The Norman Transcript


January 12, 2014

We must defend our rights to vote



An organized citizen group, Norman Citizens for Civic Responsibility, led the revolt and initiated two petitions. One was a referendum to repeal the rate increases, and the second was to add a charter provision requiring a vote of the people to raise utility rates. While only 1,947 signatures were required, 9,300 angry citizens signed the petition.

The city filed a lawsuit protesting both petitions that was ultimately appealed to the state Supreme Court by the city against the citizens, but the court affirmed the sufficiency of the citizens Charter Amendment petition requiring a vote of Norman citizens to raise utility rates.

An election was scheduled for Nov. 18, 1975, and voters approved the measure by an overwhelming margin of 66-plus percent, with 7,565 voting. This convinced the mayor and the council to roll back the rates.

Since the passage of the amendment, 22 requests for increases have been brought to the people, and 17 have passed. Past experience clearly demonstrates that Norman citizens respond.

In the spring, we will see the first of these issues placed on the ballot, and the others will follow as planned by the city. These proposals, if approved, will increase our sales tax, raise our utility bills and add to our property taxes. The Strategic Water Plan and the commuter/light rail project alone could cost as much as $900 million or more.

We are facing a collection of very expensive ideas, plus one that threatens our voting rights. With current tax rates squeezing middle-income families, we must determine wants vs. needs before we are asked to vote.

It is vital to stay informed by viewing council meetings on Cox Cable Channel 20 or to attend the study sessions, public meetings or city council meetings. Readers also will be able to follow these issues on

When we fail to vote, someone else will decide the issues for us, but we will pay.



Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • 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

  • Misleading statistics make schools look bad

    Editor, The Norman Transcript: Once again the Norman Transcript has used as a main story someone writing what appears to be designed to make schools and school administrators look bad, and which uses misleading statistics instead of real ...

    July 6, 2014