recognize they can not be an expert in every single topic.” He went on to say “An effective leader has to be able to acknowledge that from time to time they make mistakes”.
Next up was retired District Judge Haskins who spoke on behalf of Mayoral Candidate Jayme Latta started by apologizing for Latta’s absence who had a scheduling conflict. Haskins said, “politics don’t have to be divisive”. Also during the opening statement Haskins said “Jayme is different she is not a known politician”.
Incumbent Ward 1 Commissioner Jerry Allen was next to give his opening statement saying ” I’m seeking a 2nd term to continue to seek to bring the pipeline to fruition”, speaking of the Kaw Lake Water Pipeline. Allen went on to say I bring passion and experience to the position”.
Ward 1 challenger Judd Blevins who previously served in the Marines and is a veteran of the Iraq War was next to give his statement. Blevins said, “I want to see this city grow by keeping its young people here”.
Ward 2 challenger Doug Boyle who previously served in the Marines and now works as a civilian aircraft simulation instructor at Vance Airforce Base gave his opening statement next. During the statement, Boyle said, “We need to get back to service-oriented government”. He also said, “Perhaps one of the best things to come from Covid is that Enid residents became highly aware of how easily their freedoms can be dismissed and how important it is to elect officials who will defend individual liberties”.
Fellow Ward 2 challenger Kyle Hockmeyer who is also the Director of Workforce Development at Autry Technology Center said during his statement “The number 1 issue that the majority of business owners are currently dealing with that I hear is workforce, they can’t get enough people applying for jobs they can’t get the bodies that they can rely on.”
Finally, Ward 2 Incumbent Derwin Norwood who owns Norwood Construction said “We’re doing the job, and there are great things that are coming to Enid” He went on to say “What am I running on? Education, infrastructure, economic development and quality of life”. Followed by “If the car is not broke why fix it?”
Candidates then took turns answering questions ranging from plans for infrastructure and the city budget to the recent Garfield County Public Library controversy. Each candidate was given 2 minutes to answer questions and every candidate answered every question.
The full forum can be viewed at the following link https://www.facebook.com/cityofenid/videos/3512197272345378