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March 4, 2014

Sewell, McFarlane retain seats on city council

Ada — Ada voters decided Tuesday to stick with their current representatives on the Ada City Council.

Incumbent Guy Sewell defeated newcomer Jason Smeltz in the race for the 4th Ward seat on the council, according to unofficial results on the Oklahoma State Election Board’s website. Sewell captured 312 votes, or 75 percent of the total, while Smeltz picked up 104 votes and 25 percent of the total.

Sewell, who was seeking his second term on the council, said he was pleased with the results.

“I had hoped that I’d get a mandate from the people, so it’s kind of humbling,” he said. “But I’m happy I won.”

Sewell said the city will face several major challenges in his second term, including the need to acquire additional water rights to accommodate future growth. Other issues included upgrading the city’s drinking-water system, figuring out how to finance that project and reviewing the rate structure for utility programs.

Smeltz is a former Ada firefighter and small-business owner who was seeking his first term on the council. He declined to comment for this story.

Incumbent Ben McFarlane, who was appointed to the council in January to replace former Councilman Shane Sweeney, represents the 2nd Ward on the council. He did not draw an opponent in the primary election.

McFarlane said he was eager to start his first full term on the council.

“I’m just excited to help move Ada forward in the next two years and make Ada the best possible place to live,” he said.

McFarlane said he would like to see the city acquire more water rights to meet future demand and move forward with plans for new police and fire stations.

Sewell and McFarlane will each serve two-year terms.

In other local elections:

• Patrons of Allen Public Schools approved two bond issues for various projects.

Unofficial results showed that 104 voters, or 94.5 percent, supported the first bond issue. Six voters, or 5.5 percent, voted against it.

One hundred and six voters, or 93.8 percent of the total, endorsed the second bond issue. Seven voters, or 6.2 percent, voted against it.

The district was seeking authority to issue $250,000 in bonds for technology upgrades and transportation equipment, according to the district’s website. The site said that passage of the bond issues would not require a tax increase.

• Francis voters approved the city’s proposal to renew its franchise agreement with Oklahoma Gas and Electric for another 25 years. Nine voters supported the proposal, while only one person voted against it.

• Roff voters authorized the city to renew its franchise agreement with OG & E for another 25 years. Thirty-five out of 35 voters endorsed the proposal.

Reach Eric Swanson at adanewsreporter@cableone.net.

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