Owasso's mayor narrowly re-elected; area school bond issues pass
BY RHETT MORGAN World Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
The city of Owasso’s incumbent mayor won a tight council race, and school district patrons in Cushing approved a bond for nearly $40 million in elections Tuesday.
Elsewhere, multimillion school propositions were OK’d in the Sand Springs (Tulsa County), Locust Grove (Mayes County) and Dewey (Washington County) school districts.
Doug Bonebrake, Owasso’s Ward 5 councilor, captured re-election over challenger J.B. Alexander by only 28 votes in the more than 2,100 cast.
“I’m glad it’s over,” Bonebrake, a production supervisor for KTUL-Channel 8, said in a telephone interview. “I’m really happy for the win. Things that are going through my mind are the people who worked for me and the support I had.
“They put a lot of sweat and time into it. They were spending their weekends for our cause. I’m so grateful to them.”
A city councilor the past five-plus years, Bonebrake was appointed mayor in 2010.
“It means a victory for the citizens, I believe,” Bonebrake said. “This is an opportunity to continue to send signals to the business community that we’re open for business. We want to try to continue to expand business in Owasso.”
A fiscal conservative, Alexander, the outgoing Tulsa County Republican Party Chairman, had campaigned on a platform of smarter municipal spending. He was highly critical of the operating deficit at the city-owned Bailey Golf Ranch.
“We can say Doug all we want, but we know it’s (city manager) Rodney (Ray),” Alexander said of the reason for his defeat. “Rodney got the word out that I wanted to bulldoze it (the golf course) over, which is not what I wanted to do. He resonated his message and mine didn’t get out there. That’s where we lost.”
A self-employed project manager, Alexander worked as a project manager for the city for 5 1/2 years from 2002-08.
“Bottom line is, we had 2,124 people vote in a single-seat city election, and nobody can remember when that many people have voted,” he said. “And that’s good. The good part of this is that people are engaged.
“You can see, though, with only 28 votes difference, how divided the city is on their city government. That hopefully will resonate with city hall and our city councilors to say that we need to start listening better to some of the people on some of the issues.”
The passage of Cushing’s $39.73 million proposition means the district will build a new middle school with wings the fifth-sixth and seventh-eighth grades, Superintendent Koln Knight said.
“I’m overwhelmed by the amount of people who helped on this bond issue,” said Cushing Superintendent Koln Knight, who watched school patrons defeat a bond issue a year ago. “We had so many people who got involved and educated our community. That was the biggest difference between this year and last year.”
Cushing’s bond also would include improvements at the elementary and high schools.
Two school propositions passed in the Sand Springs school district, including one ($5.83 million) for technology upgrades, new textbooks and other improvements.
Locust Grove’s large bond ($9.47 million) is earmarked for a high school to replace one built in 1966. A nearly $6 million measure in the Dewey School District is targeted for security upgrades.