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Local News

February 8, 2014

Three seek seats on Ada City Council

Ada — A new member of the Ada City Council, a veteran councilman and a former firefighter have thrown their hats in the ring for the upcoming city election.

Ben McFarlane, who was appointed to the council in January to replace former Councilman Shane Sweeney, is seeking his first full term in office. He represents Ward 2, which covers the northeast quadrant of the city, on the council.

McFarlane did not draw an opponent for the primary election, set for March 1.

When McFarlane was appointed to the council, he decided that he was interested in seeking a full term in the primary election, he said Friday.

“After spending the past several weeks on the city council, my desire to help prepare Ada for tomorrow has been reaffirmed,” he said.

McFarlane said he would like to see the city move forward with the Penny for Our City campaign, which is a series of capital improvement projects financed with proceeds from a one-cent sales tax. The projects include a new fire station, a new police/911 station and a sports complex.

The race for the Ward 4 seat pits veteran councilman Guy Sewell against Jason Smeltz, who is seeking his first term on the council.

Sewell said Friday he decided to seek a second term because he thought the city should take a look at a variety of issues, including the city’s utilities program and its water resources.

“I think there’s some things we still need to work on for the city,” he said.

Sewell said if he is re-elected, he would like to see the council modify the rates for water, sewer and solid-waste services. He said he would also like the city to evaluate those programs to see how well they are working.

A former Ada firefighter, Smeltz was charged with using a computer to threaten another person in June 2013. The felony charge stems from allegations that Smeltz threatened a  police officer and the Ada Police Department following an April 2013 incident that resulted in the arrest of Smeltz’s wife.

Smeltz’s trial is set for Feb. 18 in Pontotoc County District Court.

Smeltz did not return phone calls Thursday or Friday seeking comment.

(Contact Eric Swanson at adanewsreporter@cableone.net)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ada News reporter Art Lawler contributed to this report.

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