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March 6, 2014

Council elections, PSST renewal on April 1 ballot

NORMAN — Residents are encouraged to register now to vote in the upcoming Norman City Council election and the Public Safety Sales Tax renewal April 1. Anyone who is not already registered or who needs to make changes to registration before the election must do so no later than Friday.

Fifty precincts will vote April 1, according to Cleveland County Election Board officials. Voters in some precincts will decide a Canadian Valley Technology Center Special Election.

City candidates for even-numbered city wards are up for election in Norman. While Ward 8 incumbent Chad Williams did not draw an opponent, there are challengers in every other race.

Ward 2 is an open seat. Current Council member Tom Kovach is stepping down at the end of his term. Running for Ward 2 are Gary Caissie, Aleisha Karjala, Matthew Leal and Clint Williams.

In Ward 4, incumbent Gregory Jungman is being challenged by Bill Hickman and Rhett Michael Jones. In Ward 6 incumbent, Jim Griffith will take on challenger Jerry Lang.

Three candidate forums are scheduled to allow the voting public to get acquainted with candidates and their opinions on various issues. All of the forums are free and open to the public.

Up first is the Norman Chamber of Commerce forum at 6 p.m. March 10 in the board room of the Norman Chamber of Commerce, 115 E. Gray St. The Chamber will survey candidates on business issues affecting Norman.

On March 24, the League of Women Voters of Norman will host a forum from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the city council chambers, 201 W. Gray St. All of the candidates are expected to attend. They will answer questions from the league and from those in attendance during the forum.

The league is nonpartisan and does not support or oppose candidates for public office.

A new group, Citizens for Financially Responsible Government, is hosting a forum at 6:30 p.m. March 27. The emphasis will be questions about the city’s budget, finances the council considers during a two-year term, bonding and taxing decisions and opinions about budget priorities.

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