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The provision was put into the charter in 1974 after a dramatic increase in utility rates but is now outdated when looking at long-term water needs for the city, he said.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

    Norman’s $63 million water reclamation facility upgrade is under way. Once known as a sewer plant, the facility’s moniker reflects the current trend in water reuse and treatment that’s crossing the United States....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Okla. City museum shows pigeons in positive light

    OKLAHOMA CITY — It wasn’t long after Lorrie Monteiro started her new gig as curator of the American Pigeon Museum that she started to wonder, “What have I done?” Monteiro had experience working at museums but knew almost nothing about the ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Bicycle Racks Five more bike racks installed downtown

    Public art was installed Thursday along east Main Street in historic downtown Norman. Five colorful art pieces aren’t just for looks. The musical notes, dream catcher, fork and spoon, scissortail flycatcher and a bent arrow also are bike ...

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meet the Sooners on Saturday

    Meet the Sooners Day will be Saturday at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The annual, free event kicks off preseason practice and gives University of Oklahoma fans an opportunity to interact with their favorite players and ...

    August 1, 2014

  • OKC man charged with rape

    After being brutally raped and kidnapped for four days, a woman escaped and called 911 last week, which led to charges against an Oklahoma City man. Zohaib Sahibzada Dastgir, 28, was charged with three counts of first-degree rape, two ...

    August 1, 2014

  • One killed when shipping container falls onto vehicle

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City police say one person was killed when a shipping container was knocked from an Oklahoma National Guard vehicle and landed on a pickup truck....

    August 1, 2014

  • Target taps outsider as CEO for shakeup

    NEW YORK — Target is bringing in an outsider as its CEO for the first time as the retailer fights to redefine itself to American shoppers....

    August 1, 2014

  • Parks officials set to fog for mosquitoes in Norman

    Norman parks and recreation officials will fog for mosquitoes Saturday night in northeast Norman....

    August 1, 2014

  • New natural gas plant coming to south central area

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A new plant projected to process 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day is coming to the Grady/Stephens county area....

    August 1, 2014

  • Motorists should watch for pedestrians

    With another school year approaching, the Norman Police Department wants motorists to be mindful of the increase in pedestrian and vehicle traffic. During the month of August, the Norman Police Department will concentrate resources in the ...

    August 1, 2014