Eason faces Smith in re-election bid for Ward 4
Del City has seen a lot of activity in recent years. And Ward 4 City Councilman Floyd Eason likes being a part of it.
“I like being part of making things happen in Del City,” Eason said. “In the last 10 years we have gone from just scraping by to finally making some improvements and increasing our tax base.”
Eason is seeking his second, four-year term on the Del City Council. He will face challenger Beverly Smith in the election on Feb. 14. Ward 4 includes much of the north part of Del City, roughly extending from Sooner Road to Bryant and NE 10th Street to SE 15th Street.
Voters in Ward 2 will also elect a new councilmember that day. Pam Finch and Jack McBrayer are running for the seat.
The councilman believes his strong business sense and commitment to improving the community make him a perfect fit for the city council. He was first elected to the council in 2014 after running unopposed. He previously served on the city’s planning commission.
Eason is a longtime small business owner involved in waste management and commercial construction. His company Dunamis Environmental Group specializes in hazardous waste disposal and has been a contractor for Tinker Air Force Base. He also operates Eason Enterprises, a commercial and industrial construction company.
During the past few years, Eason said the city has made big strides, including closing and demolishing Fantasy Island and nearby abandoned apartment complex on Scott Street. The city is working with a developer to create a new retail center on the interstate property. A portion of the future sales taxes at the shopping center will help preserve a historic neighborhood near the property.
“Shutting down Fantasy Island was the biggest thing,” he said. “We helped remove a certain element from coming to our area and we’re anticipating developing that with a national chain. That will be a big deal for the city.”
Eason also touted efforts to prevent a local church from opening a prison early release center in the community. He said he’s also proud of ongoing improvements to public safety, the city’s wastewater treatment facility and streets. The projects are funded through sales tax approved by the voters.
“I’m proud of this town and the way we’re advancing,” Eason said. “I like the people here. We have a small town feel but have the large city conveniences. It’s the best of both worlds.”
Eason has lived in Del City for 28 years. He and his wife Rita have four grown children who live in Del City and Yukon.
Beverly Smith believes Del City needs change. And she says she’s the one to do it.
The longtime resident is running for the Ward 4 seat on the Del City Council. Smith will face incumbent Councilman Floyd Eason in the Feb. 14 election. Eason is seeking a second term in office.
Smith is running due to concerns over the city’s attitude towards residents. She says the city has taken a heavy handed approach towards code enforcement and ordinances with residential properties.
“My opinion is the city is abusing its power and the people’s voices do not seem to matter anymore,” Smith said. “A lot of people have lived here since the 1950s and they don’t have money to abide by their ordinances.”
Smith’s primary objections are with Ordinance No. 1372 and 1373. The first ordinance, approved in June 2014, creates the Storybook Ranch preservation district. The district includes the unique
“Storybook Ranch” style homes found in the northwest part of the city. The ordinance also sets regulations on exterior features such as color, windows and doors, fencing, and landscaping.
“The planning commission sets the rules for it and people do not have a say so,” she said. “Part of the reason I’m running is because I think someone needs to stand up for them.”
The second ordinance, which was adopted in November 2014, modified the city’s building code with new regulations for things such as exterior construction, maintenance, licensing for contractors and fire codes.
Smith and her husband have personal experience with code enforcement. The couple was cited for code violations at their home. The tickets were later thrown out after a district judge ruled the city had not followed proper notification for the ordinance.
While campaigning, Smith says she’s heard similar complaints about the city’s code enforcement.
“I’ve been knocking door to door and talking to people and they’ve opened up to me as far as issues they’ve run into with Del City,” she said. “And that only confirms how deep it goes.”
City leaders have worked to attract economic development and expand the tax base in recent years. Smith agrees with the goal but says the city has put economic development ahead of the needs of residents. She also questioned lack of movement on the planned retail center near I-40/Scott Street and a new public library.
“My theory is they are so business oriented and they run out of town,” Smith said. “But they need people to shop at these businesses.”
This will be Smith’s second run for municipal office. She ran for mayor in 2015, losing to incumbent Brian Linley.
Smith was born in El Paso, Texas and moved to Oklahoma with her family a year later. She grew up in Midwest City and Moore before moving to Del City with her husband in 1982. The couple has two grown children that live in the area.