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Enid city commissioner ousted, $113 million Piedmont school bond approved and more

A sign encourages voters to approve the school bond on April 2 in Piedmont, Okla.
Ryan LaCroix
Piedmont voters approved a nearly $113 million bond issue Tuesday.

Oklahomans went to the polls Tuesday to vote on school bonds, school board and other municipal elections.

Some of the notable results are below. Full results are available via the State Election Board website.

Enid commissioner with white nationalist ties recalled

Voters in one of Enid’s six city council districts voted to recall City Commissioner Judd Blevins, who has known associations with white nationalist groups.

Elected to the Enid City Council’s Ward 1 last year, Blevins has acknowledged attending a 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was there alongside neo-Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan to protest the removal of a Confederate statue.

Blevins also acted as the Oklahoma coordinator for white nationalist group Identify Evropa, according to reporting by Right Wing Watch.

A self-described “movement of concerned citizens” called Enid Social Justice Committee led the push to recall Blevins, gathering enough signatures to bring it to a vote.

His seat will be filled by Cheryl Patterson, who received 59.6% of the vote.

Meanwhile, about 68% of voters in the Enid Public Schools district approved a $10.8 million school bond package to fund technology, security and transportation needs. More than half of those funds — $6.3 million — will be spent on new Chromebooks and iPads to replace aging technology used in classrooms in every grade level. The 9-year bond will raise property taxes in the district, with an expected cost increase of $3.45 per month for a home valued at $100,000.

Piedmont Schools bond passes with ease

More than 81% of voters in the Piedmont Public Schools district approved a nearly $113 million dollar bond package. More than half of that funding — $60.8 million — will be dedicated to constructing an additional elementary and an additional intermediate school.

Additional money will support a new safe room at Stone Ridge Elementary School, improvements for the band programs, more buses, district-wide playground updates and additional bleachers at the football stadium.

The bond will be paid off over a period of 11 years, and district officials say there is no proposed tax increase.

Guthrie voters approve sales tax extension

Guthrie residents easily approved a 15-year extension of a 3/4 cent sales tax for municipal improvements, with nearly 80% approval. Voters first approved the tax in 2016.

The sales tax extension will fund water and sewer improvements, a new fire and emergency medical services station, increased ADA accessibility throughout the city, a new municipal pool and the expansion of Owen Field Sports Complex.

Guymon Public Schools bond approved

Guymon Public Schools sought approval of a $38 bond package, and roughly 70% of voters gave it.

The majority of the bond will fund a new 3rd and 4th grade center. The current center is about 80 years old, and district officials say it has structural and foundational issues, an outdated electrical system and lacks adequate classrooms, restrooms and gym space. Additional funds would cover technology improvements, transportation replacement and the demolition of Northeast Elementary, Salyer Elementary and part of Academy Elementary.

Passage of the bond will lead to an increase in property taxes, to the tune of $10.42 per month for a property valued at $100,000. The new building is expected to be ready by August 2026.

A similar, but bigger, bond failed in 2021, with 57% of voters rejecting it.

Bartlesville voters divided on charter changes

Bartlesville saw split results for the 10 propositions concerning changes to the city’s charter.

Voters approved four proposals, including residency requirements for city councilors and when new councilors can begin their term, among others.

They rejected six other proposals, including establishing a new time limit for recall petitions and a moratorium for city employees wishing to run for the council.

Another rejected proposal was Proposition 1, which would have changed the term length of city councilors from two years to three years, and moved council elections from November to a less-heavily voted April election date. City Manager Mike Bailey said the move would have decreased voter turnout, but he hoped it would lead to a more informed group of voters for city council races.

More Elections

Luther Public Schools voters approved their first school bond in 12 years Tuesday, with 69.1% of voters ensuring passage. The nearly $29 million bond proposal will fund safe rooms at the middle school, elementary school and Pre-K. The middle school safe room will also be a new cafeteria, and the elementary school safe room will also be a media center. Property taxes will increase as a result, by 4.81% annually. The vote is a departure from recent local history as multiple bond projects failed in the past decade in Luther – in 2015, 2019 and 2023.

Chouteau-Mazie Public Schools in Northeastern Oklahoma just barely won approval of a nearly $13 million school bond package. Nearly 61% of voters approved the package, just one percent more than the supermajority needed for school bond passage. The bonds largely focus on school safety and security, inclduing a new classroom building and storm shelter, expansion of the early childhood center, and parking improvements at the early childhood center and gymnasium. Officials say it will not raise property taxes, acting as an extension of a bond passed in 2013.

Woodward Public Schools voters overwhelmingly approved a $5 million bond for new school buses and other student transportation equipment, with more than 91% of voters saying yes. District officials said they have been spending roughly $250,000 in repairs every year for a fleet that is, on average, 15 years old. The bond will act as an extension of an existing bond, resulting in no new property taxes for residents in the district.

Kellyville Public Schools near Tulsa saw more than half of voters reject a $3.1 million bond proposal. The bond would have replaced a 22-year-old roof at the high school, add sidewalks and ramps from the middle school to the shop building and agriculture barn and provide new instruments for the band. Additional funds would have paid for installation of artificial turf at the football, baseball and softball fields. A separate $900,000 bond for new transportation, however, passed by 63% of the vote.

Norman voters decided Matt Peacock will remain on the city council. Peacock was forced to run for the Ward 2 seat after redistricting pushed him out as the Ward 8 representative. He defeated Russell Rice by a vote of 51.6% to 48.4% in the runoff election.

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Ryan LaCroix is the Director of Content and Audience Development for KOSU.
Robby Korth joined KOSU as its news director in November 2022.
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