The Norman Transcript

Headlines

June 17, 2014

Norman City Council members to consider charter recommendations from commission

NORMAN — The Charter Review Commission is making several recommendations to city council members tonight during a special meeting, one of which is asking the council to put an item on the ballot to remove a provision requiring voter approval for utility rate increases.

The special meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Building Council Chambers.

“The city council would then set the rates for utilities,” said Harold Heiple, Charter Review Commission chairman, if the item was put on the ballot and approved by voters.

Heiple said Norman is the only city in the state that requires voter approval for utility rate increases.

The provision was put into the charter in 1974 after a dramatic increase in utility rates but is now outdated when looking at long-term water needs for the city, he said.

Norman does not have the option to participate in a consortion to bring water from south Oklahoma City like other cities do, Heiple said.

Carol Dillingham, Charter Review Commission member, said removing the provision would save taxpayers money. By having larger rate increases approved after longer periods of time, taxpayers are possibly paying more than necessary, she said.

“It makes our utility (increases) all wait until it’s almost desperation time,” Dillingham said.

Heiple said there are two ways to get the item on the ballot. The city council can put it on the ballot or voters can sign an initiative petition to get it on the ballot.

He is scheduled to give a presentation during the special meeting to discuss recommendations for all of the proposed charter amendments.

Other recommendations from the Charter Commission on the agenda include:

· Changing the language from “compensation” to “stipend” in regard to compensation of city council members.

· Simplifying the process for removal of the city manager.

· Creating a mechanism by which council members could request information regarding a specific city department.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Junior Police Graduation First Junior Police Academy graduates

    The room went dark and a slideshow flipped through photos of children participating in the first Junior Police Academy as kids chattered excitedly, remembering what they had done over the past two weeks. Norman Police Department hosted ...

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Air Algerie jet crashes with 116 on board

    OUAGADOUGO, Burkina Faso — An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Nonprofit raises $3.9M-plus for new center

    The Center for Children and Families, a United Way of Norman partner agency, announced Thursday that it exceeded its public fundraising goal of $3.5 million and raised more than $3.9 million to complete the purchase and renovation of a ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Very bad week: Airline disasters come in a cluster

    WASHINGTON — Nearly 300 passengers perish when their plane is shot out of the sky. Airlines suspend flights to Israel’s largest airport after rocket attacks. Two airliners crash during storms. Aviation has suffered one of its worst weeks ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Wednesday: · 5:58 a.m. indecent exposure, 100 block of West Comanche Street · 6:08 a.m. burglary in progress, 100 block of West Hayes Street · 8:09 a.m. larceny report, 100 ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Angela Beth Mendinghall, 36, unauthorized use of a vehicle; driving with a canceled, suspended or revoked license · Daniel ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Immigrant children being placed with sponsors

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The federal government says more than 200 unaccompanied children in Oklahoma have been placed with sponsors so far this year. The federal government released a state-by-state breakdown Thursday of the numbers of ...

    July 25, 2014

  • OCU prepares to move law library downtown

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City University’s School of Law is moving its library into a historic building in downtown Oklahoma City....

    July 25, 2014

  • Grad to serve as delegate at camp

    William Long, 2014 Norman North High School graduate, recently represented Oklahoma as a delegate at the 2014 National Youth Science Camp. Long joined 100 other top high school graduates representing the United States and eight other ...

    July 25, 2014