Young Osage elected as Barnsdall mayor
Barnsdall elected its youngest mayor ever last week when 36-year-old Brock Moore narrowly defeated incumbent J.D. Cole.
Moore, a member of the Barnsdall City Council, was certified Friday as the winner of the April 7 municipal election on Friday. He won by a 25-vote margin and was selected on 129 ballots, compared to 104 which were cast for Cole.
“I had a lot of people tell me that the town needs change — and they’re right,” said Moore, who filed for the mayoral race in February. “Barnsdall is ready for a lot of change.”
Moore said he ran for mayor because the town’s infrastructure was long-overdue for repairs and updates.
Last Tuesday’s elections also saw Barnsdall citizens vote in overwhelming approval for a one-cent sales tax increase that is to be earmarked for funding street repairs. Final vote totals showed 202 for the proposal and 29 opposed, officials at the Osage County Election Board said.
Barnsdall’s main water line — which is 36 years old (just like the mayor) — also has been targeted for improvements. Moore hopes to secure enough funding to replace the water line during his term.
“That was the biggest issue, the water line, because a lot of people buy water around here and right now all we do are immediate repairs but the line just needs to be replaced so everyone can have good water all the time,” he said.
Since Moore was elected to the city council, Barnsdall community improvements have included a community center, a city park, main street improvements and a veterans’ memorial wall. The town also boasts a new welcome sign and a scrolling marquee with community information. (Because of his election as mayor, Moore’s seat on the city council is currently vacant, however.)
The president of Barnsdall Chamber of Commerce, Claude Rosendale, said he has worked with Moore and supports him. Another city council member, Ahnawake Mashunkashey, also is excited about him winning the election. She said his city council experience and professional experience made him an ideal candidate.
“He knows what’s going on around here because he grew up here,” Mashunkashey said of Moore. “He knows exactly what we need.”
Mashunkashey said campaign efforts for Moore included going to the high school to get the local 18-year-olds to vote.
“I think we got about ten kids to vote,” she said. “That’s a big deal … with a town of about 1,300 and only about 240 people who actually show up to vote.”
Moore is an Osage tribal member and has worked for the Osage Gaming Commission for the past six years as a surveillance supervisor. He was recognized as the Supervisor of the Year for 2014 and received the 2011 Regulator of the Year award.
“We’ve got a lot of problems and no money,” Moore said. “So we’re just like a lot of little towns, but we do have a lot of people who care about Barnsdall and I like serving the people and I will try my hardest to make this town better.”