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January 4, 2014

Four seeking seats on Konawa council

Konawa — Four candidates are competing this month to fill two open seats on the Konawa City Council.

LaTrelle Davis and Frank Shirley are seeking the Ward 3 seat on the council, and James Blackwood and Michael Tenney are competing for the right to represent Ward 4. They will face off in a special election set for Jan. 14.

The Ada News interviewed the candidates Friday about their backgrounds and their reasons for running. Here are capsule biographies of the four candidates, starting with the people seeking the Ward 3 seat.

• LaTrelle Davis is a retired homemaker who has served on the council since 2007. She said Friday she decided to seek another term because she wants to be in office when the city installs a new water distribution system, which may be finished in about a year.

“When we get water, it’ll be wonderful,” she said.

She said Konawa residents currently rely on private wells for their water.

• Frank Shirley: A retired construction manager, engineer and craftsman, Shirley is seeking his first term on the council.

He said the city faces several challenges, including upgrading its water distribution system and replacing worn-out water lines. He said when those projects are completed, city officials may find it easier to recruit new businesses.

“I want to see us attract business,” Shirley said. “And once the water system is in place, I think this will be an attractive place for a lot of people.”

• James Blackwood: Blackwood, who represents the 4th Ward, is a medically retired Marine who has served on the council since 2012 and is seeking another term.

“I’ve still got more to do, so I’d just as soon stick around,” he said Friday.

Blackwood said Konawa officials have taken several steps recently to improve the community, including buying new police cars. He said the city is also building a new sewer plant and finalizing arrangements to supply treated water to residents.

• Michael Tenney: Tenney did not return a call seeking comment before press time Friday.

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