Mayoral & City Council Candidates

The Edmond Chamber takes an active role in local government, including the upcoming Edmond City Council and Mayoral races. The general election will take place Tuesday, April 6, and all Edmond residents are eligible to vote in each race. 

We are the voice for business and your advocate for legislative issues. We asked the top two candidates for each open seat the same questions to understand their stance on issues important to local business. Below are the responses, broken out by candidate or by question. 

On February 23rd, we hosted all six candidates for our Candidate Forum, which is available for viewing here. 

Candidates for Election  

Darrell Davis, Mayor |     View Candidate Responses

Nathan Walters, Mayor |     View Candidate Responses

Sheryl Janis, Ward 3 City Council Seat |     View Candidate Responses

Christin Mugg, Ward 3 City Council Seat |     View Candidate Responses

Stacie Peterson, Ward 4 City Council Seat |     View Candidate Responses 

David Miller, Ward 4 City Council Seat |     View Candidate Responses

Questions from the Chamber

Candidate Responses

Question 1: If elected to City Council/Mayor, what will be your top priorities?

Darrell Davis: 
As a resident of Edmond for more than 30 years, I cherish our community and vow to be a commonsense leader who brings us together. My top priorities are:

- Improving our fundamental core services, including streets, infrastructure, expanded transit opportunities, police and fire protection
- Supporting and partnering with Edmond Public Schools 
- Enhancing quality of life opportunities 
- Creating economic growth through partnerships and economic development programs, i.e., Tax Increment Financing (TIFs) and Incentive Policies
- Incorporating the diversity of our city into decision-making

Nathan Walters: I have 3 top priorities if elected Mayor of Edmond.
 1. I believe in protecting the God given rights of our citizens with the use of the Constitution as the guide. We are a free people, and it is governments role to protect those freedoms.
 2. Continue to keep Edmond safe by being an advocate for our first responders. Police, Firefighters and EMSA. 
 3. Help set up a master plan for East Edmond. Government can’t stop individuals from moving to Edmond, and they are moving here at a rapid pace. If we zone East Edmond properly, then build the infrastructure to match that zoning, it will make for a much better living experience. We will be able to use the lay of the land, which is beautiful, and enhance it with the proper growth plan. The proper growth plan will allow for residential and commercial to work together with the lay of the land and allow more walkability so we can take in more of the beauty of Edmond. I will also work on any infrastructure issues we are seeing in West Edmond to attempt to alleviate any headaches we have seen happen due to rapid growth.

Sheryl Janis: If elected my 1st priority will be to learn as much as I can about what my duties and limits as a city councilperson are as soon as I can. I will find out what the immediate needs and concerns for Edmond are and get as much information as I can as to what options there are to solve the issues. Making sure our businesses and churches can stay open and that our personal liberties are not overstepped on is at the top of my priority list. I will ask to be brought up to date on how the progress on the Intelligent Traffic System Program is coming along and how the water rate increases are calculated and do research on how to find a way to pause, stop or slow down the increases.

Christin Mugg: In general, my top priorities are as follows:  1. To be a link between Edmond Residents and Edmond government by being accessible and responsive and providing information and connecting residents to government resources; 2. To make well informed, researched, and unbiased decisions in the best overall interest of the City of Edmond and its residents; 3. To be honest and transparent; and 4. Do all that I can to maintain the sense of community and unity in Edmond as a kind, compassionate, welcoming, and vibrant city.  

A few more specific areas of priority are as follows:  1. Improve and protect our parks and recreational areas; 2. Continue efforts to improve traffic flow; 3. Continue development of downtown Edmond and the I-35 corridor.

Stacie Peterson: My top priorities will be to Support small businesses and economic development and support sustainable growth, both of which are not mutually exclusive. Support businesses as they reopen, post COVID shutdowns.

David Miller: Same priorities I have always had. 1st and foremost are what I call livability issues, being; Traffic control through better use of the Intelligent Traffic System, update and do the necessary revisions to our traffic plan and accelerate some of our much needed roads projects. We are already underway with the expansion of the waste water and water treatment plants.  These projects have been in the planning, financing and processing stage for over a decade.  The water rate increases as of late are the main financing vehicle for these two and their associated infrastructure needs.  This is a prime example of Edmond being proactive.  We, I say we because I was there, did incremental rate increases to be able to have the cash to start these projects and the revenue stream to be able to do the financing that will be necessary.  OKC just announced they will need over 2 Billion to complete the expansions they will need, just imagine what this is going to do to their rates, the sticker shock is going to be hard for the average utility customer.  Edmond’s projects, thankfully aren’t that enormous, between $350 - $400M, but the way we approached it, with incremental increases over a long period, was the smart way to accomplish this.  Even if it is unpopular, imagine if we had waited to the last minute and sprung it on the average customer.  I am also very hesitant to deviate from “The Edmond Plan”, meaning that zoning or uses that are not in harmony with the plan should not be easy to do, not impossible, there are always exceptions, but not easy.  We’re going to have the East Edmond 2050 plan completed soon, hopefully by the end of 2021.  We need people that will support it and make sure that plan is followed as well.  However, we need to flexible enough to recognize a change that is a more productive, efficient and needed use than the plan may have, again, there are almost always exceptions.


Question 2: Do you support the continued use of the Edmond Development Authority’s incentive policy to recruit new business and assist existing business? Why or why not?

Darrell Davis: 
Yes, I support the EDA incentive policy to help stimulate growth in Edmond.  This policy demonstrates to the business community our commitment to long-term economic development, which in turn benefits us all. Currently, four companies/projects have taken advantage of this opportunity, retaining 272 jobs, creating 70 jobs with another 87 projected, and bringing $26.7 million in capital investment to our community. 

Directly inducing employers to increase jobs has an obvious positive effect on our economy. These incentives work.

Nathan Walters: Due to Edmond generating its municipal level revenue all from sales tax, it is vital we have businesses in Edmond city limits and businesses that our community wants to support. I do support this program, but I am firm believer in instead of incentivizing businesses to come here, we should invest in ourselves first. We need to create the city that businesses desire to come to and put down roots, because they know the community will take care of them and allow them to be successful. If the zoning isn’t completed properly and there isn’t a laid out plan for growth, we will continue to have to incentivize businesses to come here. If instead we zone it properly and give the businesses a map of what we want our city to look like and they know which land they can purchase that is zoned for their business structure and they know they will not have to go through years of struggling to get their project through and the infrastructure is ready for them, that is all the incentive business owners need. We have the community to support these businesses. This alone will create growth in our sales tax revenue without needing to raise taxes.

Sheryl Janis: I do support the Edmond Development Authority’s incentive program that brings new business into Edmond and would like to expand it to be more inclusive of small businesses too. I like that a business must have some skin in the game to be reimbursed instead of a big handout upfront.

Christin Mugg: Yes, I do support the continued use of the EEDA’s incentive policy.  The incentive policy specifically encourages development in areas of Edmond that are “underutilized, vacant and/or in danger of becoming blighted areas, or areas where there is a demonstrated need for additional retail/commercial development.” This program should increase jobs in Edmond, increase retail and thus provide more sales tax revenue, and make our community more attractive. 

Stacie Peterson: Yes, I support the use of the Edmond Development Authority's incentive policy. This policy is a great program to help bring business, and retain businesses, to our community. It can only profit the city by increasing revenue, for the general fund, from sales tax and bringing job opportunities as well.

David Miller: I do advocate its continued use, I was on the EEDA board when it was conceived and adopted.  I do think we need to look at the parameters and possibly modify them for the times we are in, a lot has changed since that plan was put in to use.  The reason for having and using such a plan is to attract good paying, sustainable jobs to Edmond, primary and non-primary or non-retail and retail. The current approval process is good; Economic impact study, performance based and insuring that these new retail businesses do not cannibalize existing retail.  If we do not have a useable plan that promotes new business growth, we will continue to lose these opportunities to other municipalities in or out of the state.  In my mind, that happening due to poor planning or rigidity, is unacceptable.


Question 3: Do you support allowing voters to decide whether to tax themselves to build a Regional Transit/Commuter Rail System in central Oklahoma (to connect, for example, Norman, Edmond, OKC and Tinker AFB)? Why or why not?

Darrell Davis: 
Yes, I welcome the opportunity to discuss with Edmond citizens the benefits of the Regional Transit Commuter Corridor. It’s vital that our community is well-informed when the time comes to make a decision about the future of transportation in Edmond and the metro area.

I also believe we should engage other cities and citizens, beyond the original six cities involved in planning to date, in this discussion. Travel in Central Oklahoma is primarily by private vehicle. With the region growing in density, alternative transportation is critical to improving mobility, quality of life and reducing traffic congestion.

Nathan Walters: I do support allowing the citizens to vote on this. This is up to the citizens. If we allow them to vote and they turn it down, that will let us know there are not enough people who want to use this kind of system. This would allow us not to spend a bunch of money on a project the citizens will not use. If they vote for it, they are in turn happy to take a tax increase to get what they want.

Sheryl Janis: I will always support a citizens right to vote for or against any new tax being proposed. With the limited knowledge I have on the Regional Transit/Commuter Rail System, I cannot say with good conscience if I would support it at this time. I think it is a good idea to continue to look at it for future travel options.

Christin Mugg: The Regional Transit/Commuter Rail System (RTRS) has potential for reducing traffic flow in Edmond and bringing visitors to our city; however, it is a costly project. If it is found that the best approach to fund RTRS is a mixture of public funding, it would be best to be voted on by the people impacted. 

Stacie Peterson: Yes, I support allowing the voters to decide to tax themselves to build a Regional Transit/Commuter Rail System. Any tax increase must be voted on by the people!

David Miller: I believe this is definitely an issue that deserves a referendum.  Any taxation issue, whether it be sales, use or property taxes should be taken to the public for a vote. I do think we need to be very clear on what the tax money will be specifically used for and what the benefits will be. I will not support vagaries that would cause the funds to be used for other purposes without recourse. I do think there is a benefit to the Regional Transit Authority program and plan that is currently in the legislative process.  I did not personally attend the recent town hall they held to get public input.  However, I have always been a proponent of public transportation.  If I understand correctly, the Authority will be charged with completing the system and managing it.  Good idea, since we will be using tax money, good stewardship will be essential.


Question 4: Do you support the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts to support economic development in Edmond? Why or why not?

Darrell Davis: 
Yes, I support the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts to spur economic development in Edmond. TIF’s are another tool the city can use to create jobs and opportunities in a targeted geographical area. As a member of the city council, I worked with the Edmond Public Schools Board and other stakeholders to identify Downtown Edmond as the first TIF district. The TIF, which does not raise taxes, will be used to finance redevelopment projects or other investments using the anticipation of future tax revenue resulting from new development.

Nathan Walters: I do primarily in downtown Edmond. I do not believe this is necessary in all parts of Edmond, but in downtown Edmond, this could really revitalize the area. Downtown Edmond is so unique and could offer so much if we helped it get there.

Sheryl Janis: I do support the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) like we have in the Downtown Edmond area. It will be a big help to offset the costs of upgrading the infrastructure of downtown without adding to the taxes of the entire city. The schools will also benefit from the difference in the increase in property values.

Christin Mugg: Yes, I do.  However, the costs and benefits need to be carefully monitored to see that the investment by the city pays off in increased sales tax revenue, increased employment, and making underutilized or vacant spaces more attractive.  The downtown Edmond TIF, in addition to the benefits described above, also has the likely result of attracting more regional visitors to Edmond and increasing our sales tax base. 

Stacie Peterson: I absolutely support the use of TIF Districts for economic development. Infrastructure improvements are necessary to support growth. It is a great mechanism by which to allow the city to develop the core of downtown, and surrounding areas, to drive economic growth.

David Miller: I always have been supportive of TIF’s to support good complimentary growth.  Honestly, my litmus test is that it does not adversely affect our school system, there has to be buy in from them to proceed with the project.  Each project or application should be looked at individually for merit.  We should judge each application based on the benefit to the community as a whole and the ability to repay when applicable.  The Covell and I-35 development group will be applying for a TIF soon, they are not currently under a TIF.  However, if they update their masterplan and bring in a developer with the expertise to get this project moving forward, I would definitely support a TIF for that, those, projects.  However, the Covell and I-35, would be a sales tax only TIF.  Again, the effect on the school systems financial health as well as the school system’s ability to absorb any increase in student population as a result, directly or indirectly will be a key for me in approving TIF’s that use a property tax component. 



Question 5: What is your view on the best solutions for the increased traffic areas that are part of the future growth of Edmond?

Darrell Davis: 
Building better streets and improving traffic flow are among my top priorities. As a city councilor, I helped lead a $9.6M expansion of Covell Road, and implemented a city-wide traffic intelligence system to sync traffic lights and reduce congestion. While traffic is a sign of progress and growth in our city, it’s vital to look forward and plan for necessary improvements, like those being discussed in the East Edmond 2050 plan. The key is to be proactive and develop traffic solutions before an area is fully developed. In addition, we should continue working to alleviate existing traffic congestion, much like what is currently being designed and implemented at Bryant and Second Street. Improving traffic is an ongoing process, and I will recommend the city continue to get citizen input via survey to help address this everchanging concern.

Nathan Walters: This touches on one of my main priorities as mayor. The municipal level fought growth for so long but did not realize that the growth was going to happen no matter what. Our schools are too good, and our community is too beautiful for people to not want to move here. Instead of fighting the growth, let’s lay out the plan for the growth we want, and our community wants. Instead of fighting everything that comes through, let’s lay out the plan for our growth areas now. Once it is zoned the way we and the community see fit, build the infrastructure around that zoning plan. If we can beat the growth to the punch, it will make the growth feel seamless. Building this infrastructure and laying out a plan will allow businesses to understand where we are going and want to join in!

Sheryl Janis: I support the continued use of the Intelligent traffic System (ITS) to help the flow of traffic in the most congested areas especially in areas where widening or adding lanes is not possible.  We need to make sure good zoning is in place on the east side of I-35 to prevent the same traffic problems in the future as Edmond continues to grow Eastward. Traffic can be a good sign that we are continuing to grow and prosper.

Christin Mugg: We need to continue the implementation of Phase III of the Intelligent Traffic System (which is one of the current short-term goals in the Edmond City Council 2021 Strategic Plan).  The City should continue to partner with ACOG to offset the costs of road projects whenever possible.  Further, we should continue to work with commercial and residential developers to widen roads in development or pay the offset fee, so the city has the funds for future road work associated with growth and development.  We should also continue to make our city more walkable, encourage use of public transportation, and the consider the Regional Transit/Commuter Rail System.

Stacie Peterson: For the issue surrounding traffic in Edmond, I would continue to support the roll out of the Intelligence Traffic System, for the present traffic issues. For future traffic issues, zoning is going to be key. Established communities and businesses are already in place. We cannot change what was established 20-30 years ago. However, we have a wonderfully growing city, which includes increase in traffic issues. We can be smart and efficient moving forward into the future and zone the appropriate areas for growth in infrastructure.

David Miller: We have a traffic or roads plan, we need to update it and move it forward based on current conditions, planned growth and sustainability.  A lot of the problems we have now are due to deviating from requirements on developers to provide right of way, expand streets or pay a fee in lieu of.  We have also waived requiring a traffic plan or impact study that are normally required.  This causes traffic issues that could have been avoided with proper due diligence and planning.  We should work with EPS, Francis Tuttle, UCO, etc. We need to be partners with them in the decisions and planning that affects traffic dynamics.  We need to be extremely diligent when it comes to Edmond East of I-35, we have one chance to do this one right, we shouldn’t let that opportunity escape us. In my opinion, we are not being proactive, that causes a lot of what we do to be reactive and costs us a lot more in the long run.  Road infrastructure has always been one of my highest priorities and will continue to be.


Question 6: As you know, sales tax is the primary source of revenue for cities in Oklahoma. What is your opinion on how to drive sales tax generation and growth for Edmond, and specifically east Edmond?

Darrell Davis: 
To continually generate sales tax revenue, we must attract people and business to Edmond. Achieving this requires all of us -- residents, business owners, developers, city staff, etc. -- to work together to help our community grow in a positive way. There are several critical components to this effort, including infrastructure improvements such as street, water, electrical, storm and wastewater, that help make Edmond an attractive place to live, work and play. Other considerations include flexible building codes and inspections that account for the ever-changing construction industry. Finally, we must be efficient and effective in promoting all of the positive attributes of our community, like exceptional public safety, outstanding educational opportunities, high-quality medical services, and plentiful options for recreation.

Nathan Walters: My answer on question 5, 2 and 1 I believe touch on this. No business or family succeeds without a plan. At the municipal level we must have a plan as well. We set out the plan and the scopes of our plan and then we let the entrepreneurs and individuals of Edmond take it from there. If we zone it correctly, we can have walkability and bike riding and single family housing and restaurants and shopping and Lake Arcadia all connected which will create something along the lines of Frisco Texas and the suburbs of Nashville and Rosemary Beach in Florida. Businesses and individuals will want to be a part of this community which will enhance Edmond. We have such a beautiful setting to work without East and if thought through and planned correctly, it can be something we all are very proud of. 

Sheryl Janis: As our population increases so does the need for sales tax to increase to be able to adequately run our city.  In order to generate adequate sales tax revenue, we will need to continue to bring in businesses of all sizes to Edmond.  We need to be easier to work with when a new business wants to build here, or an established business wants to build a new location.  The zoning on the east side of Edmond needs to be established for many reasons, ie: right of ways and intersection sizes, adequate growth room for more than 2 lanes of traffic, balance of business and residential zoning.

Christin Mugg: The TIF district and the EEDA’s incentives are both sales tax revenue generating programs.  In addition, I would like to see some careful, thoughtful commercial development around Lake Arcadia.  The improvement of the facilities there along with some commercial development would result in Edmond residents spending money in Edmond and further attracting out of town visitors.  The East Edmond 2050 Plan does need to be completed; within this plan will be opportunities for development.  There are efforts to get higher speed internet in east Edmond, which is one of the keys for further development in that area. 

Stacie Peterson: I would again state that the incentive program is a top priority in economic development of the City of Edmond. Economic development leads to an increase in job opportunities, which leads to population growth, which leads to more tax dollars being spent in our community, which ultimately leads to revenue growth. The East Edmond development study that is the works, needs to be completed. With this study, we can plan on how we can incentivize the east side of the Edmond.

David Miller: Sales tax is the fuel that powers the engine that moves the city.  Without it we have no police and fire protection, no roads projects, no parks, none of the amenities that makes Edmond, Edmond.  I believe that we need quality, complimentary commercial and residential development both east and west of I-35.  However, like I said earlier, we have the opportunity to get out ahead of the development east of I-35.  We have a plan that designates commercial and residential areas, school locations, fire station locations, etc.  That plan is being revised now and should be completed around the end of 2021.  We need to review this plan on an annual or bi-annual basis and make adjustments accordingly.  We need to try to stick to the plan and not deviate from it, unless it makes better sense than the plan itself.  Again, when it comes to East Edmond, we have a great opportunity to do things right the first time.  We can only accomplish that by being diligent and proactive.


Question 7: Do you favor a 1 percent increase in the City’s Hotel Motel tax to promote tourism in Edmond? Why or why not?

Darrell Davis: 
Yes, I welcome a discussion around increasing the City’s Hotel Motel (lodging) tax. The current 4% rate has been in existence since 1994. Income generated from this rate is used by Visit Edmond to promote the fine qualities of our community. When you compare our rate regionally, we are significantly lower, with Yukon at 5%, and Ardmore, Lawton and OKC all at 5.5%.

Edmond is becoming a destination for art, entertainment and youth sports. We need to capitalize on these activities to help bring families to our town, and to do that takes money. 

Nathan Walters: I would allow the citizens to vote for this. Just like on the Rail System. I would be more in favor of a 1 cent sales tax like Oklahoma City did with MAPS which would allow us to get our infrastructure in place quicker to ensure we beat the growth. East Edmond is developing much quicker than I believe most people realize and if we want it to fit our ideas of our community, we need to beat it to the punch.

Sheryl Janis: A 1% hotel and motel tax increase would put us in line with what OKC’s tax is and would not affect the pocketbook of the citizens of Edmond.  This would allow our hotels and motels to be marketed and promoted without taking away from other areas in that budget. Bringing more conventions and events to Edmond and the surrounding areas will bring more tax dollars into our city.

Christin Mugg: Yes, I would support such a tax.  As Edmond becomes more and more desirable as a destination for visitors who do not live in the metropolitan area, the additional funds can be used to effectively convey all that Edmond has to offer.

Stacie Peterson: Yes, I support the 1 percent increase in the City's Hotel Motel tax to promote tourism in Edmond. Edmond's rate is approximately 1-1 % percent lower than the surrounding metro areas. This rate increase would only put us in line with the surrounding cities rates and help our tourism department. This would absolutely be a great way to increase the city's sales tax revenue. 

David Miller: I have always supported almost any initiative on tourism in Edmond that makes sense.  I view tourism based taxes as basically, free money for Edmond.  We do very little, as far as city services and general fund expenditures are concerned for the visitors to our hotels, motels and other amenities.  We simply need to make them available and maintain them to our high standards.  In addition, most of these funds can be used to expand the city facilities that help generate the tourism dollars.  Lest we forget that we see a bump in sales tax at most of our restaurants, retailers and entertainment venues every time there is an event in the region that uses our hotels and motels.  We should welcome tourists to what Edmond has to offer, art, friendly people, great venues and safety.


Question 8: Tell us how you have been involved in Edmond over the last 5 years.


Darrell Davis: I was appointed to the Edmond City Council in November of 2011 and subsequently elected for two consecutive terms. During this time, I helped create the first Incentive Policy to recruit and retain businesses; played a significant role in bringing several major city projects to fruition, like the Public Safety Center, Route 66 softball park, the MAC Senior Center, new water towers, major wastewater treatment plant upgrade, Edmond Center Court tennis facility, and relocation of Fire Station #2; and created the city’s first tax increment financing district in downtown. I’ve also fought hard to attract hundreds of millions of dollars in private development and redevelopment to our community, including the Hilton Garden Inn and Edmond conference center, ShowBiz Cinema, Park 17, Integris, Mercy expansion, Arcadia Trails and more. 

My involvement in the last five years has also included helping to renew Edmond’s focus on improving parks and recreation, with 18 projects in design and 23 projects completed in the last three years.

Nathan Walters: My involvement in Edmond the last 5 years has been owning a small business in Edmond. My wife and I both are in real estate in Edmond. We love Edmond. We chose Edmond to raise our family and start our businesses. Edmond has done such a great job, but it also has so much untapped potential. I want to continue to hold the standards we have set for Edmond but I also want to allow Edmond to flourish!

Sheryl Janis: In the last 5 years I have bought property to expand Autoworks and went through the re-zoning and approval process through not only Edmond City Council, but the Urban Board as well and over saw the building project from start to finish. I have been active in the Edmond Chamber of Commerce as an Ambassador, a member of Small Business Owners Alliance, Edmond Locally Owned, and the Downtown Business Association. I graduated from Leadership Edmond and still work full time in my family business. I am on the board at the Edmond Historical Society and Museum.

Christin Mugg: For most of the last five years, my involvement in Edmond has been as a business owner, parent to two Edmond Public Schools students, active Edmond Chamber of Commerce member, and as an engaged resident.  I have been accepted to participate in Leadership Edmond, which has been put on hold due to the pandemic.  For many years, my plan has been to more involved in Edmond when my family and business were in a space to give me the time and energy needed.  With my youngest child graduating from EMHS in spring 2020, and working four days a week beginning January 2021, that time is now.   

Stacie Peterson: My husband and I own a locally owned business and we quickly found out that The Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce would be a great tool by which to accomplish this. I became an ambassador for the Edmond Chamber of Commerce so I could meet new and existing business owners. I belong to the Small Business Owners Alliance. We joined Edmond Locally owned. I belong to the Government Relations Council. I attended and graduating from Leadership Edmond, which is an Amazing program! And I was honored to sit on the council in preparations for the 2021 Legislative agenda.

David Miller: I’ve been active in Edmond for over 25 years.  When I moved here in 1995 I became active in men’s ministries at St. John the Baptist.  In 2001, I ran for the Ward IV City Council seat and served there until February of 2012.  I am extremely proud of the progress, growth and financial prosperity that took place during my tenure.  I can list a myriad of accomplishments, but just to hit the high points; Public Safety Center, City Link, EEDA Incentive Program, Hwy 66 Park, Bickham-Rudkin Park, the MAC, Cross Timbers Complex.  A complete list will be available on my website, soon.  Since September of 2012 I have served on the Capital Improvements Project committee and also served on the Capitol Improvement Tax Advisory committee that was responsible for moving the second penny forward for 10 years.