The Norman Transcript

Local news

March 13, 2013

Race for Norman mayor heats up

NORMAN — Norman mayoral candidates Tom Sherman and David Kempf are challenging incumbent Cindy Rosenthal for the city’s leadership over the next three years.

Vows to keep the race for mayor of Norman clean and issue-focused appear to have been kept by the three candidates vying for the post, but that doesn’t mean things haven’t heated up.

The city election is slated for April 2.

A recent campaign mailer sent out by Tom Sherman for Mayor challenges Rosenthal’s leadership in three areas, saying she “wanted to sell water to Goldsby in 2009,” that the roads in east Norman are “crumbling and dangerous” and that she “rejected the Warren Theatre, which then went to Moore,” resulting in the loss of tax dollars for Norman.

Research does not support Sherman’s campaign flyer specifics.

· Warren Theatre: The Warren Theatre in Moore is the top grossing megaplex in a four-state area, according to the movie theater’s official website, and the traffic that floods into surrounding businesses in Moore — including a top grossing Freddy’s Frozen Custard — has increased Moore’s sales tax numbers.

However, Bill Warren made the announcement that he would build the $30 million theater in Moore on July 9, 2005 — two years before Rosenthal took office as mayor.

Former Norman mayor Harold Haralson said no one from Warren Theatre ever approached him and, to his knowledge, the city council did not reject any proposal by Warren. Haralson was mayor in 2005.

Additionally, the existence of Hollywood Theater in Norman was a prohibiting factor.

University North Park developer Brad Goodwin said UNP developers had wanted a theater, but the Hollywood Theater was not interested in selling, which meant a theater in UNP would not have first-run movie rights.

“You can’t go really close to a first-run movie house, so they have industry standards about no encroachment,” Moore Economic Development Director Deidre Ebrey said. “We did not have a movie theater at all, and it gave our government an opportunity to woo them because it would not hurt an existing movie theater. We certainly rolled out the red carpet and made the whole agreement easier for them.”

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