OAKLEY — Three candidates are running for two open four-year seats on the Oakley city council in the Nov. 5 election.

Incumbents Todd J. Muhlestein and Buffy Cooper are joined in the race by Debby McKnight.

Council members are paid $50 per month.

Cooper, 40, is the secretary for Scrivanich Natural Stone and is an emergency medical technician.

She has served on the council for four years.

Muhlestein, 43, is an auto mechanic and has also served one four-year term on the council.

McKnight, 65, is retired and is the former owner of a mobile drug screen company.

She is a long-term Oakley resident with no previous political experience.

“I believe it’s always good to have new blood and fresh ideas in government,’ McKnight said.

She brings her experience with running a small business to the position, which includes a financial background and problem-solving skills.

“I believe everyone needs to pitch in and help with growth in a small town,” said McKnight.

Cooper said the top issue in Oakley is getting the current ordinances codified, so they can be enforced.

“They need to be revamped and rewritten in an electronic form so people have access to them,” Cooper said.

Cooper would also like to educate Oakley residents more on how the city works.

“I’d like to see that happen so people understand why the city does certain things,” she said.

Among the skills Cooper brings to the council, is her ability to keep an open mind, even if she disagrees.

“I don’t have a biased opinion on things,” she said.

Muhlestein, who is also the assistant fire chief for the Oakley Fire Department, said maintaining the city’s infrastructure is the top priority.

Although the city tries to keep property taxes low, there are issues that need attention, including potential well problems in the future.

Muhlestein wants Oakley to be a bedroom community to Burley, with all the industrial growth remaining in Burley.

“A lot of people like the quiet slow pace of Oakley and they want to keep it that way,” he said. “If we brought in 100 new homes, our wells couldn’t support that and one industry could force our water issues.”

Muhlestein said he represents the viewpoint of many Oakley residents.

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