The Norman Transcript

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March 19, 2013

City stumpers address public safety issues

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Greg Heiple, candidate for Ward 1, also was in favor of cutting the tax to a quarter cent or one-third cent tax but, he said it should become a permanent tax.

“We need to give firefighters and police a sense of where the money is coming from,” he said.

Flip-flopping funds:

Another question asked was whether or not they would be in favor of using any surplus money garnered from the PSST in the general fund. No candidates were in favor of “flip-flopping” any of the funds as Spaulding put it.

Heiple may have said it best when he said “keep the money in the pot,” expressing everyone’s view on the issue.

Rosenthal and Lockett both said that they didn’t believe there would be any excess money to put in the general funds because of all the unmet needs the police and fire department have.

“I think the question would be better for future candidates,” Sherman said. “From what I understand, we have a lot of catch-up to do.”

Improving community safety:

Candidates were also asked a two-part question regarding improving community safety. One part was if they thought there was an aspect of public safety that has been poorly handled. Another part was what they think police and fire could do to make the community safer.

Several candidates agreed that since Police Chief Keith Humphrey became chief, community policing efforts have made a very positive impact on keeping the community safer.

Other candidates made recommendations of helping the police and fire with communication issues. A specific problem is the lack of communication with other first responders.

Another issue Holman brought up was having enough staff to keep up with the population growth. Rosenthal also suggested police need better facilities as they face space needs.

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