The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Government

March 15, 2013

City memo may have violated open meetings law

NORMAN — A memorandum drafted by the city attorney on behalf of Mayor Cindy Rosenthal was hand delivered to members of the city council recently.

The memo — dated Feb. 19 — summarizes the history of decisions concerning the city manager’s contract and compensation and summarizes a consensus of the council regarding the city manager’s contract. It presented new information regarding union and non-union compensation and closes with a request from the mayor for input and direction from other council members.

Some open government observers say that request from the mayor appears to be a violation of the Oklahoma Open Meetings Act.

Council member Tom Kovach alerted The Transcript to the existence of the memo earlier this week, commenting that it was Sunshine Week and he believes the mayor’s memo violates open meetings law. Rosenthal disagrees.

“My sole motive in consulting with the city attorney is to get it right. He has to draft the contract, obviously, so I have to work closely with him,” Rosenthal said.

The Transcript asked for a copy of the memo and Rosenthal referred the matter to the city attorney who refused all requests. The Transcript obtained a copy of the memo from a source who does not believe it falls into the category of privileged information.

The memo is addressed from Rosenthal to council members.

“The consensus of the council was to move forward ...” Rosenthal writes in the memo.

“They cannot vote in executive session,” said Dr. Joey Senat, associate a professor at the OSU School of Media and Strategic Communications. “So how did they reach a consensus? They avoided having a roll call vote, but they still voted.”

“I was asked to put on paper what did it mean to follow the same union and non-union pay raises,” Rosenthal said. “And I consulted with the city attorney to help draft that, but no final decision was made, no votes were cast.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Government
  • Congressman Cole reflects on recovery

    Congressman Tom Cole’s home in Moore was not hit by the May 20 tornado but it came pretty close. His wife has made it clear she wants a saferoom, he said. In a visit to the Transcript on Friday afternoon, Cole talked about tornado ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Oklahoma Water Resources Board grants Norman low-interest loan for facility upgrade

    Norman has been authorized for a $50.3 million loan from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to fund Phase 2 of the Norman Water Reclamation Facility upgrade. “It’s the single largest loan OWRB has made,” Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said. ...

    April 17, 2014

  • General fund continues to decline as expenses exceed anticipated revenues

    Norman’s expenses will again outstrip projected revenue in the current budget before the city council. The budget for the fiscal year that starts in July and ends June 30, 2015, projects $210,982,020 in total revenues and $213,436,778 in ...

    April 16, 2014

  • County hears presentation on employment opportunities

    The Cleveland County Board of Commissioners listened to a presentation Monday to consider partnering with a nonprofit that provides employment opportunities for prison inmates re-entering the community. Patrick Viklund, Center for ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Drilling operation shows policy gap

    While Norman residents are being encouraged to use rain barrels, a Texas oil and gas company is pumping thousands of gallons of treated drinking water into the ground. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission controls permits for drilling, ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Filings finished

    In addition to Ward 2 Norman City Council candidates Clint Williams and Aliesha Karjala several federal, state and county officials will be on the June 24 ballots. Filing for offices that serve Cleveland County residents are: · ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Fracking review online

    The Oklahoma Hydraulic Fracturing State Review is available on the Corporation Commission’s website, occeweb.com. Completed in 2011 by a non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization, State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Candidates file for state and federal positions Thursday

    New filings on Thursday include: ; ...

    April 11, 2014

  • City briefs

    Egg hunt today  Norman’s Easter Egg Hunt will be today at Andrews Park. Activities — including moon bounces, games, giveaways and Easter Bunny photos (bring your own camera) — will start at 5:30 p.m....

    April 11, 2014

  • Norman residents among those seeking to run for county, state offices in first day of filing

    Filing for county and state offices started Wednesday and continues from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Friday. A handful of Democrats and a trickle of Independents vye with a field heavy-laden with Republican candidates. There are few ...

    April 10, 2014