The Norman Transcript

Editorials

November 13, 2013

Few voters decide issue

NORMAN — Few doubted the sewer rate increase would pass in Tuesday’s election. The margin of victory, however, surprised many. Nearly 76 percent of the voters who cast ballots approved of raising their own utility rates.

Norman remains one of the few cities in the state that must get voter approval before utility rates can be increased. We last raised sewer rates in 1996.

Utilities Director Ken Komiske said the city’s assets are similar to a home that needs to be upgraded. The big difference, of course, is state and federal regulations that mandate the systems be modernized to meet new guidelines for wastewater.

The improvements include added capacity to the southside plant, maintenance and repair of the aging facility and additional disinfection and dissolved oxygen requirements.

Tuesday’s election was a quiet one. With only one item on the ballot, the measure drew fewer than 5,500 votes. Opposition voices were few, and the yes campaign consisted of a handful of direct mail pieces and one newspaper advertisement this past Sunday.

A couple of council watchers said the fact that the discussions over the Lindsey Street improvements had been mostly settled helped voters say yes.

The measure had the endorsement of the Norman Chamber of Commerce board and the Norman Citizens Wastewater Oversight Committee. We take the vote as evidence that if the city does its homework and makes its case for a rate or tax increase, voters will respond accordingly.

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Protect your home from wildfires

    To most people, fuel is what you put into your gas tank. To firefighters, it means something altogether different. To people who make a living putting out fires, fuel is that material that feeds wildfires — and there is an abundance of it ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Let’s toast: Main Street bridge nearly complete

    It was January 2013 when crews began knocking down the Main Street bridge over Interstate 35. The timeline on completion has always been this May. If everything comes together and the weather holds for the next few days, the overpass and ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Yes to Capitol and museum

    Two major spending bills have emerged from the powerful House Appropriations and Budget Committee headed by Norman Rep. Scott Martin. Both are up for passage in the full House of Representatives. We believe both deserve passage....

    April 11, 2014

  • Assistance needed

    The planned reopening of the Canadian River bridge connecting Purcell and Lexington is still more than two months away. Some of the businesses that depended on cross-bridge trade may not make it that long....

    April 11, 2014

  • Voters need speak up

    As candidates gear up to get their names on the ballot this year, it also may be time for voters to take some initiative, too....

    April 9, 2014

  • Let the filing begin

    The path to the state Capitol and local election board offices will be busy for the remainder of this week. Candidates, incumbents and those thinking they might want to be an incumbent will sign up today through Friday to have their names ...

    April 9, 2014

  • Taking care of business

    The backlog of state prisoners filling county jails in Oklahoma is finally getting some attention. The Associated Press’ Sean Murphy reports the new director of the state Department of Corrections has made clearing the inmate backlog a ...

    April 8, 2014

  • A Tuesday kind of market

    A family friendly, festive atmosphere is what organizers of Cleveland County’s Farm Market hope for tonight at the fairgrounds on East Robinson Street....

    April 8, 2014