The Norman Transcript


March 20, 2014

Norman finance committee finds dollars through fees, outsourcing

NORMAN — Norman traffic citations could become $25 costlier in the near future. A proposal for the implementation of a municipal court technology fee met with strong support at the City Council Finance Committee meeting Wednesday night.

Municipal court Administrator Ronda Guerrero and Assistant City Attorney Rickey Knighton reported that the city could glean more than $500,000 annually through assessing a $25 fee on all citations except parking violations. Based on Fiscal Year 2013 data, 20,103 cases were disposed of by the city’s municipal court. That would have generated $502,575 if a $25 fee were attached.

If an ordinance implementing the fee is approved by the city council, the money will go into the general fund to offset the cost of current technology. City council members made it clear they were attracted by the possibility of recovering some of the cost of enforcing the city’s laws.

“It’s a fee that evidently is coming into play in more and more communities to recoup the cost of the electronic systems that improve the efficiencies of our courts,” Council member Jim Griffith said. “We modeled ours after the district courts.”

Guerrero told council members the ultimate goal will be to have a paperless system in the municipal court in the future.

Norman’s municipal court technology includes 15 desktops and one laptop computer, video arraignment equipment and court-related software.

In 2009, state statute was changed to allow a governing body of a municipality to “determine by ordinance the court costs and fees that may be charged and collected by the clerk of the court,” city staff reported. Fees charged by other cities range from $5 to $40.

Knighton said the $40 fee seemed to be overkill and the $25 fee is consistent with what district court clerks in Oklahoma are authorized to charge and collect for the acquisition, operation, maintenance, repair and replacement of data processing equipment and software associated with the administration of the criminal justice system.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Water Reclamation Wastewater upgrade under way

    Norman’s $63 million water reclamation facility upgrade is under way. Once known as a sewer plant, the facility’s moniker reflects the current trend in water reuse and treatment that’s crossing the United States....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • New natural gas plant coming to south central area

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A new plant projected to process 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day is coming to the Grady/Stephens county area....

    August 1, 2014

  • Shelter construction ongoing; residents voice concerns

    A regular quarterly meeting of the Animal Shelter Oversight Board prompted Norman residents to speak up about more than just a photo release issue Monday night involving Friends of the Animals of Norman volunteers and the city of Norman. ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Voter registration deadline is Friday

    Friday is the last day to apply for voter registration to be eligible to vote in the Aug. 26 Runoff Primary Election. Races include federal, state and county offices, but for Cleveland County voters, the field is limited....

    July 30, 2014

  • Breast Care Center will relocate to HealthPlex

    The Norman Regional Health System will move its Breast Care Center to the HealthPlex campus, making it more accessible for patients, hospital officials said Monday. At its monthly board meeting, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Fracking Operation Norman library to host community dialogue about fracking

    Are Oklahoma oil companies an oligarchy that is controlling state policy? Is fracking safe? These and other topics will be the subject of an upcoming Fracking Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Norman Public Library’s Lowry Room, 225 ...

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • City manager calls Moore strong while addressing Chamber

    MOORE — Moore’s City Manager Steve Eddy could have quoted Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Eddy, with help from Mayor Glenn Lewis, reported on Tuesday on the State of the City to the Moore Chamber of ...

    July 23, 2014

  • walmart City leaders say ‘yes’ to Wal-Mart supercenter postponement

    Despite complaints that a postponement request was in the eleventh hour, a zoning change in east Norman was put on hold Tuesday night. The proposal to rezone property at Cedar Lane Road between 24th Avenue Southeast and Highway 77 ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014