The Duncan Banner

February 6, 2014

Three file for Ward II; Dennington unopposed

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Three candidates filed for Duncan City Council Ward II while Ward I Councilman Ritchie Dennington failed to draw an opponent as the filing deadline for city election candidates ended at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Incumbent Mike Nelson, Christopher Schreckengost and Bill Schneekloth will compete for the Ward I position on April 1.

Nelson and Dennington were first elected in April 2011when they ousted incumbents Michael Hale and Carl Bowers.

Dennington said another three-year term will give him an opportunity to see various projects through.

“I’m glad I didn’t draw an opponent. It allows me to focus on my work with the city,” Dennington said. “I would have no animosity toward anyone who would run against me. I encourage people to get involved. I know Mike Nelson feels the same way.”

The April 1 ballot will include a proposal to extend a half-cent sales tax for another five years to promote economic development.

The tax was passed by voters in 1994.  The Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation has used the tax monies to promote investment in the city, but if the measure is extended another five years the funds will be split with the City of Duncan, which wants to spend its share on infrastructure improvements.

The improvements would include street repairs.

Duncan voters last year defeated a bond issue that would have raised property taxes to fund street improvements. Nearly 60 percent of the voters rejected the proposal.

“It’s an issue that’s already on everybody’s mind,” Dennington said of the half-cent sales tax extension. “The important thing we want people to know is it won’t be a raise in sales tax, just a continuation of it.”

Angie Dunagan, Stephens County Election Board secretary, said holding the City Council election and the sales tax referendum on the same date will be less expensive for the city.

“It saves them money,” she said. “They’ll be able to get it all done at once.”