Marva O’Neal is seeking a second term on the Shawnee City Commission so she can continue to be an independent voice for the people of Shawnee. Her direct approach and insistence on discussing issues in the open has been a catalyst for change in city government. She is being challenged by James Harrod, whom she defeated for the Ward 3 seat in 2004.


Marva O’Neal is seeking a second term on the Shawnee City Commission so she can continue to be an independent voice for the people of Shawnee. Her direct approach and insistence on discussing issues in the open has been a catalyst for change in city government. She is being challenged by James Harrod, whom she defeated for the Ward 3 seat in 2004.
O’Neal was born in Wewoka and started her work career in Shawnee with the Community Action Agency. She is a retired civil servant, having worked for several federal agencies and the White House in Washington, D.C. She also worked for Robert Novak and the late Rowland Evans on the political television show “Crossfire.”
She is a Douglas High School graduate and has attended MacIntosh College in New Hampshire and Howard University in Washington D. C..
She is married to Bob O’Neal. They have one daughter, Gloria Wallace, who works for Gordon Cooper Technology Center. Wallace has three children, two of whom are currently attending college in Atlanta, Ga. O’Neal has been an active member of the New Life Church of Jesus Christ.
O’Neal said she has a deep commitment to making Shawnee a good place to be for all its citizens. She says she has learned many new things while serving on the commission and wants to put that knowledge to work to make a positive difference in the community and for the youth of Shawnee.
She has been instrumental in keeping the swimming pool open, encouraging the city manager to move forward on repairs for the drive-up utility payment window, and expanding the Christmas Snowflake lights to the south part of town. She has also obtained street lights for unlighted areas of Shawnee. She is currently working on getting more street lights for several intersections in the older part of Shawnee. “Street lights are one of the most basic crime deterrents available and I feel very strongly that Shawnee needs more of them,” she explained.
O’Neal and her husband run a snow cone stand on South Beard.
O’Neal thinks her most important job at the commission is to listen to the citizens she was elected to serve. She says that  “Shawnee first and foremost needs to establish a dependable economical water source. I would also like to try and bring in more programs for our youth and retirees,” she said.