The Norman Transcript

Opinion

October 10, 2013

Spokesperson is misleading residents

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

The spokesperson for the so-called “Citizens for Financially Responsible Government” is wrong.

On Sept. 26, The Transcript published a letter from Roger Gallagher regarding the Lindsey Street project. I know Roger. I like Roger. It is surprising to me that the following statements in his letter are not correct.

1. Roger said there was “... a contract ... presented to ... citizens of Norman in the form of a vote. The citizens read and accepted this contract by voting for those items in the ballot language and detailed in the engineering design.”

First, the ballot language contained no specific design for Lindsey Street. Second, the ballot included the following language: “The costs of the projects are based on engineering estimates, with engineering to be completed as the bonds are issued ...”

Finally, and most important, approval of that bond issue did not create any kind of final Lindsey Street design “contract.”

2. Roger said, “Oklahoma law also stipulates that consent for contractual changes must be free and mutual and acceptance must be absolute and unqualified. Written contracts are regarded by law to exceed all oral negotiations.”

First, when you stop and remember that 9,294 Norman citizens voted in that elections and 3,630 of them voted “no,” you can see how absurd it is to say that any change to what was voted on, no matter how minor, must be approved by all 9,394 who voted — or is it only the 5,764 people who voted “yes” who must all consent?

Second, many people who voted “yes,” like me, do not agree with Roger that the city council would, or should, have to ask thousands of voters if they could make any changes to any of the eight projects that were authorized by the ballot language.

3. Roger said “... any changes to this contract, without Norman citizens consent, would be in violation of Oklahoma state law.”

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