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Marrs invaders

OKC City Councilman Gary Marrs faces two challengers in the March 5 municipal elections.

Clifton Adcock February 20th, 2013

Ward 1 Oklahoma City Councilman Gary Marrs faces two opponents in the March 5 city elections. At a public forum earlier this month, voters in the central-northwest ward heard from the incumbent and challengers James Greiner and Carolyn Sims.

Gary Marrs

Greiner, a graphic-design team leader for Hobby Lobby, described himself as a limited-government conservative who believes government works best at the local level and that his life is guided by a biblical worldview.

“My life motto is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever,” he said. “That’s what I’m all about, and if you want to remember one thing about me, I would want you to remember that.”

Marrs is a third-generation firefighter who served for 10 years as Oklahoma City’s fire chief. First elected to the city council in 2004, he told attendees at the Feb. 7 public forum that he has fought for better infrastructure and public safety and that he hopes to further economic development to expand the tax base.

“We have to continue to bring in new dollars,” Marrs said. “If we don’t, the same people who have been here all along are going to have to pay more tax dollars just to keep the same level of services, not add services.”

Sims, a Realtor for Keller Williams Elite, is a former oil and gas land negotiator and a former executive director of the Myriad Gardens Foundation. If elected, Sims said she would work to restore the balance between downtown and neighborhood investment and focus on roads, sidewalks and bike trails.

“We’ve continued to invest in downtown Oklahoma City, and I’m very pleased that we’ve done that,” she said. “However, I feel like we’re not investing in the neighborhoods, and that’s why I chose to run.”

Carolyn Sims


At the forum, which was hosted by the Council Oaks Neighborhood Association, the candidates agreed they would like to see new police positions as well as additional investment and development in the ward.

Voters also asked the candidates about area properties that have been the scenes of several crimes and fires.

Marrs said the properties in question were difficult to deal with because they were privately owned and options were limited. Sims said she has spoken with a Realtor group working with the city to address similar matters. Greiner said the issue is symptomatic of a larger breakdown of the family.

Three other council spots are in contention. Councilmen Larry McAtee in Ward 3 and Pete White in Ward 4 are unopposed. Ward 7, by contrast, has seven candidates vying to unseat incumbent Ronald “Skip” Kelly.

A runoff will be held April 2 if no candidate in the two competitive wards receives more than 50 percent of the vote.

James Greiner


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