The Pryor Times

February 13, 2014

And the winner is...

MUB employee wins council seat

Staff Writer
Cydney Baron

PRYOR, OK — Pryor’s city council elections may be over, but the games are just beginning.

Reigning council member Ronnie Sharp and contender Willard Buchanan paced the halls of the county courthouse Wednesday night, waiting for the final votes to be tallied.

Within seconds of the last precinct bringing its ballots in, Sharp crossed the hall hand outstretched, greeting Buchanan with a congratulatory handshake. Buchanan has been elected the newest Pryor City Council member, 22 votes to 12.

In recent weeks, Buchanan has been vocal about opposition he’s faced in running

for a council position. Essentially, as an employee of Pryor’s Municipal Utility Board, Buchanan has been told by the city attorney he cannot accept a council position as it would be a conflict of interest. Buchanan insists the two entities are separate, therefore he does not work directly for the city and there is no conflict. Mayor Jimmy Tramel told Buchanan if he won the election, he would have to surrender the seat, or quit his job of 19 years.

“Congratulations. Now what are you going to do?” was the first question Buchanan heard Tuesday.

Buchanan said he will play it by ear, but that he is passionate about the responsibilities of a council member.

“I’ve explored the option of refusing pay for the council position, and simply abstaining from voting on anything to do with MUB,” Buchanan said, adding it is an issue which will take time to work out.

“But, should I get to keep the position I was elected to, I still have plans of improving the city sidewalks and curbs, fixing the streets and helping our park and cemetery crews however I can,” said Buchanan who hinted at plans of running for mayor in the future.

While both men were in good spirits, being good sports, the voter turnout was not as good.

Of the registered 1,089 voters in Pryor’s Ward 1, only 34 voted.

Incumbent Justin Miller received 2,265 votes to Johnny Morgan's 1,305 votes for Northeast Technology Center board.

In the run for Spavinaw School Board, Billy Cagle received

21 votes to Jeannie Williamson’s 38.