The Norman Transcript

Headlines

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
Headlines
  • Baker home 3 Moore resident lands in new home 14 months after tornado

    She crawled from the rubble of what used to be her home. The neighborhood was destroyed. It was the afternoon of May 20, 2013, and Jamie Baker was homeless....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Additional details come to light in Campus Corner incident involving Sooner recruit

    The 911 call from Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe early Friday morning brought forth more details from the incident that has Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon under investigation for an alleged assault....

    July 30, 2014

  • Police rule out homicide in Norman woman’s death

    Norman Police Capt. Todd Gibson said Tuesday they have eliminated the theory of homicide after a Norman woman was found dead in her home Monday afternoon. “We’re moving in a different direction with the investigation,” Gibson said. “It’s ...

    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

  • Norman High student argues his way to the top

    Knowing the ins and outs of an argument that involves complex research is the type of skill one expects a high paid attorney to have not a high school student. Yet debate competitor Nicky Halterman has been arguing his way to the top of ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Senate approves new VA secretary

    WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary, with a mission to overhaul an agency beleaguered by long veterans’ waits for health care and VA ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Tampering accusations surface in OKC bombing case

    SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawyer suing the FBI over his public records request for surveillance videos from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing said Tuesday that one of his witnesses backed out after being visited by government officials last ...

    July 30, 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

  • Senate passes highway bill, sends it to House

    WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday voted to change the funding and timing of a House bill to keep federal highway funds flowing to states in an effort to force Congress to come to grips with chronic funding problems that have plagued ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Monday: · 8:20 a.m. larceny report, 2000 block of West Lindsey Street · 9:04 a.m. stolen vehicle, 3400 block of Bart Conner Drive · 9:11 a.m. larceny report, 1200 block of Ed ...

    July 30, 2014