Dear Friends and Neighbors:

Norman is a special place,which has been rated first in the state and 40th in the country of best places to live! I'm proud of that fact, and I believe that our community's unique balance between that of a larger, progressive city and a quiet University town is the key to our exceptional quality of life.

Public service on City Council though is not simply a matter of solving bigger issues for the larger community. First and foremost, it's about representing the interests of individual residents, like you, and working to resolve the many smaller, but equally important problems affecting your families, homes and neighborhoods.

Norman is a wonderful city because of diverse people and interests and points of view. If we wish to protect and enhance the character and values that make Norman such a great place to live, it's important that we work cooperatively together as a community of neighbors, and that our municipal government works for all of us.

I promise to continue to represent your interests, and keep working to ensure that City Hall acts in the best interest of all of the citizens of Norman and not just a select few. In order to do that I have changed this website to be interactive. I want to hear your ideas as well as to keep you informed. I will periodically send out updates on important issues to help keep you informed. Please sign up on the update page.

Sincerely, Tom

Latest News:

Important Vote

Tuesday, we will have the opertunity to vote on a waste water rate increase. We are the only city in the state that requires such a vote. I have never know the voters of Norman to reject a rate increase with a clear purpose for the funds, which are truly needed.

This vote is not just about meeting water quality standards but it is also for increase capacity for the plant. It is the first major expansion in decades and we have reached the limits of this treatment plant.

The need for a bigger better plant is clear, the uses of the funds have also been explained in detail. I trust that we will step up to the plate and support the rate increase. Please make the effort to vote Tuesday November 12th.

More Information on Lindsey Street

The City Council will vote Tuesday night on a change order (add-on) to the contract with the engineering firm hired for Lindsey St. This vote is currently limited to paying for the $100,000 of work they have already done looking at the IQC proposals, and doing the engineering necessary to add the landscaped medians and mid block U-turns, which most people agree is an improvement.

However, any contract can be amended. It is important that what is pretested in current Agenda is not changed to add features which he public overwhelming has rejected. If you can attend the meeting Tuesday night, please come. If not please contact the Council and ask them not to amend changes to the contract

Thank you for contacting the City Council and letting your voice be heard. This discussion is not over and we all need to pay attention until it is.

Results from the Public meeting

I want to thank all of you who called, emailed and/or attended the meeting last night.

There were supporter for both propositions. The majority of those who spoke were against the idea of two lanes on Lindsey (with auxiliary lanes) and the roundabouts. It was noted that the auxiliary lanes are proposed to be only 8 feet wide many cars and most trucks are wider than that. A representative from ACOG was there ( they approve who gets the Federal dollars for road projects). Mr. Rex said that ACOG has never approved a projects like the alternative being proposed. At the least that is a risk of the millions of federal dollars which will help pay for the drainage.

Several business owners attended and some protested the proposed changes as detrimental or devastating to their business. There were ADA concerns expressed about roundabouts as well.

Please continue to get informed and to encourage your family and friends to express their views.

Public Meeting

There will be a public meeting about the proposed changes to the Lindsey Street project. The current project approved by voters will be illustrated and the proposed changes from the Institute of Quality Communities will also be presented. It will be in the Council Chambers Tuesday,September 2nd. I will update you with the time.

The importance of this meeting is hearing from you. Please attend if you can. If not please call or email the City Council to make your thoughts known. It is your street and your money.

We need your Input

I want to make sure you are aware of the proposed changes for Lindsey St between SW 24th and Berry. I am concerned that promises and specific representations were made about the scope and nature of the project before the bond election, namely a widening Lindsey and solving the Lake McGee flooding.
Currently a proposal to narrow Lindsey to two lanes and to install roundabouts is being discussed. Like many things there are competing experts and views. Our staff says this will not work. Some say common sense tells you it will not work, while land use planners say it would transform Lindsey for the better.
Just as with the Speed Humps, some will love it other hate it. I am concerned that it will divide us as we face the huge problems of water supply and waste water expansion. Changing something so dramatically after it was approved by voters is at least divisive.
We also risk loosening federal funds which provide and 80% Federal to 20% local match. Much is at stake and no public information meetings have been held by the City to discuss this.

We meet this Tuesday night at 5:30 to discuss this and give staff direction. I don’t feel right about making a decision to change something which was voted on by the public without extensive public debate and input.
I am asking you to please get informed and tell the City Council what you think about this proposal.

Thank you

A letter We received about Lindsey

I wanted to share this letter it will speak for itself.

Dear Mr. Kovach and other Councilpersons—Thank you for your stance on this issue! The widening of West Lindsey Street and resolution of the associated drainage problems has been debated for years. ODOT, the FHWA, the City of Norman, the University, adjacent business interests and the citizens of Norman have had input on potential solutions for more than a decade. While the resulting design is certainly not perfect and does not meet with unanimous approval, it will solve the flooding problems, mitigate congestion and safety issue, is financially viable (by qualifying for a mix of federal, state, regional and local funding) and will beatify this section of Lindsey. Most importantly after all of the meetings and stakeholder input it was approved in a bond action by the voters of Norman!

My wife and I have lived at 1013 Joe Keeley Drive (one block south of Lindsey and Pickard) for the last 10 years and we were proud to be part of the process and vote for the project. It now seems that after the election and the start of design those who either chose not to partake in the process or lost the election want to have it re-visited and worse want to completely alter the design with no thought of federal, state and local processes or funding. I graduated from OU in 1970 with a degree in Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences and have more than 40 in transportation engineering. The thought of leaving Lindsey Street one lane each way and/or the use of roundabouts on this section is ludicrous to anyone with an understanding of this section of roadway and real traffic engineering knowledge.

First let’s look at the reason funding was available. It was to mitigate one of the most congested and unsafe sections of roads in Oklahoma and resolve flooding issue with a unique mix of funds and minimal right of way takes. If you don’t address all of these the funding goes away. Keeping one lane each direction kills the funding and the use of roundabouts require significant ROW takes even with just one lane each way and is completely undoable with two lane each direction.

In addition, if OU did not want Lindsey Street to be a primary entrance to the University, why did they along with the CON and the business leaders just recently fight to keep the Lindsey Street exit open with the I 35 expansion. They virtually forced ODOT and the FHWA to build a Single Point Urban Interchange at the Lindsey exit just like Main Street. Their argument at that time was that West Lindsey was a primary entrance to the University and it had significant congestion and safety issues (sound familiar?). After much coercion by OU and Norman, ODOT and the FHWA agreed to build a SPUI at a cost of $30+ million. Given the fact that the Interstate is where it is (and being expanded at a significant cost) and OU is where it is (and ever growing), West Lindsey Street is and will be a primary entrance to the University period. Therefore, let’s take advantage of approved funding and make it less congested, safer and more aesthetically pleasing while following the mandate of a bond election.

If I can help you defend this issue in any way please contact me and thanks again for your stance for the citizens of Norman.—Jim and Kathy Hunt

Jim Hunt, PE, CCM
Oklahoma District Director

75 years of design, engineering and project management excellence

350 David L. Boren Blvd., Suite 1510, Norman, OK, 73072
Tel: +1 (405) 321 2480 l Fax: +1 (405) 321 2490 l Cell: +1 (405) 464 6564


Roundabouts rated: LOSE

City staff predicts the level of service, standard used nationwide to rate the delays at intersections where A is best and F is a failure, would be an E. Imagine a five minute delay on Berry and Lindsey. Despite this there is a strong push for roundabout on Lindsey and narrowing it to two lanes.

Promoting the bond election I promised to keep to our word on the description of the project for Lindsey. I do not feel we can change the widening project to a narrowing project and add roundabout without the approval of those that voted for it.

Please make your thoughts known on this newest proposal.

It matters if your government operates in an open and transparent manner. The reason is simple: you do not do certain things when people are watching that you might do if they are not. Picking one’s nose comes to mind as an example.

There are many laws that tell you what to do, sometimes when to do it and even where you can do things such as putting your polycart out at a certain time and place and when to remove it. These laws are there for the public good. They are inconvenient to individuals but it keeps the neighborhood looking nice and costs low.

Having a law that tells elected officials how to meet and when so that the public can be informed is at least as important and should be enforced. These stories should are about the failure to do so and the attempt to disguise that failure. Please take a moment to read them.

Your vote should count

Voting overwhelmingly to support curbside recycling in 2007, the public passed a ballot, by nearly a 70 % margin, that “set a rate to provide required weekly curbside service”. Norman’s Charter was amended by a popular referendum to necessitate voter approval for city utility rate increases.
The initial five year contract for curbside recycling is nearly up and the new bids are in. Surprisingly the only two options provided were to maintain the same weekly services or to go to polycarts and add cardboard to the collected items and switching to bi-weekly service.
The polycart option addresses many current concerns such as having wheels and a lid, as well as taking cardboard, it still may be confusing to many people to go to every other week. Additionally, it specifically violates the ballot language that was approved by the public. I have asked that we simply add this to our scheduled May election and ask for permission to change the frequency. We could also correct the glaring mistake of not asking the public what they think. After all this would be a five year contract and the least we could do is have a public meeting before we proceed.

I think recycling is too important to Norman not to ask the public what they prefer.

Here We Go Again!

It seems we just finished the state and national elections and here we are talking about the Spring elections for Norman City Council. Yet these elections in many ways will have a greater effect on you and your family than those state and national offices ever will.

We as a community will in the near future be facing questions of water supply, waste water treatment, and water quality. The answers to which will have ramifications for decades to come.

Additionally there issues such growth, retail retention, high density developments, smart lighting, parks and the list goes on. These issues, and many others, concern your quality of life here in Norman.

So I urge you to make the time to stay informed, get involved and speak out on the issues that will be shape our City for many years to come.