2 city council members not seeking re-election
Published: Monday, February 25, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 25, 2013 23:02
Oxford City Council members Ken Bogard and John Harmon will not seek re-election in November.
Vice-Mayor Ken Bogard, councilmen John Harmon, Bob Blackburn and Kevin McKeehan all hold positions that will be up for grabs come November.
While Bogard and Harmon are not running, Blackburn and McKeehan both plan on running again.
Bogard, who has held a position on the council since 1995, is choosing not to run for re-election.
“I was encouraged in 1995 to run for council because I felt that many things needed to be done that could improve the city,” Bogard said. “Councilmen are allowed to serve two consecutive four-year terms. I could stay out of council for another two years and run again, but have chosen not to. I am in my 70s, and by the time I ran again and have another four-year term I’d be in my low 80s. I think it’s time for some young people to step up to the plate and serve their community.”
Harmon is also choosing not to run, citing family reasons.
“I initially joined city council because I wanted to take a more active role in the city government,” Harman said. “Now, family issues have made it somewhat difficult to manage my time.”
Harman, an Oxford resident of 13 years, has spent four of those years as a member of the Oxford City council. According to Harmon, the biggest highlight of his tenure was helping steer the city through the recent financial crisis.
“The city council worked hard through the crisis, and Oxford came out better than most cities,” Harman said. “We had a lot of vacancies at venues uptown that needed [to be] filled, and we even had to put in place a salary freeze for a year. Now, we’ve refinanced our debt and have been able to pay off most debts, which has saved the city money.”
Councilman Bob Blackburn, an Oxford resident since 1974 who has served for three and a half years, is also up for reelection.
“I joined city council because I’ve always wanted to give back to the community,” Blackburn said. “We’ve been trying to be fiscally responsible so we can continue to enjoy our city in an efficient manner.”
As for his plans if he were to be re-elected, Blackburn said at this time he does not have a specific agenda.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen until it happens,” Blackburn said. “I just hope to keep the course. We’re really just trying to be fiscally responsible and working to save in our budget, trying to find extra dollars in the way of grants or any other funds that can help out our city.”
Councilman Kevin McKeehan, a 14-year resident of Oxford and three and a half-year member of the City Council, also plans to run for re-election this fall.
As a citizen of Oxford, McKeehan has formerly served on the Oxford Chamber of Commerce board six years, has served on the Oxford Family resource center for six years, and has been an active member of the Lion’s Club.
If re-elected, McKeehan said he hopes to solve issues with the city as they come.
“Myself nor anybody else on council has a personal agenda, and that’s what I think makes it good,” McKeehan said. “We don’t have any direct plans for the future, that’s the beauty of our current council. We don’t have a particular agenda, we just want to move Oxford forward in the next few years.”