By Conrad Dudderar
A Yukon Public Schools’ educator is challenging an incumbent on the Yukon City Council.
Rodney Zimmerman, 44, filed at 3:48 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6 for the Ward 1 seat on the five-member council.
The three-day filing period for Ward 1 and Ward 2 candidates ends at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8.
A Yukon High School graduate, Zimmerman teaches U.S. History and coaches girls’ track and cross country. He taught 17-1/2 years at Yukon Middle School and has been at YHS since February.
Zimmerman wants to unseat Ward 1 incumbent Rick Cacini, who has been Yukon’s vice mayor since May.
“This is something I’ve thought about for a long time,” said Zimmerman, who likes promoting Yukon Miller history. “I had a couple people encourage me to run.
“My wife and I grew up in Yukon, we raise our kids here and both teach here. This is an opportunity to give back to this community.”
Zimmerman earned his undergraduate degree in U.S. History at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he ran track.
After working a couple years in the family business, Zimmerman said he “wanted to come back home” and teach in Yukon. He did just that in 2004.
“We have a great city and school district; this is home to me,” the Ward 1 challenger said. “Campaigning will be something new for me but I will have a lot of support.
“We’re going to get out, knock on doors and meet people in the ward.”
Cacini, 74, filed for a second four-year term at 8:54 a.m. Dec. 6 – the first day of the filing period of municipal offices.
A retired U.S. military veteran, Cacini in 2018 was elected without opposition to the Ward 1 council seat.
“Being part of our community is a privilege, especially for all this community did for my family when I served overseas for more than 20 years,” Cacini said.
“It is a privilege for me to serve our country, state and community. If re-elected, it would be an honor to continue serving the citizens of Yukon on the city council.”
Cacini retired as lieutenant colonel with 40 years in the U.S. Army and 24 years in the Air Force. He is founder and curator of the Yukon Veterans Museum.
Cacini enjoys participating in the “Chill Your Cheeks” 5K run, which helps kick off Yukon’s annual Christmas in the Park lights festival.
“As a veteran, I do this run to honor the veterans who died and lost blood on the battlefield and those veterans who are still alive,” he said. “It’s truly an honor to carry the U.S. flag, as I did in the combat zone. I only wish more people would carry the flag like I do.”
Cacini volunteers on several boards, such as the Oklahoma Environmental Management Authority and Canadian County Court-Appointed Special Advocates.
The city council incumbent said he looks forward to meeting with Ward 1 residents as he campaigns for a new term.
AND FOR WARD 2 …
Meanwhile, Ward 2 incumbent Shelli Selby filed at 8:06 a.m. Dec. 6 to retain her Yukon City Council seat.
Selby, 62, defeated two opponents in the 2018 election to earn the elected office. Like Cacini, she has served on the Yukon City Council since May 2018.
A licensed professional counselor, Selby has been Yukon’s mayor since May 2020.
She referred to the City of Yukon’s accomplishments during her time in office.
“We have done so much work the past four years, completing Frisco Road, revamping the Parks and Recreation Department, surviving COVID, addressing our homeless issues, and starting the Highway 4 project,” the Ward 2 representative said. “That was a huge driving force when I first got on the council.”
Selby believes this is an “exciting time” for Yukon with new capital improvement projects planned through a general obligation bond issue or sales tax proposition.
“I want to be there to see them through to completion,” she added. “I love this town and want to advocate to make it even better than it is.
“We still have a lot of work to do as far as our roads, water and sewage system. I want to help make these changes happen.”
Zimmerman, Cacini and Selby were candidates who had filed for Yukon City Council through Tuesday, Dec. 7.
Wednesday, Dec. 8 is the final day of filing for municipal offices. Candidates should file between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Canadian County Election Board office in El Reno.
Check online at www.yukonprogress.com and read Saturday’s print edition for updates.
PRIMARY ELECTION SLATED FEB. 2
To be eligible for the Yukon City Council, candidates must be:
- A qualified voter of the City of Yukon;
- A resident of the ward he or she seeks to represent; and
- Elected by a majority vote of the qualified electors in their respective wards.
Yukon City Council members are elected to four-year terms. Council members cannot serve more than two consecutive terms in office, according to the city charter.
The primary election is set Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.
If no candidate receives at least 50% of votes cast in the primary, a general election will be Tuesday, April 5.
The winner in the Ward 1 and Ward 2 city council election will take their oaths of office May 3 to begin the next four-year term.
City council members will be sworn in by new Yukon Municipal Judge Jennifer King.
Also at the first city council meeting in May, council members will elect the mayor and vice mayor to serve for the next year.
Other Yukon City Council members are Donna Yanda, Ward 3; Jeff Wootton, At-Large; and Aric Gilliland, Ward 4.