Unite Norman will not submit petitions for charter amendments, organizers told The Transcript Tuesday afternoon.

The deadline, which initially fell on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, would have been Tuesday.

Proposed amendments included changing the City Council meetings from evenings to early mornings, changing the procedures for replacing councilor vacancies and changing the threshold of required signatures for recall petitions, The Transcript previously reported.

Unite Norman, which formed in June to recall odd-numbered city councilors and the mayor, maintained that several factors prevented its success.

“We got about halfway there,” co-founder Russell Smith said. “We knew, in the end there would be this big push, that we could still do it, but we decided ultimately our resources would best be spent on the upcoming election.”

Smith cited the COVID-19 pandemic, two holidays, and an ice storm as mitigating factors in their mission.

Unite Norman’s initiative petition to alter the recall election process would have meant future signature gatherers would need fewer signatures, The Transcript reported previously.

The city charter requires signatures from 25% of the registered voters in the official’s ward. The petition would change that to require signatures from 35% of “the number of total votes cast in the last contested election for that office,” the proposed ballot title read.

The second petition would have required the council to call a special election to fill a ward vacancy “with at least one year remaining on the unexpired term,” the ballot title read. The election would be called on “the earliest available date.”

A third petition would force the council to meet at 8:30 a.m. instead of after 5 p.m.

The Norman City Council continues to investigate its own charter amendments as the Charter Review Commission is performing its review.

Mindy Ragan Wood



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