The Norman Transcript

Opinion

April 3, 2013

Norman stands to prosper

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

What now? I write this question before knowing the results of the municipal elections, which will determine who holds four council seats and the mayoral seat in Norman.

Ultimately, regardless of who wins and who loses, the issues facing Norman remain unchanged. Fortunately the rhetoric of the campaign trail found more similarities than differences in many of the candidates, and productive action by City Council should result.

First, candidates by and large agreed that our community needs to be vigilant in monitoring our sales tax dollars and refocus attention to our pace in the region as a retail hub. In response to a Chamber questionnaire candidates agreed the City should conduct a survey to find what, if any, retail void exists and utilize that information for retail recruitment. I look forward to moving forward on such a study. Right or wrong city funding relies heavily on retail growth. Having proactive policies and reducing redundancy and inefficiency in municipal code needs to be paramount in the coming months and years to regain competitiveness in the region.

Second, infrastructure needs including both water and street improvements continue to be a priority. A citizens’ water study group will offer recommendations soon – their findings should be scrutinized by the public at large and where prudent acted on with due haste.

Finally, without fail, each candidate expressed the desire for the City of Norman to develop and pursue a quality of life package for our community. A variety of needed and wanted items from upgraded aquatic facilities, completion of Ruby Grant Park, improvements to ball fields, libraries and other amenities rated high on candidates’ talking points.

The campaign talk should be followed by productive city council action and a comprehensive plan for implementation of combined initiatives.

There are several items council and citizens should be able to find common ground on. During campaign season the promises mount. The business community stands ready to assist those that won on delivering their word .

John Woods

President and CEO, Chamber of Commerce

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