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July 2, 2014

Council says farewell to 2, welcomes new members

NORMAN — It was a night of bittersweet goodbyes at the Norman City Council chambers.

Sylvia Martin was honored posthumously with the Citizen’s Honor Roll of Service — a distinction among others that she turned down during her lifetime.

Martin’s family asked Ann and Roger Gallagher, Martin’s longtime friends, to accept the award on her behalf. Ann Gallagher described a strong yet humble woman who declined honors and having things named after her.

“She was very special,” Ann Gallagher said.

Martin once ran for mayor before the city was divided into wards, when council members served at large. She advocated for district representation.

“She was ahead of her time,” Roger Gallagher said.

Martin believed in openness and transparency, yet also protected her personal privacy.

“She would never give her address. She would say, ‘Sylvia Martin, Box 430.’ She was a very private person,” he said.

She was strong and determined to the end.

“She raged against physical infirmities and her mind was clear,” Roger Gallagher said.

Municipal Criminal Court Judge David Poarch administered oaths of office to new council members Clint Williams, Ward 2, and Jerry Lang, Ward 6, and to returning council members Greg Jungman, Ward 4, and Chad Williams, Ward 8.

Clint Williams is Mary Abbot Children’s House executive director and former executive director of the Xenia Institute.

Lang is a third-grade teacher at All Saints Catholic School. He is also a retired businessman.

The council also selected several positions for the upcoming year.

Chad Williams was elected as mayor pro tem.

Mayor Cindy Rosenthal was elected to serve as representative on the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments Board of Directors and the Oklahoma Municipal League Board of Directors. Chad Williams will serve as the alternate on those boards.

Robert Castleberry was elected to serve on the board of trustees for the city of Norman Retirement System.

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