The Norman Transcript


January 12, 2014

Let’s settle the debate (part of it)

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Having had more time to sit down and reflect upon the Public Safety Sales Tax (PSST I), with its past accomplishments and its much debated future machination, I, on behalf of the Norman firefighters, would like to once again thank the citizens of Norman, including the mayor and the council, for their commitment to and ongoing support of public safety in general, and the fire department in particular.

We feel, and hope that the citizens agree, that the original tax — with its projects and promises — was a success and has substantially improved overall public safety within the city.

And now, five and half years later, you are going to be asked — sooner or later — to put your stamp of approval on the original project and its efforts.

Our main concern is what that report card (i.e. ballot initiative-PSST II) will look like.

Specifically, will you, the voter, be asked to approve of the old tax by voting for its new manifestation (PSST II) — with new projects, new personnel and new money?

Will you be forced to think not just of the needs of the community but of the 71 men and women (and their families) whose employment hangs in the balance.

None (zero) of the personnel hired under the old tax were absorbed into the city’s General Fund, the fund that pays the salaries and benefits of all other city employees. They are “permanent employees” paid for by a temporary tax?

Or will you be able to vote for a continued level of service independent of any “new” Public Safety needs/wants- i.e., moving the 71 personnel from temporary-permanent to permanent-permanent by permanently dedicating a portion (half cent) of the new tax to the General Fund for staffing purposes, thereby wiping the slate clean and ensuring that any future Public Safety Tax stand on its own merit and not on the vulnerable backs of employees and their families?

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • James Garner will be missed

    Editor, The Transcript: Norman native son James Garner was a fine actor on stage, screen and television. I enjoyed the “Maverick” TV series and, in particular, the 1959 episode “The Strange Journey of Jenny Hill” in which the very popular ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014

  • The longer the wait, the higher the cost

    Editor, The Transcript: Thanks for the great article of July 3 on the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby group that recently went to D.C. as citizen lobbyists, working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee, refunded in ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Natural beauty makes way for parking

    Editor, The Transcript: In support and response to an editorial in The Transcript on June 28 by Pam McIntosh, I am writing this article. In the early ‘70s, many years ago, I lived in what was known as the Sooner Mobile Home Park on South ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Trees do job too well

    Editor, The Transcript: State Rep. Richard Morissette should stick to the concrete and asphalt world, where all of nature has already been killed and people live in fear of living things. Leave our beautiful cedar trees alone....

    July 20, 2014

  • Young people barred from education

    Editor, The Transcript: State universities were created to be the avenue of middle class opportunity in America....

    July 20, 2014

  • Common Core fallacies

    Editor, The Transcript: The article ‘Radioactive’ that discussed Common Core (Transcript, July 14) quotes the fallacy from Republican governors that Common Core is a Federal program; it is not. Many conservatives, especially those labeled ...

    July 19, 2014

  • A pattern is emerging

    Editor, The Transcript: Over the past several weeks, three seemingly unrelated events caught my attention. First, near the end of the legislative session, the House and Senate passed with much fanfare and publicity legislation giving ...

    July 12, 2014

  • Voting for our priorities

    Editor, The Transcript: Ok, let me see if I’ve got this straight. When the federal government ended its program of providing $13-$16 million in surplus equipment each year to fire departments, our state and congressional leaders ...

    July 11, 2014