By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Candidate filing for county and state offices begins Wednesday, election officials announced this week. Candidates for state offices file with the Secretary of the State Election Board in Oklahoma City, while candidates for Cleveland County offices file at the Cleveland County Election Board, 641 E. Robinson St. Filing runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday next week.
Cleveland County Election Board Secretary Bryant Rains said county offices to be filled this year include the county assessor, county treasurer and county commissioners for districts 1 and 3.
Cleveland County Assessor David Tinsley said he will run again.
“I enjoy what I’m doing,” Tinsley, R-Norman, said. “I’m in a position to help people even though they may not know it. Nobody likes taxes but our market has stayed steady in this county.”
Tinsley has 34 years of experience in the appraisal profession with the Cleveland County Assessors’ office. He was appointed assessor in 2009.
“I am the current president of the state Assessors Association,” Tinsley said.
Tinsley said one of the most rewarding experiences he’s had was working with legislators to get a bill passed that would allow assessors to make adjustments where damage occurred in disasters without going through excessive paperwork. Tinsley said assessors statewide supported the legislation.
“Before it had to go through a tax roll correction board,” Tinsley said. “That took effect in 2013. It stemmed from the fires back in August 2012.”
The change in law helped tornado and fire victims get relief on property taxes after the loss of property.
Tinsley lives in Norman with his wife Joyce of 37 years, a retired Moore school teacher. As the county assessor, Tinsley oversees the valuing of all properties for collection of taxes to support schools, vocational schools, health departments, libraries and other government services.
Cleveland County Treasurer Jim Reynolds also said he will run again. Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, is serving his second year as the Vice Chair of the county’s budget board.
“I feel honored that my colleagues I serve with have the confidence to place me as the vice chair of the budget board,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds has a bachelor of science in management and human resources from Southern Nazarene University. He founded Reynolds Painting Company in 1980 and managed it for more than 20 years. In 2001 Reynolds was elected to the Oklahoma State Senate where he served for over a decade until he was elected as treasurer.
“So far, every year that I’ve been in office, we’ve cut the budget,” Reynolds said. “We’ve been through our annual audit with the state, and there are no glitches. We are adhering to the state standards.”
Reynolds has worked with the county commissioners on a remodeling project to improve the counter space in the treasurer’s office to allow the office to operate more efficiently.
“We’re going to get rid of those speaker systems that don’t really work, they’re scratchy and fuzzy,” he said. “The girls will have mobility which will increase their work practice.”
Reynolds commended his staff for courteous service to the public and for working to get tax statements out early.
“We got our statements out last year about three weeks earlier than before,” he said. “I think the general public appreciated that.”
During his final year in the Senate, Reynolds authored the 3 percent property tax cap which voters approved in November 2012. The cap became effective Jan. 1, 2013.
District 1 County Commissioner Rod Cleveland, R-Norman, said he also will run again.
“I’m proud of instituting zero-based budgeting for the county, creating an IT department that has had net savings over the last four years, and working with the city of Norman, city of Moore and Oklahoma City doing a combined $7 million worth of road work,” Cleveland said.
Cleveland was elected commissioner for District 1 in 2007. District 1 consists of the northern third of Cleveland County with Oklahoma City, Moore and Norman within its boundaries. District 1 is a suburban area with a mix of rural settings.
Cleveland also was instrumental in getting a facilities management study to budget and plan for future maintenance and capital needs. He is working on a reconstruction of the county’s web presence for all departments to bring greater transparency and communications to county residents.
Cleveland is married to his college sweetheart Christine who is active in the community. The couple have four children.
District 3 County Commissioner Rusty Sullivan has said he will not run again. Several candidates have said they will file for the seat including Republicans Darryl Covey of Lexington, state Rep. Mike Reynolds R-Oklahoma City, former city attorney Blaine Nice and former Norman Mayor Dr. Harold Haralson. Former state Sen. Cal Hobson, D-Lexington also announced plans to file.
Candidates must complete a Declaration of Candidacy form which is available for download on the Cleveland County Election board website, clevelandcountyelectionboard.com. Forms also are available at the Cleveland County Election Board office. The completed form must be notarized and that Election Board personnel cannot notarize candidate filing papers.
The filing fee for county offices is $200. The filing fee must be in the form of a cashier’s check made out to “Secretary, Cleveland County Election Board” and must accompany the Declaration of Candidacy upon filing. In lieu of a fee, a petition supporting the candidacy that is signed by four percent of the registered voters eligible to vote for the candidate in the first election wherein the candidate’s name could appear on the ballot may be submitted with a Declaration of Candidacy.
For more election-related information, call the County Election Board at 366-0210, or visit elections.ok.gov.
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