The Norman Transcript

Opinion

October 20, 2013

Let’s build a more efficient traffic pattern for Lindsey Street

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Harold Heiple made a couple of points  in his letter of Oct. 10 about CFRG’s stance regarding the Lindsey Street project and voter issues. 

When I referenced contract law bearing directly upon voters’ approval of a ballot, I was making a comparison without a legal, punitive intent. 

I used that reference to envision the state of mind that voters have when they enter the ballot box.

They reasonably expect to see a completed project much like the ideas set forth in public meetings and Council discussions. That expectation is very similar to a contract, because voters hope they will get a financial and timely outcome close to what has been proposed.

I agree with Harold about the vote count.  Issues are often decided on small numbers. 

However, we elect council members and a mayor on paltry percentages, less than 18 percent last time, and regardless of the small “yes” number, the issue has been decided. CFRG does not want another vote on the Lindsey project.

It would be foolish.  We only want the city to follow the design and cost structures set forth by the engineering consultants. Those things are posted on our web site (CFRGnorman.com) for the public to study.

Voters’ expectations form a concept of an agreement, or a “contract” with the city.  We voted to improve Lindsey.  Let’s follow that plan.

Does “other improvements” in ballot language give the city the right to make huge changes to nearly every aspect of the engineering design?  As an attorney for the developers in Norman, Harold knows the restrictions on site plans (Sec 19.320 of the city code).

The city does not allow the development community to change a site plan more than 5 percent without city council approval. 

As a parallel, how can voters make a decision on any project they vote for if it is subjected to major changes, not minor ones, with the final costs growing excessively larger than proposed? Harold recently talked to me about a Berry/Lindsey roundabout, an OU/Burden-group idea. 

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