The Norman Transcript

Government

January 7, 2014

Residents concerned about details of 10-year renewal of half-cent Public Safety Sales Tax

(Continued)

NORMAN —

· There would be a two-year phase period.

· There would be one supervising officer.

· There would be two officers at each high school.

· There would be one officer at Dimensions Academy.

· There would be one officer at each middle school.

· Three officers would rotate between the 15 elementary schools.

Gallagher said he doesn’t think Norman needs police in schools. However, if they are going to move forward with the measure, the school systems should pay 50 percent of the cost for additional officers.

“The school should bear the burden,” Gallagher said. “We’ll see a lot of public outrage if the school system does not put in.”

His wife, Ann Gallagher, disagreed. After being in the school system for 36 years, she said schools have dramatically changed over that period of time.

“We need the positive role models in our schools,” she said. “I would love to see the police involved in school systems.”

Retired police officer Steve Lucas said while he is really proud of the PSST, what happens if the schools want to back out? The police won’t back out, they will be there permanently, whether the school keeps paying them or not, Lucas said.

If the 10-year sales tax were passed, it would be effective Oct. 1, 2015, through Sept. 30, 2025. It is estimated that it would generate $11 million in the first year and $16 million in the 10th year, Francisco said.

If the renewal is put on the April election ballot, the first reading would need to be done by Jan. 14.

Gallagher said putting it on a ballot sooner rather than later seems like a rush job.

“If it’s a quality package, people will accept it. Let’s hope we have more time, so we can delve into these areas and get answers. It’s our money, folks,” he said.

Jessica Bruha

366-3540

jbruha@normantranscript.com

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