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:

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.

Bullying Prevention

The Norman City Council passed a Bullying Prevention Proclamation last Tuesday night. The Norman Police Department is working closely with the Norman Public Schools, parent groups and churches to come together as a community-wide effort to prevent bullying. This is not just about the targets of bullying but those who bully too. We need to address the causes of this behavior and the reactions to it as well.

Crossroads has an anti-bullying program that will help both targets and perpetrators. Every child deserves to grow up and learn in a safe environment. Bullying has caused everything from poor school performance to suicides . Those who are bullied can sometimes be the one to exploded,  as studies show 75% of school shooters were bullied.

Some people have expressed concern for Freedom of Speech, with regards to anti-bulling programs and laws. I suspect those folks have not read or understood the definition of bullying. We all have a fundamental right to express our views but we also have a responsibly to do so in a respectful and non- harassing manner. Simply put, your rights end where my nose begins.

Most of us have witnessed or seen the effects of bullying on children. We cannot remain silent about the things that matter, to paraphrase the Reverend Dr. King. The efforts by groups from many walks of life, over the next few months will be to protect all children in our community.Just as importantly, to focus on helping rather than punishing the perpetrators and the targets.


On November 1, 2012, the amended Oklahoma Self Defense Act (SDA) takes effect, which will permit citizens licensed under the SDA to carry authorized firearms in plain view. By adopting this measure, Oklahoma joins 24 other states with similar laws. The open carry law, however, also establishes limits for those choosing to carry a firearm in full view.

Oklahoma Statute 21:1272 defines where the open carry of a firearm is PROHIBITED. The locations include:

• Government buildings (except parking lots)

• Public or executive meetings of school boards, elected or government appointed boards, commissions and committees (except parking lots)

• Facilities used to house or process prisoners

• Secondary and elementary schools including parking lots, unless the person is only dropping off or picking up a child

• Sporting events, including professional events, except parking lots

• Any location where para-mutual wagering is permitted

• Any other place prohibited or restricted by law. For example, businesses where the primary source of income is derived from serving alcohol.

The same statute also defines where open carry is AUTHORIZED. The locations include:

• Public places with a permit unless otherwise prohibited

• Public access parking lots adjacent to any property where weapons may or may not be prohibited

• State, county or municipal parks and recreation areas

• Fairgrounds, but some areas upon or within a fairground or park may be restricted. For example, locations serving primarily alcohol or where para-mutual gambling is permitted

• College or technical school property when authorized by the institution

The Norman Police Department is committed to preserving the peace and safety of our citizens. With that goal in mind, we have developed a training plan for our officers and dispatchers on how to address public concerns about the new law. Additionally, we will conduct a public forum on Monday, October 29, 2012 at 6:30 P.M. in the Norman City Council chambers to answer any questions about the law and to outline the department’s responses to open carry-related calls for service.

It is the Norman Police Department’s intent to respect the legal rights of all citizens, including those who carry firearms in accordance with the Self Defense Act, while informing the public on responses they can expect from police.

2060 Strategic Water Supply Plan Public Meeting #2

A public meeting will be held Wednesday, October 17, 2012 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at City Council Chambers, 201 W. Gray, Norman, Oklahoma. This meeting will be the second in a series of public meetings to provide the public with information about the making of its 2060 Strategic Water Supply Plan (SWSP) and gather public input regarding key aspects of the plan.

The City of Norman is updating its plans for supplying long term water solutions to its customers. The SWSP builds on previous planning efforts discussing water demands, supply options, and infrastructure as well as significant new developments in water supply regulations, new technology and availability of water. Regulatory changes on drinking water quality affecting our local groundwater supplies, new limits on the amount of groundwater and Lake Thunderbird water Norman will be allowed to use, and evolving opportunities to increase water conservation and reuse in the community will also be discussed.

The City is evaluating a wide range of potential water supply sources and identifying those that will best meet the community’s short and long-term needs. The long-term water supply “portfolio” for Norman will likely include a combination of existing sources and new sources. Sources that pass the initial screening criteria will be combined into portfolios for further evaluation in the second phase of the project.

Public input is being sought through meetings that will be held at key milestones throughout the development of the SWSP. An Ad Hoc committee has been appointed by City Council to help guide this planning process and enhance feedback and communications. The October 17th public meeting will include a presentation on the goals and drivers for water supply planning in Norman, a description of the local and regional supply sources under consideration, a relative comparison of the supply options and a supply option screening to reduce the number of options to those most viable for further analysis. Meeting participants will have an opportunity to review supply options, and to provide feedback on the evaluation criteria and the relative importance of planning drivers. The third public meeting will review the supply option portfolios and set the screening process for the portfolios.

Adkins Park

There will be a meeting of the Parks board to decide how to use the the released funds from the Charter Election last year. The first project was Monroe Park, which is almost complete but there are other parks that will get some much needed renovation. Please give your input on the plans.


The City of Norman’s Emergency Management Division and local preparedness partners are coming to Sooner Mall to promote COMMUNITY PREPAREDNESS. On September 15, 2012 the citizens of Norman and the surrounding communities will have the opportunity to visit with local service organizations that promote preparedness and can provide information on how to be ready for disasters and what to do after one occurs. The effort will feature displays of items informing the public on preparedness issues and will have volunteers on hand to answer questions. Additionally volunteers will be on hand to assist residents with programming weather radios and those interested in volunteering with Norman’s Emergency Management can fill out an application.
A Fire Inspector from the Office of Norman’s Fire Marshall will be on hand to discuss fire safety issues and citizens will be able to learn hands on how to properly use a fire extinguisher. Norman’s Emergency Management recently purchased an electronic fire training system on a grant from Homeland Security. The training system is electronic and allows for use indoors.
“Preparedness is a personal issue and responsibility”, said David Grizzle, City of Norman’s Emergency Management Coordinator. “We use opportunities, such as a day at the mall, to meet with the public and discuss their concerns about preparedness and inform citizens on how to prepare for severe events”, he said.
For more information contact:
David Grizzle