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Opinion

September 1, 2013

Citizens for a financially responsible government

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

A group of Norman citizens has formed a new watchdog organization that will be known as Citizens for a Financially Responsible Government.

We refer to this by the acronym of (CFRG). This new citizen group will mirror an older organization formally known as Norman Citizens for Civic Responsibility (NCCR), active some years ago. That organizational charter was to provide oversight and education on Norman public issues.

The group was organized due to public outrage over the mayor and city council voting to nearly double our water rates. These actions led to the overwhelming passage of an initiative by Norman citizens that resulted in changes to our city charter. This change prohibited further water rate increases without a vote of the people.

The measure was challenged by the city but upheld by the Oklahoma State Supreme Court.

Our new group is independent, non-partisan, and will stress public affairs education, backed by research, and consistent attendance of public committee and Council meetings.

We are staffed by a cross section of volunteers devoted to making a fiscally-sound Norman via discussing public policy recommendations. The group is made up  of Norman citizens who are not presently holding any public office.

The challenges ahead will require using the media to communicate information and ideas. We will capitalize on the advantages of modern technology and publish our ideas and decisions on issues when we think the voters need more information to make an informed choice.

The changing economy and growing needs of Norman require a detailed examination of projects, a fiscal microscope, and proportionate time to reach the best overall decisions for our community. A tight city budget and a deeply indebted federal government demand no less than deep concern for our town.

Norman is growing at a consistent rate. However, the steady addition of new subdivisions, a constant search for new commercial growth, a lengthy debate over the state of our drinking water, a proposed household fee for storm water and a November vote on the Southside Treatment Plant expansion are but a few of the issues we as voters will encounter in the near future.

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