Over the last month or so, our editorial board has had the pleasure of sitting down with the candidates. We did so to have a candid conversation before the upcoming election. Yes, there is a city election this Tuesday so please get out and vote (the over/under turnout agreed on by our board members is 3,200 votes).
Our board is composed of some razor-sharp political minds. Minds built on years spent in council chambers, community centers, and on advisory boards. Glorious years spent frequenting forums — enthralled with the results of variance votes and zoning ordinances.
Then there is me: John Everyman.
Politically, I see the world painted matte gray. Presumably, my moderate tendency has developed from years of newspaper work where getting all sides of a story is the gold standard. Along with being a tremendous fence straddler, I'd much rather spend my free time watching a Thunder game than streaming planning commission videos.
So as the board spent 45 minutes with each candidate, debating the new city plan, water bill hikes, city trails, and quiet zones, you might think an "average Moe" like me would find such an experience painful. What I found was the opposite.
This was an opportunity for me to meet some of my neighbors who courageously stepped in to the ring of city politics. They aren't politicians, they're just concerned citizens willing to give up their time — along with the inconceivable notion of missing any Monday night basketball games — to make tough decisions that will shape the future of our home, our Edmond. They are all better than me.
When it came down to brass tacks, the board made the decision to step up and endorse some candidates. For me, this was extremely difficult. After all, I had just spent time getting to know each of the candidates: Dan O'Neil, Richard Prawdzienski, Matt Thomas, Larry Barnes, Josh Moore, David Chapman, Jim Martin, Scott Tohlen, Clay Booth and Devyn Denton. I may get kicked off the editorial board, but in all honesty, I would vote for any one of them with confidence they would do a good job keeping Edmond a special place for my family. Edmond is blessed to have such quality people stepping up to serve. Not all communities have such lucrative options.
So please get out to your polling place this Tuesday and vote. If you don't think local politics matter, spend some time with our neighbors in Coffee Creek and Fox Lake. They'll let you know all about it.