The Edmond Sun

March 29, 2013

Candidates tout experience for local offices

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Edmond residents will decide who will represent them as mayor and Ward 4 City Council when polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The ballot will feature incumbent Mayor Charles Lamb vying against Richard Prawdzienski in the mayoral election. Ward 4 City Councilman Nick Massey is on the ballot with candidate Shilpa Abbitt. The election is citywide, meaning that voters for Ward 4 can vote regardless of the ward they live in.

Candidates were asked why they are the most qualified for office at a recent political forum sponsored by the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce.

“I worked as a logistics manager in systems acquisition,” Prawdzienski said of his work at Tinker Air Force Base. “We bought weapons systems such as the AWACS airplane.”

His job was to keep the plane flying for 30 years by analyzing how to support the weapons system, he said. Prawdzienski would examine the pros and cons of cost for training, air support, base operations and maintenance.

“I do know how to manage budgets and major systems,” Prawdzienski said.

Lamb honed his career skills in land use both as a federal employee and private entrepreneur. He has developed real estate in Edmond.

“From an experience standpoint, I’ve served 16 years on the City Council,” Lamb said.

He has worked with five other mayors during his tenure. Experience has provided him comfort as mayor as he works with a competent group of city leaders, he said.

“I am the senior member of the council at this point in time and have been for a while,” Lamb said. “I’m able to provide that background and perspective in our discussions.”

A former counter-intelligence agent, Massey has a unique blend of lifetime experiences, public and private, that he said has given him insight to share with city government. He has served on several local boards and commissions.

“I was in military assignments all over the world,” Massey said. “I’ve got a different perspective from different communities, different countries.”

His 36 years in business includes financing, economics and investments. Massey’s expertise has been shared as a guest analysts on CNBC. Massey is president and owner of Householder Financial Advisors. He has also served as senior vice president of Nationwide Insurance, a Fortune 500 company.

“So I’ve seen business from the perspective of a huge corporation and also a small business,” Massey said.

Abbitt is as a reservoir engineer at Devon Energy. She said her main task is to investigate the economic viability of projects or ideas in order to yield the best shareholder return.

“That’s what I bring to the table. I bring a sense of projects you want to do, applying the information, then asking the questions to see if they are going to be economically viable on their own, not by subsidies or incentives …,” she said.

Her business background and 20 years of work in the oil field has given her experience of team leadership, she said. Abbitt said she relates to both company executives and roustabouts.

“I bring the decision making process of setting priorities and goals, and then applying them to the budget you have and executing those priorities,” she said.

Abbitt said she brings dedication, hard work and perseverance. | 341-2121