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March 28, 2013

Chamber forum airs sales tax issue

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Ward 5 Council member Dave Spaulding also is concerned about sales tax revenue and becoming more business friendly.

“Anyone who’s not concerned about the money coming into your pocket will soon find it empty,” Spaulding said.

He referenced 60 city inspections for a local company that wanted to move from one side of the community to another and said Norman can and should do better.

Sherman said we can use incentives but don’t have to use them to attract business.

“We’ve got to change that culture at city hall,” Sherman said. “We need to make Norman customer friendly.”

“Norman has welcomed a number of businesses to this community in the last five years,” Rosenthal said

Mayoral candidate David Kempf said big government is the problem.

“Get the government out of your business ... We don’t need large government dictating to us what kind of city we should have,” Kempf said. “I think the primary duty of government is to provide central services and then get out of the way and let the city grow.”

 

Most memorable quotes: “Water comes from God,” Kempf said. “If we can’t provide the water that is required for continued growth, people are going to build their houses where there is water ... If the water’s not there, you’re going to have to conserve. Sorry, you can’t water you lawn.”

“There is always a spending problem when you frame the word ‘government’ in any conversation,” Kempf said.

“I was born deaf and I understand what it’s like to not be heard,” Heiple said. He said the government is not listening.

“I look at the economy as a simple factor. If you have enough money, you spend. If you don’t, you don’t spend. We are watching the budget carefully,”Gallagher said.

Biggest differences in opinion: Ward 5 candidates Spaulding and Miller, regarding environmental concerns, showed the biggest gap in thinking. Spaulding endorses private property rights and hates land grabs like the water quality buffer zone. Miller believes protecting Norman’s water supply and the quality of the water is imperative.

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