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Norman's East Side Library Worth Celebrating - August 1, 2018

The Norman East Library opening was last Friday. We had an amazing turnout with so many of the people that helped make the library a reality. It was such an uplifting affair.
As you drive in, you can see the beautiful sculpture on the east side of the entrance.
As you enter, you see beautiful wood working and painted murals. When you stand in the gallery looking out to the north, you can see hills, trees and prairies, and when you look around you see a room full of people reading, selecting books, working on computers, listening to music and playing games.
Outside by the front door, there is an automatic 24-hour check-out station where you can get books, audiobooks and videos. It also has a spacious public meeting room.
It is all part of a beautiful facility that is free to the public and open seven days a week. No matter where you live in town it is worth a trip to the east side library just to enjoy the space and experience. This amazing Norman Forward project is another great example of what makes Norman such a special place to live.
Over the weekend, I attended another ground breaking. This one was for the Norman Pediatric Associates. I am not able to attend all the groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings that go on in our community, but I wanted to mention this one because health care is Norman’s second largest employer.
This group of pediatricians has been in business since 2001 and has seven physicians and 46 employees total. It has out grown its building and is expanding to the Norman Regional Hospital campus area.
We know from state and national statistics that health care is one of the nation’s fastest growing industries.
It is so important to a community like ours to have a top quality health care system. Our Healthplex continues to grow, add services and improve quality.
Not only are these services good for the residents of our community, but they are among the factors people consider when relocating.
In addition having health services conveniently located next to I-35, we not only draw from much of southern Oklahoma but from cities to our north as well. These are people that often come and eat and shop and stay as well as seek medical care. This in turn contributes to the economic well-being of our city.
At our City Council meeting last week we did our Citizens’ Honor Roll of Service presentation.
This recognition goes to our City’s most outstanding volunteer of the year. This year we recognized two special individuals: Amanda Nairn and Andy Sherrer.
Amanda served as a co-chair for our Citizens Stormwater Committee, chairs our Environmental Control Advisory Board and serves on the Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy District.
Andy served as a co-chair of the Stormwater Committee, is a long-serving member of the Planning Commission, and serves on the Moore Norman Technology Center Board.
They both have contributed to multiple citizen initiatives and have spent countless hours to help make our community a better place to live. Congratulations.
The most controversial item on the agenda that evening was one that had been postponed from an earlier agenda.
It concerned sending the UNP TIF Project Plan to the Statutory Committee for review. It was just another step in the process and was not a final decision on the TIF.
In something of a surprise move last Tuesday afternoon, an attorney for the OU Foundation asked that the item be withdrawn from the agenda, as they had decided to quit pursuing the infrastructure financing from the city and the other taxing jurisdiction at this time.
They felt that there was too little consensus from the Council to move forward with this proposal. The majority of the Council agreed to remove it.
The issue has been very emotional and very contentious with a lot of misinformation being passed around.
My biggest regret is that we did not vote to complete the economic Impact study that was a crucial piece in determining the impact of the development on the rest of Norman and our businesses.
This was too big an issue to not do a more thorough study, and it might have been helpful as we consider other developments.
As one resident expressed to me in an email “I am concerned that the arena proposal is getting an emotional consideration rather than an objective consideration.
I was disappointed to see the council terminate plans for further study. My hope is that Norman would always be a model for thoughtful study of proposals that could significantly enhance our way of life.”
Me too. I will add that I am glad that the foundation has expressed that they will continue studying the possibility of an entertainment district with an arena along with a mixed use housing and business district.
There are many residents that are still excited about this proposal.

The Norman East Library opening was last Friday. We had an amazing turnout with so many of the people that helped make the library a reality. It was such an uplifting affair.

As you drive in, you can see the beautiful sculpture on the east side of the entrance.

As you enter, you see beautiful wood working and painted murals. When you stand in the gallery looking out to the north, you can see hills, trees and prairies, and when you look around you see a room full of people reading, selecting books, working on computers, listening to music and playing games.

Outside by the front door, there is an automatic 24-hour check-out station where you can get books, audiobooks and videos. It also has a spacious public meeting room.

It is all part of a beautiful facility that is free to the public and open seven days a week. No matter where you live in town it is worth a trip to the east side library just to enjoy the space and experience. This amazing Norman Forward project is another great example of what makes Norman such a special place to live.

Over the weekend, I attended another ground breaking. This one was for the Norman Pediatric Associates. I am not able to attend all the groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings that go on in our community, but I wanted to mention this one because health care is Norman’s second largest employer.

This group of pediatricians has been in business since 2001 and has seven physicians and 46 employees total. It has out grown its building and is expanding to the Norman Regional Hospital campus area.

We know from state and national statistics that health care is one of the nation’s fastest growing industries.

It is so important to a community like ours to have a top quality health care system. Our Healthplex continues to grow, add services and improve quality.

Not only are these services good for the residents of our community, but they are among the factors people consider when relocating.

In addition having health services conveniently located next to I-35, we not only draw from much of southern Oklahoma but from cities to our north as well. These are people that often come and eat and shop and stay as well as seek medical care. This in turn contributes to the economic well-being of our city.

At our City Council meeting last week we did our Citizens’ Honor Roll of Service presentation.

This recognition goes to our City’s most outstanding volunteer of the year. This year we recognized two special individuals: Amanda Nairn and Andy Sherrer.

Amanda served as a co-chair for our Citizens Stormwater Committee, chairs our Environmental Control Advisory Board and serves on the Central Oklahoma Master Conservancy District.

Andy served as a co-chair of the Stormwater Committee, is a long-serving member of the Planning Commission, and serves on the Moore Norman Technology Center Board.

They both have contributed to multiple citizen initiatives and have spent countless hours to help make our community a better place to live. Congratulations.

The most controversial item on the agenda that evening was one that had been postponed from an earlier agenda.

It concerned sending the UNP TIF Project Plan to the Statutory Committee for review. It was just another step in the process and was not a final decision on the TIF.

In something of a surprise move last Tuesday afternoon, an attorney for the OU Foundation asked that the item be withdrawn from the agenda, as they had decided to quit pursuing the infrastructure financing from the city and the other taxing jurisdiction at this time.

They felt that there was too little consensus from the Council to move forward with this proposal. The majority of the Council agreed to remove it.

The issue has been very emotional and very contentious with a lot of misinformation being passed around.

My biggest regret is that we did not vote to complete the economic Impact study that was a crucial piece in determining the impact of the development on the rest of Norman and our businesses.

This was too big an issue to not do a more thorough study, and it might have been helpful as we consider other developments.

As one resident expressed to me in an email “I am concerned that the arena proposal is getting an emotional consideration rather than an objective consideration.

I was disappointed to see the council terminate plans for further study. My hope is that Norman would always be a model for thoughtful study of proposals that could significantly enhance our way of life.”

Me too. I will add that I am glad that the foundation has expressed that they will continue studying the possibility of an entertainment district with an arena along with a mixed use housing and business district.

There are many residents that are still excited about this proposal.