The Norman Transcript

Headlines

February 22, 2013

Sparks: Capitol in big need of repair

NORMAN — Sen. John Sparks, D-Norman, is one of a dwindling number of Democrats still in the state legislature. However, he does not see being in the minority party as a hindrance.

“Anyone in the Capitol is as influential as they want to be,” Sparks said. “There’s 149 of us up there, and if you don’t insert yourself in the policy dialogue, no one is going to come to your office looking for your opinion.”

Sparks is a thoughtful decision-maker who says he prefers to mull things over rather than react with sound bites for the media as things are unfolding.

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have opinions. His thoughts on the sacred duty of maintaining the state Capitol building are potent.

“The people in charge are acting like slumlords,” Sparks said. “They want all the benefit without any investment costs. If’ you’re going to run the state like a business, you understand you have to invest in the business.

“We are starting another year of orange barriers circling the Capitol because it is not safe to walk through the front doors,” he said. “This is what limited government looks like taken to the extreme.”

The Capitol is more than just a pretty building, Sparks said.

“Our state Capitol building is about 100 years old and it is in dire need of ongoing maintenance,” he said. “The Capitol is not just a ceremonial building — it is a working office building.”

Sparks said he has been fortunate in his committee assignments. He serves on Military and Veterans Affairs, Finance, Rules, Insurance and Education Policy committees and the Education Subcommittee on appropriations.

“I have some of the best committee assignments at the Capitol,” he said. “I have been very fortunate in my tenure in the Senate as far as being at the table when policy issues affecting District 16 as well as the state are under consideration.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Chamber Banquet During annual banquet, Chamber of Commerce promotes moving Norman forward

    Amidst the backdrop of music, dancing, dinner and fellowship, business leader Mike Fowler announced that the time for a quality-of-life initiative in Norman has come. As incoming Norman Chamber of Commerce board chairman, Fowler and ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Symposium speaker Paul Polik: Commerce can help and bring millions out of poverty

    How to harness the power of commerce to address social and environmental challenges in sustainable ways was the topic of discussion at the University of Oklahoma Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth’s fourth annual Social ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Amber waves turn gray as farms lose younger generation

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Jerry Pfeiffer was thrilled when his son, Kelsey, 25, announced plans to return to the family’s farm in Orlando....

    April 18, 2014

  • Postal retiree luncheon set

    A postal retiree luncheon will be 11:30 a.m. Monday at Golden Corral Buffet and Grill, 123 N. Interstate Drive in Norman. Diners will meet in the lobby. For more information, call Joyce Carle at 872-5157....

    April 18, 2014

  • Flapjack fundraiser set

    The Apple Gold Group, a franchisee of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar, will partner with the Global Outreach Team at Go Church to host a Flapjack Fundraiser on April 26. Proceeds raised will be used by team members to purchase ...

    April 18, 2014

  • OU Hornsemble goes to the movies

    The OU Hornsemble will present a concert of music from the cinema at 6 p.m. April 27 in the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall. Billed as “Movie-Time Music,” the ensemble will present a wide variety of cinematic music from the 1940s to the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge asks pointed questions in gay marriage case

    DENVER — A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions....

    April 18, 2014

  • Fallin disappointed SBAdenied loans

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Mary Fallin said Thursday she is disappointed that a federal agency denied a request for loans to businesses in two Oklahoma towns affected by an emergency bridge closure....

    April 18, 2014

  • Sudan: 12 die after mob attacks UN base

    JUBA, South Sudan — An angry mob of South Sudanese youths attacked a U.N. base on Thursday to harm members of an ethnic minority sheltering inside. Peacekeepers were forced to open fire, amid rampaging violence that killed at least 12 ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Woman bound over for trial

    A Slaughterville woman facing a manslaughter charge after the death of an 8-year-old child was bound over for trial this week after a preliminary hearing in Cleveland County District Court. Kimberly Dawn Wenthold, 29, was charged in ...

    April 18, 2014