Voters in Norman rejected four ballot propositions that would have dedicated a combined $119 million to a bundle of municipal improvement projects branded as “GO Norman 2020” and included as part of the Norman Forward effort.
“To say we are disappointed is an understatement. We have missed a golden opportunity,” said Norman Chamber of Commerce President Scott Martin. “That being said, the voters have spoken and we will go back to the initial package passed and work to implement it to the best of our ability. Sadly, [these projects were] caught up in a myriad of other issues facing our community and paid the price.”
Some of the projects in the city’s Norman Forward campaign have already been completed, while others are under construction. The Norman bond issues voted down by residents Tuesday would have helped fund some of those projects.
Summary of Norman bond propositions
The four Norman bond propositions broke down as follows and would have raised property taxes on homeowners by about $14 per month.
Proposition 1 ($85.6 million): The largest proposition included $59.4 million for construction of a multi-sport and aquatic facility, $4.8 million for a 27,000 square foot senior wellness center, $9.1 million for a softball and football complex for youth sports, $7.4 million for new softball fields at Reaves Park, $2.8 million for a parks maintenance facility, $2.1 million for enhancements to Ruby Grant Park and $21.8 million for an indoor-outdoor soccer complex. These projects were initially approved in 2015, as part of Norman Forward.
The measure was defeated with 58.6 percent opposed.
Proposition 2 ($5 million): Funds would have gone toward construction of additional housing for the city’s homeless population and programming designed to assist them.
This proposal ended in the closest contest of the four, losing by only 329 votes out of 22,489 cast — a difference of 1.5 percent.
Proposition 3 ($24.3 million): Projects would have included $8 million toward construction of a new operations and dispatch center for the city’s emergency services. A further $5 million would go toward construction of a fleet maintenance center for the city’s buses and fire trucks. The city’s municipal complex would also get an $11 million makeover.
The proposal was rejected by 61.2 percent of voters,
Proposition 4 ($5 million): This proposition would have provided assistance for local businesses impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic through the creation of a small-business relief fund with emphasis on job retention and marginalized communities.
This measure lost by a similar margin to the first and third propositions, with 59 percent votes going against.
Full unofficial election results can be found here.