By Tonya Little
On Tuesday, Feb. 14 there will be a Ward 2 Council position on the Del City Council as the current Councilman Bill Giles moves out of the ward and out of the seat. Pam Finch, a long standing business owner and community member has decided to run for the position on the council.
“I thought it would be nice to have a woman in there. I’ve always loved Del City, so why not? I’ve been on the beautification committee for Del City for about 5-6 years already,” explained Finch on her decision to run.
Finch and her family moved to Del City when she was about 5 years old. Her parents, Bob and Carolyn Wood, were also very active in the Del City Community and were the owners of the Del City Music Co. for many years. When Finch was old enough to start working in the music store, she helped her mom in the office and did light sales for the company. Finch also played piano and sang in the family band, the Bob Wood Show, for years while growing up. They headlined the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas for six years, as well as traveled all over the U.S. on tour. Finch and her sister both credit Del City High School for working with them on their traveling schedule as they got their education. Finch’s father was also the founder of the Oklahoma Country Music Association, and was an active organizer of the Del City Parade for many years.
Finch met her husband, James, at the Music Store when he came in to buy drum sticks one day. He was also a musician. At the age of 16 Finch married James and they moved into a house they purchased on Sunnylane where she has lived for 40 years. James traveled and toured with the family music group for some times as well. The couple raised two children, Kim and Karmen. Their children also went to Del City High School. After 44 years of marriage, James passed away after a lengthy illness last November.
“I had talked to my husband about it, doing the council thing and he had told me to go ahead, that he knew that something I was really passionate about was our City,” explained Finch. “Knowing that he wanted me to do it, I decided to jump in there and do it.”
Finch has been an active member of the community for many years. Finch owns PJ Flowers & Gifts, located at 2900 Epperly Drive, and has owned it for 33 ½ of its 36 years in business. The flower shop was originally opened by Finch’s sister but after 18 months she decided it wasn’t for her and Finch bought the business instead. She is a member of the chamber of commerce and participates with the chamber in many different things. She was also named Del City’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year last month. Finch is the chairperson for the Beautification Committee for Del City which was established to enhance the appearance of the community as well as the quality of life for the community members. She is definitely not a stranger to the Del City Community. Finch says that she would like to focus on street and road repairs, as well as a yearly clean up of the creeks in the area to avoid spring flooding as part of her potential objectives as a council leader.
“I would just like to see Del City keep having a positive aspect. The government here is just positive and going forward and they have made a lot of changes in the last 10-15 years and it’s been an asset to the city,” explained Finch.
Local retired veteran Jack McBrayer has thrown his hat into the ring for the open Ward 2 seat on the Del City council. McBrayer has lived in Del City for about 27 years and is looking to give back to the community. This will be his first time to run for any kind of political office.
“I’d kind of like to see some things improve in our area, such as more lighting and more patrols in our areas. I’d like to get some of our roads fixed, and see some improvements to the west side of Sunnylane,” said McBrayer about his prospective objectives on the council. “I’d like to see the city continue to move forward, they’ve been doing a really good job of attracting businesses to the area and I’d like to see that continue on and see if we can get some new businesses attracted to the West city of Del City as well and continue with the advancements that they have been working on.”
McBrayer grew up in Midwest City and graduated from Midwest City High School. After high school he went into the military. After he got out of the military he moved to Del City. McBrayer graduated with honors from Rose State College with an Associates degree in Applied Science in Electronics. He then went onto UCO where he received a Bachelors of Arts in Criminal Justice. McBrayer has been a state certified probation and parole officer as well as a reserve Deputy with the county Sheriff’s office where he has held a commission for over 12 years. He is the former president of the neighborhood watch committee and a current member of his local neighborhood watch in Epperly Heights. During his time on the neighborhood watch patrol he has seen the need to have more activity and more membership in the neighborhood watch in an effort to get more patrollers out to cut down on crime in the area.
McBrayer is a lifetime member of the VFW and he is a disabled Vet. During his time in the service he was involved in an accident which resulted in extensive injuries to his leg. His ankle was dislocated and crushed, his knee was broken, his thigh was broken in a couple of different places and he has severed tendons. The Doctors told his family that he would never walk again. As a part of his physical therapy McBrayer got involved with martial arts, which he has been doing for about 23 years now. He credits Marital Arts with teaching him many skills including patience and how to work with many different kinds of people. McBrayer is a 5th degree black belt in Aikido, and a 2nd degree black belt in Judo. He teaches classes at a foster Recreation Center.
“The people I’ve worked with over the years have taught me a lot. I try to really listen to what they have to say. What I really love though is the teaching,” explained McBrayer. “I love working with students and explaining to them a certain technique that they aren’t getting and seeing the light shine in their eyes when they realize and finally get it. I’m currently working with a lady who has MS and is walking with a cane, and am teaching her how to defend herself from a chair.”
McBrayer definitely exhibits perseverance and a strong will. When the doctors told him he could never go skydiving, he proved them wrong and went and did it. When they told him he would never go skiing, he set his mind to it and proved them wrong yet again. The doctors told him he would never be able to go scuba diving, so he went and got an open water certification. McBrayer credits his ability to continue to be able to move in various ways to the physical therapy of Martial Arts and the patience and endurance it has taught him. He also sees how the things he has learned through it can help him as a City leader as well.
“I feel that I can incorporate the skills over into City Council in that having worked with people with different backgrounds and styles, and listening to what they have to say, I’ve learned over the years that I can gather and learn something from everyone that I work with,” said McBrayer. “I could be the teacher, and I could be a higher rank, but still they could be teaching me something. I may not agree with everyone all the time, but they may have a view on some things that I haven’t thought about which would open my eyes and ears to listen to what they have to say because they may come up with a point that hasn’t been thought about or discussed.”
McBrayer plans on going out into neighborhoods and passing out flyers as he introduces himself to the community during his campaign.