The Norman Transcript

Opinion

April 6, 2014

An unfortunate response

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

On April 1, the citizens of Norman voted to approve the renewed PSST and to make it permanent by a narrow margin of 3,798 for versus 3,660 against. As a result of this vote, Mayor Rosenthal stated in The Norman Transcript that it was “clear that voters that did not vote early were misled by misinformation over the weekend with a negative campaign which had a big effect on voters at the polls.”

Perhaps the Mayor would have been better served by saying it was a close vote, she was fortunate to win and she would do her best to see that the money was spent only for public safety.

Unfortunately, graciousness and the ability to recognize other legitimate points of view are not her style.

The “negative campaign” must refer to three letters to the editor in the Sunday Transcript and one mailer to voters. The letters and mailer were not against the public safety sales tax renewal but were concerned with the ballot language, which did not specify how much money would be raised by the new PSST, nor the amounts and items the tax would cover. These concerns were mentioned in some detail at several previous committee meetings and study sessions.

The ballot language also stated that the money could be spent “for any other legal purposes” or in any way the city wished to spend it. The voters will recall the Lindsey Street widening project where the city considered installing roundabouts based on similar language, despite no mention of them in the ballot.

Informing and educating voters is not running a negative campaign. The founders called it freedom of speech. May it stay alive in Norman.

BARRY MCCARROLL

Norman

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