The Norman Transcript

Homepage

June 17, 2014

Norman City Council members to consider charter recommendations from commission

NORMAN — The Charter Review Commission is making several recommendations to city council members tonight during a special meeting, one of which is asking the council to put an item on the ballot to remove a provision requiring voter approval for utility rate increases.

The special meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Building Council Chambers.

“The city council would then set the rates for utilities,” said Harold Heiple, Charter Review Commission chairman, if the item was put on the ballot and approved by voters.

Heiple said Norman is the only city in the state that requires voter approval for utility rate increases.

The provision was put into the charter in 1974 after a dramatic increase in utility rates but is now outdated when looking at long-term water needs for the city, he said.

Norman does not have the option to participate in a consortion to bring water from south Oklahoma City like other cities do, Heiple said.

Carol Dillingham, Charter Review Commission member, said removing the provision would save taxpayers money. By having larger rate increases approved after longer periods of time, taxpayers are possibly paying more than necessary, she said.

“It makes our utility (increases) all wait until it’s almost desperation time,” Dillingham said.

Heiple said there are two ways to get the item on the ballot. The city council can put it on the ballot or voters can sign an initiative petition to get it on the ballot.

He is scheduled to give a presentation during the special meeting to discuss recommendations for all of the proposed charter amendments.

Other recommendations from the Charter Commission on the agenda include:

· Changing the language from “compensation” to “stipend” in regard to compensation of city council members.

· Simplifying the process for removal of the city manager.

· Creating a mechanism by which council members could request information regarding a specific city department.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
New and Developing

Headlines

Sports
Opinion

Features

Must Read

Big 12 Media Days
Video
Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
Business

Photos


Facebook