Editor, The Transcript:
It’s April 7 and all the ballots have been counted. Norman, we got your answers; Bond — yes, Petrone — no. All that’s left, is to account for the promises: promises kept, promises made, promises unfulfilled.
On promises kept. Thank you Councilperson Alison Petrone for all the promises you kept over the last twenty-four months. You ran two city council election campaigns based on policy and issues without interjecting fear or division. During your time on council, you kept your promise to represent the interests of all Ward 3 residents. You championed our community’s promised commitment to inclusivity and diversity, which earned you the respect and admiration of many. Alison, you also stood tall and delivered on the most important promises of all: your vote. You cast votes on the council for the right reasons, without regard for the political consequences, but with every regard for the people your vote affected. Councilperson Alison Petrone made good on her promises to Norman and to Ward 3. Thank you, neighbor.
On promises made. Kelly Lynn, the Ward 3 councilor-elect promises to be the voice of the unrepresented conservatives living in Ward 3. He promises to put police funding first and foremost in his financial priorities for the city budget. He also promises to make Norman business friendly.
Mr. Lynn made no promises about Norman’s neighbors experiencing food and housing insecurity. I suspect he would like the city to hand-off that concern to someone else. Mr. Lynn also didn’t promise anything about representing the rest of the Ward who may not have a conservative voice. At least 47% of Ward 3 didn’t vote for Mr. Lynn’s vision of Norman. and we still don’t know how he feels about water quality, affordable housing, and stormwater management. We’ll have to give Mr. Lynn some time to get up to speed on these issues. Maybe then he’ll make some promises about those important city issues.
Now that the election is over, I hope Mr. Lynn will deliver one more important promise: to be a faithful public servant and steward for the people’s resources. We hope for your success, Mr. Lynn. The people of Norman will be there to help you fulfill the obligations that come with your new job. We’ll also be there to help you account for all those promises.
On promises unfulfilled. Delivering on the promise of representative democracy requires all voters to check the box on Election Day. There are over fifty thousand active registered voters in Norman. On April 6, only 10,895 showed up to check the box on the Norman street bond vote. That’s a promise unfulfilled.
A little over four thousand voters turned out in Ward 3 to vote for their next city council representative: the voting majority stayed home that day.
Democracy is a muscle that must be exercised to remain strong, powerful, and effective. If you didn’t vote on April 6, why not? Whatever reason you came up with, was it more important than your unfulfilled promise to the rest of US? Please reconsider your reason and vote next time.
PAUL T. ARCAROLI