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City Begins Difficult Process of Replacing City Manager - August 24, 2018


We recently completed our annual Council retreat. This is an opportunity for our Council members to get to know one another better, review roles and responsibilities, review the past years accomplishments and set goal for this coming year.
The make-up of the Council has continued to evolve. For instance, we have a majority of council members that are women, and now we also have a majority of Council members under the age of thirty five. That looks quite different from the Council I first served with 5 years ago: I was one of two women and we only had one member under 35. One of the things we have gained is a highly energetic council, full of creative ideas and impatient to get started.
While the Council is tasked with providing a road map for coming goals and activities, it falls to the staff to implement those plans and activities. We had to work hard on our final list of annual goals to keep it manageable, and we are very fortunate to have such a well- trained experienced staff to assist us with achieving those goals. From our City Manager, to our Department Heads to the front line worker on the road crew, we have the best trained hardest working staff in the state. Our leadership team has a high level of professional training, and all use best management practices to maximize out-put and effectiveness. Compared to other cities our size, we have a very lean staff, but because of training, hard work and dedication, they get an amazingly abundant amount of work done. That translates directly into the services that each and every one of us as residents of Norman receive.
Our City Manager will be leaving us soon and after nearly twelve years it will be a difficult transition. We have had the benefit of a lot of staff stability for the past decade and that has been a great benefit. We have already begun the process of finding a replacement, and whoever we hire will have big shoes to fill.
Recently, I have had the opportunity to attend some great community events. In the last few weeks, I have attended the Chambers’ Partners
in Education Breakfast, Parents Helping Parents, and the dedication of John Otto’s new book Sarge at the Veteran’s Center. I listened to John’s new book being read about Sarge the service dog that lives at the Center and gives attention and love to everyone there. Sarge was an abandon dog, rescued by Second Chance and trained through the Friends for Folks prison dog training program at the Lexington Detention Facility. That dog is a star!
While at the Vet Center, I visited with Doug Elder, Director of the Firehouse Art Center. I was treated to some amazing art. I had no idea that the Firehouse had this amazing art program for the Veterans. He is very excited about the program that is in its third year. He did say they could really use some more volunteers.
In addition to these great events last Wednesday, I attended a going away reception for Art Briepold. Art was one of the founders of the Seniors for the 21st Century organization. They have been strong advocates for better services for Norman’s Seniors. He has been instrumental in working with Council and staff in seeing a new Senior Citizen’s Center become a reality.
I am always humbled by the these experiences where I am able to observe and interact with so many of our caring residents that work tirelessly to help others on a totally volunteer basis.


We recently completed our annual Council retreat. This is an opportunity for our Council members to get to know one another better, review roles and responsibilities, review the past years accomplishments and set goal for this coming year.

The make-up of the Council has continued to evolve. For instance, we have a majority of council members that are women, and now we also have a majority of Council members under the age of thirty five. That looks quite different from the Council I first served with 5 years ago: I was one of two women and we only had one member under 35. One of the things we have gained is a highly energetic council, full of creative ideas and impatient to get started.

While the Council is tasked with providing a road map for coming goals and activities, it falls to the staff to implement those plans and activities. We had to work hard on our final list of annual goals to keep it manageable, and we are very fortunate to have such a well- trained experienced staff to assist us with achieving those goals. From our City Manager, to our Department Heads to the front line worker on the road crew, we have the best trained hardest working staff in the state. Our leadership team has a high level of professional training, and all use best management practices to maximize out-put and effectiveness. Compared to other cities our size, we have a very lean staff, but because of training, hard work and dedication, they get an amazingly abundant amount of work done. That translates directly into the services that each and every one of us as residents of Norman receive.

Our City Manager will be leaving us soon and after nearly twelve years it will be a difficult transition. We have had the benefit of a lot of staff stability for the past decade and that has been a great benefit. We have already begun the process of finding a replacement, and whoever we hire will have big shoes to fill.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to attend some great community events. In the last few weeks, I have attended the Chambers’ Partners in Education Breakfast, Parents Helping Parents, and the dedication of John Otto’s new book Sarge at the Veteran’s Center. I listened to John’s new book being read about Sarge the service dog that lives at the Center and gives attention and love to everyone there. Sarge was an abandon dog, rescued by Second Chance and trained through the Friends for Folks prison dog training program at the Lexington Detention Facility. That dog is a star!

While at the Vet Center, I visited with Doug Elder, Director of the Firehouse Art Center. I was treated to some amazing art. I had no idea that the Firehouse had this amazing art program for the Veterans. He is very excited about the program that is in its third year. He did say they could really use some more volunteers.

In addition to these great events last Wednesday, I attended a going away reception for Art Briepold. Art was one of the founders of the Seniors for the 21st Century organization. They have been strong advocates for better services for Norman’s Seniors. He has been instrumental in working with Council and staff in seeing a new Senior Citizen’s Center become a reality.

I am always humbled by the these experiences where I am able to observe and interact with so many of our caring residents that work tirelessly to help others on a totally volunteer basis.