Voters in Moore will return to the polls next week to decide the fate of a $69.9 million school bond issue and choose a mayor for the next four years.

Elsewhere in the county, voters will pick from several candidates for the Norman City Council and some residents of Oklahoma City — those who homes are also in Cleveland County — will decide whether to tax themselves to pay for renovations the Ford Center.

The elections are set for March 4.

“We have four elections in the county,” said Paula Roberts, county election board secretary, “the Moore school bond vote, the vote for Moore Mayor, the Oklahoma City bond election and races for Norman city council in wards 2, 4 and 6.”

And election officials, Roberts said, “expect a good turnout.”

“It’s going to be a nice day, so people should have a good reason to go out and vote,” she said.

In Moore, voters will have the final say on whether to fund a $69.9 million school bond proposal.

School officials say the proposal would pay for construction of two new elementary schools in the district. “About 75 percent of those funds would be used for construction costs,” said Moore school superintendent Deborah Arato.

Those costs, she said, would be $24.8 million and include equipment, furnishings and instructional materials for the schools.

Another $12 million would be earmarked for construction of a fine arts center at Moore High School; $10 million would be used to build and equip a new gymnasium, band room and athletic facilities at Westmoore High School.

Other projects include:

• $750,000 to repair paving throughout the district.

• $1,023,500 for roof repair and replacement.

• $1,005,000 to remodel portions of existing school facilities, including restrooms, common areas and classroom space.

• $611,000 for fence repair and replacement.

• $2,100,500 for lighting and sound equipment throughout the district.

• $2,570,000 for instructional equipment and materials.

• $300,000 for athletic supplies.

• $12,997,500 for new computers, software and computer related equipment throughout the district plus new additional security cameras and upgrades to fire and security hardware.

• $557,500 to purchase and install equipment for the district’s child nutrition program.

• $1,125,000 to purchase new buses, trucks and transportation-related equipment.

“Things look really good,” Arato said. “We have good feedback from the community and many good comments. We’ve also had a lot of support for the school bond so far.”

In addition to the school bond vote, Moore residents will choose a mayor.

Moore’s incumbent mayor, Glenn Lewis, is seeking his sixth term. Lewis is being challenged by 70-year-old Paul Jaynes.

Jaynes, a former Marine, said he came close to withdrawing from the race for health reasons. “I’d been going to cancer treatment for the past six months,” he said. “And I considered withdrawing. But I’ve changed my mind. I been in a lot of fights in my life and I’ve never lost one yet.”

Jaynes, who said he “has no complaints” about Lewis’ tenure as mayor, said he planned to “stay on the ballot” but intended to keep his campaign low-key.

Election officials confirmed that Jaynes attempted to withdraw from the race, but told Jaynes he was past the deadline and that his name would remain on the ballot.

Jaynes acknowledged he’d done little campaigning.

“I haven’t done much,” he said. “But I do plan on getting out and speaking at the senior citizens center this evening.”

Lewis said his campaign, too, has take a low-key approach.

“I’ve done some (campaigning),” he said. “I’m sending out a mailer to remind people to go vote.”

Lewis, who won his first race for mayor in March 1994, said the 2008 election “would probably” be his last for mayor. “I’ve done my stuff,” he said. “Though I still have a few things I want to finish. I believe the city has a really good team and I’m excited about our future. I would like to be there to see all that go through.”

Lewis owns businesses in Moore and Norman.

Considered the most controversial issue on the ballot, an Oklahoma City proposal would continue Oklahoma City’s MAPS tax to pay for renovations to the city’s Ford Center.

Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett said the renovation could help the city lure a National Basketball Association franchise to the area. “I think this city wants to have a venue that competes with the best arenas in the United States,” Cornett said.

Others disagree.

In a story published in the Seattle Times, former state representative Wanda Jo Stapleton said she was so angry about the proposal, she’s waging a one-woman crusade to defeat it.

“Their gall and greed is phenomenal,” Stapleton told the Times. “They want to pilfer the pockets of grannies existing on Social Security.”

While next Tuesday, March 4, is the official election date, early voting is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at the Cleveland County Election Board, 122 S. Peters Ave. in Norman, and on Monday, March 3 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

On Tuesday, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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