The Norman Transcript

Opinion

April 4, 2013

Mayor and council face complex issues

NORMAN — We congratulate our three-term mayor Cindy Rosenthal and three new Norman City Council members this week and say thanks to three who served single terms in office.

Roger Gallagher, Dave Spaulding and Linda Lockett contributed countless hours to our municipal government. Their replacements, Greg Heiple, Lynne Miller and Stephen Tyler Holman, started their learning curves Wednesday.

Only incumbent Ward 3 Councilman Robert Castleberry was re-elected. His opponent had moved from the ward and officially withdrew from the race. Benjamin Carter’s name was still on the ballot and he received 332 votes.

Municipal government is a complex operation with many moving parts. Volunteer citizen governance is a hallmark of our democracy. It’s often a thankless job.

The defeats were not isolated. Oklahoma City voters decided to replace two incumbents who were up for re-election there.

Some long-time Norman city hall watchers think the anti-Mayor Rosenthal mailings and radio advertisements placed by third parties may have reduced the mayor’s margin over businessmen Tom Sherman and David Kempf.

They may have also worked against incumbent council members Gallagher, Spaulding and Lockett.

The issues raised included water quality, open meetings violations and lackluster sales tax growth. Raising them tarnished the mayor as well as the entire council.

We’ve heard from more than a few readers that suggest the Oklahoma City radio spots cast Norman in a bad light. Job recruiters may seize on that when pitching businesses or residents to move here.

Now that the votes have been counted, let’s put the election rhetoric behind us and move Norman forward together and prosper.

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