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Pawhuska to hold sales tax, council primary elections

Robert Smith
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

Pawhuska voters will be busy in early 2021. They will have a sales tax referendum to vote in on Jan. 12, and three City Council primary elections are scheduled for Feb. 9.

The Jan. 12 sales tax referendum concerns a 1 cent sales tax requested by the Pawhuska Hospital. It is estimated the sales tax would raise more than $400,000 a year for the 25-bed, nonprofit hospital. Hospital representatives told the City Council that they needed the additional revenue for increased financial flexibility, and as evidence of community buy-in to the future of the hospital.

Pawhuska residents who think they might like to serve on the City Council should probably be thinking now about candidacy plans. The period during which they will need to submit candidacy declarations will be Dec. 7 to 9.

The Council seats to be filled in 2021 will be the Ward 3 seat, the Ward 4 seat and the Ward 2 seat. The Ward 3 and Ward 4 elections will be for full, three-year terms on the Council. The Ward 2 election will be for the remaining portion of a term that Jourdan Foran was serving until she resigned because she had moved to Bartlesville. Foran took office in 2019.

The current Ward 3 councilor is Mark Buchanan, and the current Ward 4 Councilor is John Brazee.

A City Council recall election in October 2019 was unsuccessful in removing any councilors, but other, regularly timed council elections in 2019 and 2020 have produced turnover on the Council.

In 2019, Foran defeated Ward 2 Councilor Steve Holcombe, and earlier in 2020 Steve Tolson defeated At-large Councilor Rodger Milleson.

Ward 1 Councilor Roger Taylor won a new three-year council term in 2019, when no one opposed him.