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Q5 Muskogee mayor Cale Divelbiss

Feb. 3—Patrick Cale and Wayne Divelbiss are seeking the Muskogee mayor position being vacated by the Rev. Marlon Coleman.

The election will be Feb. 13.

Cale and Divelbiss answered the following questions about their campaigns.

1 Why are you running Muskogee Mayor?

CALE: "To volunteer my time to give back to a community that has been very good to me over the years."

DIVELBISS: "I have a servant's heart and I want to serve my home town."

2 Why do you think you are the best candidate for this position?

DIVELBISS: "The love I have for Muskogee and the desire to see Muskogee back in the top 10 cities in Oklahoma."

CALE: "I have 40 years experience in a variety of businesses including retail, wholesale manufacturing, real estate development including commercial and residential."

3 Please identify the specific skills and qualities a mayor must have, and explain your position.

CALE: "A mayor needs experience in managing people. It is a benefit if he or she can bring people together to accomplish a mission. A mayor would be doing good to have an open mind, good attitude and realize that they are the ninth Council member and equal to their peers to a good extent. I have years of experience in bringing people together to accomplish a goal."

DIVELBISS: "I would say a mayor having a backbone to stand up to the Good Old Boys system we have, that only serve them and a few of their select business partners."

4 What do you consider to be the most important issues facing the city?

DIVELBISS: "Livable wage jobs is the most important issue we have in our city. Muskogee's failing infrastructure."

CALE: "Our city's budget is financed through sales tax receipts. 70 percent of that covers payroll and benefits for our employees. The remaining money covers utilities and very basic repairs, police car, city vehicles, and firetruck maintenance, repairs, fuel, equipment, and facility care. It does not include new police cars, fire engines, facilities, new streets or street repair, etc.

The City of Muskogee used to fund our major needs with Bond issues. Muskogee's last Bond issue was renewed in 1973. Meanwhile, Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Bixby, Coweta and other communities have had continuous bond issues renewed. This is how the communities around us have continued to grow, big new four- and five-lane streets, updated fire engines and police cars, new city buildings and facilities. These cities have continued to grow continuously year after year. Not on sales tax, only on Bonds. We did the community a real disservice when we did not renew the last bond years ago."

5 What steps should be taken to address these issues in order to realize the change you envision?

CALE: "Muskogee must have a campaign to inform and educate our residents about the current situation regarding our city. The city must detail the various items our city is in desperate need of. We need to list each and every item that is essential to the short term and long-term future of Muskogee. We must have citizen meetings and forums, provide written information and documentation. Then the citizens of Muskogee will be prepared to vote. This is not a decision for Council to approve or not approve, it is a decision for the citizens to make, it's their city and their children's future."

DIVELBISS: "Jobs — filling the open position for economic development director, sitting open for almost two years now. I've said it many times in the past we need to work with the tribes — Cherokee and Creeks. Infrastructure — We need to develop a five- year and 10-year plan on the city major project. We always have a lot of campaign speeches and slogans over the last 20 years, But no real work ever gets done."

— Cathy Spaulding